Erin M. Fuller, FASAE, MPA, CAE


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Areas of Expertise:

  • Growth-focused leadership of high-profile organizations
  • Component relations strategies
  • Board consensus building
  • Thoughtful industry sector advocacy and representation

Erin Fuller joined Coulter as a senior associate in 2002, was named a vice president in 2006, group president in 2009, and Coulter President in 2013. Fuller also has served as the president for the Alliance for Women in Media, an organization which advances the impact of women in electronic media and allied fields, and led the aggressive implementation of a “free membership” business model, as well as an overhaul of all communications products within her first year in that role. During her first six years at Coulter, Fuller focused on serving as the chief executive for the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), the most prominent and visible nonprofit organization in the United States representing female entrepreneurs via an 80 chapter network. Under Fuller's leadership, NAWBO experienced enormous growth in all sectors of its operations, including increases in corporate investment by 400% during her tenure. She also served as the executive director for Tysons Tomorrow, successfully advocating for the creation of urban, transit-oriented development for one of the fastest growing economic and job centers in the country.

Fuller is a noted expert on women’s issues and economic empowerment, and has appeared on programs including NBC Nightly News, CBS’s MarketWatch, ABC News, Fox News, NPR’s Marketplace, and BBC’s America. She has been quoted in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, Fortune and Newsweek.

Through her work with Coulter Strategy & Innovation, Fuller and her colleagues have delivered expert guidance to high profile national and international nonprofits on topics including association financial management, governance redesign, comprehensive marketing, branding and communication plans. Client organizations include the National Law Journal, the National Council of Jewish Women, the SCORE Foundation, and the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund.
Prior to joining Coulter, Fuller served as the executive director of the Community Associations Institute (CAI) Research Foundation and as vice president of CAI's education department. Other previous employment includes positions with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), the American Medical Student Association/Foundation and American University. She has consulted for organizations including Dartmouth University's Koop Institute, the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco and the Children's Defense Fund. She has facilitated a number of workshops on nonprofit strategy, marketing and advocacy, and has authored a number of articles that have appeared in national and regional publications.

Fuller received both her undergraduate and master of public administration degrees from American University in Washington, D.C. An active member of the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), Fuller was named an ASAE Fellow in 2011 – a distinction earned by less than one percent of its membership. Fuller received the 2011 Alice Paul Award from American University’s Women and Politics Institute for her work advancing women’s causes. She currently serves on the board of directors for American Forests, the nation’s oldest conservation organization. She earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2002 and served as a faculty member for the CAE Immersion course, where she taught financial management, strategic planning and brand management. In addition, Fuller served as an associate professor at Northern Virginia Community College, teaching "Introduction to Nonprofit Management" from 2005-2010, and is a featured guest lecturer within American University’s School of Public Affairs. She served as the president of the American University Alumni Association Board, and previously served on the board of directors of the ASAE Foundation from 2003-2006, as well as the editorial board of the Journal of Association Leadership. Fuller was named one of Association Trends Leading Young Association Executives in 2000, and received an award to study leadership at The Banff Centre in 2002 from the Canadian Bureau of Tourism.

Fuller and her two sons reside in Arlington, Virginia.

Here's what Erin is talking about:

Embracing Free Membership, Associations Now, February 2013

“Extreme Makeover: Association Edition” ASAE Annual Conference presentation, August 2012

"We HAVE Come a Long Way, Baby - Now What?" ASAE Annual Conference Presentation, August 2011

"Goodbye Dues" Associations Now, March 2011

Local-Market Engagement: Case Study of the AWM Affiliate Program, Component Relations, June 2011

“Small Associations Win Big in Social Media” Signature, January/February 2010

Keynote Speaker, ASAE’s In Honor of Women, November 2009

Creating New Opportunities for Investment, Association Management, May 2005

A Question of Relevance, Journal of Association Leadership, Summer 2003


Now, here's the backstory on Erin:

  • Hometown:  Auburn, Massachusetts (central Massachusetts, 40 miles west of Boston – it explains why my sons were issued Red Sox hats at birth.)
  • First car: 1978 Caprice Classic – it seated 20 comfortably.
  • Superhero power I wish I had: I want the full Wonder Woman package – telepathy, lasso of truth, invisible jet (so handy in Washington traffic!) and of course, the bullet-resistant tiara and bracelets. Plus, she has a great theme song. 
  • Television show or movie most resembles my current life: Maybe a combination of Modern Family (for the chaos), Bridesmaids (for the strong female friendships I am so lucky to have) and The West Wing (because my colleagues are smart, passionate and very witty.)
  • App I can’t live without:  Weather. I track five cities at once – a must for frequent business travel. Plus, I like to keep tabs on the small beach town in Maine that I visit each July.
  • Favorite guilty pleasure: Selecting a new television series I can watch in its entirety (I am not great with delayed gratification), settling in with some chocolate and getting through the whole thing over a few weeks. Best selections in this manner include Arrested Development, The Wire, Coupling (British version), and Downton Abbey.
  • Three publications I’d recommend for anyone who does what I do: Associations Now, Entertainment Weekly, and the ongoing stream from
  • What I do in my “free” time: A lot of reading (more balanced between non-fiction and fiction than I used to be), an endless quest to find fabulous, nutritious meals that both my kids and I enjoy that take no more than 25 minutes to prepare and don’t feel like culinary settling (ha!), and my position as past-president of the American University Alumni Association. (Go Eagles!)
  • If I could travel anywhere in the world, I would go…: I am currently obsessed with Portugal as well as river cruises in Western Europe, but my list changes very frequently.
  • Advice I would give my “younger self”: Relax! Travel more! (And rethink that 2002 haircut – you don’t have the cheekbones for it.)
  • How my life has changed since I joined Coulter: My decade-plus at Coulter has been amazing – served as chief staff executive for three amazing associations, seen our company double in size, picked up a few kids and two different homes along the way…an incredible ride so far!
  • At the end of the day…: no regrets, a little learning, a lot of laughter and a glass of wine sounds about right. 

“To do the work you love and feel that it matters; how could anything be more fun?”

Katharine Graham

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