Daniel Sebesta

It is my honor and privilege to be considered for ATA’s Board of Directors.

A Little about Me: With a background in linguistics, business, and law, I have been working with English, German, French, Slovak, and my native Czech since 2003. While ATA does not offer certification in my language pairs, I am certified by various European bodies. Having lived, worked, and studied in five countries and visited 99 countries, I am able to look beyond the U.S. market.

Learning the Ropes: I have been an ATA member since 2006, regularly attending and speaking at conferences since 2009. Involved with ATA’s Language Technology Division since 2018, I also chaired the Divisions Committee and served on the Professional Development Committee. I have been participating in ATA’s Mentoring Program and interviewing guests for the Inside Specialization series on The ATA Podcast. All these roles have allowed me to learn about the inner workings of the large and diverse organization that is ATA.

Central Role of Technology: For most of us, embracing technology is going to be central to maintaining a lucrative language business into the future. Various technologies are set to transform our industry in ways we cannot yet fully foresee. Our future, though uncertain, is exciting and we have the power to shape it. Technology in the hands of skilled experts like us can help increase productivity and help our professions add more value for our clients or employers in this era of ubiquitous machine translation. ATA, as one of the largest professional associations in our industry worldwide, can and should lead the way into this future. If elected, I pledge to steer our Association toward an industry that embraces the meaningful, productive, and ethical use of language technology.

Navigating Transition at ATA Headquarters: I am keenly aware of the many disruptions brought about by the transition at ATA Headquarters. If elected, I will ask questions and challenge decisions with a view to achieving maximum efficiency of Headquarters processes and ensuring member services are provided predictably and on time.

Engaging Our Members, Expanding Our Membership: ATA membership has been trending downward for years. If elected, I will work to address the reasons why past members have left and why young professionals are hesitant to join. This may require highlighting existing member benefits in an engaging way, but also designing new member benefits and positioning ATA as the go-to platform in this era of tech-powered language services.

Cooperation with Other Industry Bodies: With our newly found confidence as a thought leader in a tech-forward industry, we have a lot to offer our counterparts in other countries (language associations outside the U.S.) and adjacent industries (machine translation, language data, etc.) and can benefit from synergies with them. As a member of a variety of industry bodies and with my global outlook, I will advocate for any meaningful cooperation.

I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve the Association, if elected.