Page Hero - Commencement



honorary degrees

Honorary Degree

Dr. Karen Cox

Richard Yep, CAE, FASAE

Richard Yep, CAE, FASAE, is the chief executive officer of the American Counseling Association, the largest membership organization of professional counselors in the world. ACA sets the standards and ethics for the counseling profession and it produces 10 scholarly journals, a monthly magazine, webinars, and books. He oversees a staff of 63 and a $14 million budget. ACA has more than 53,000 members. Yep has worked for ACA for 30 years, 20 of which as the association's CEO. He is also the president of the American Counseling Association Foundation.

Yep has presented on various issues impacting not-for-profit organizations relative to public policy, leadership development, ethics, membership retention, and product development. He is his organization's representative with the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations, and he serves on the executive committee of the NGO/DPI.

His professional affiliations include the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), where he is a past chair of the organization's Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, completed a term on the ASAE Board of Directors in 2013, was named an ASAE fellow in 2012. In 2017, he received ASAE's Key Award which honors an association CEO who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership in his or her own association and displays a deep commitment to voluntary membership organizations as a whole.

For 10 years Yep served on the board of trustees of Excelsior College. His support of Excelsior is rooted in his personal experience in working with individuals facing personal and professional challenges, but who are dedicated to improving their lives through education. Yep is a chair emeritus of the board.

Yep holds an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Rich and his wife Mona reside in Alexandria, Virginia, with two yellow labradors. His son, Dylan, is a software developer in San Francisco.