About STC

STC is the world's largest and oldest professional association dedicated to the advancement of the field of technical communication. The Society’s members span the field of the technical communication profession and reach across every industry and continent. In fact, the Society has members in almost 50 countries and is continuing to grow rapidly outside of North America and Europe.

Through a growing global community, the Society and its members set the global standards for technical communication. The Society’s award-winning publications, Intercom and Technical Communication, are widely read in the field of technical communication, and its annual conference is one of the most-attended technical communication events of the year.

The Society, its geographic Chapters, and its Special Interest Groups (SIGs) produce a wide array of educational events throughout the year designed to advance the knowledge of members and promote technical communication education globally. STC educational events regularly feature the thought leaders and practitioners who represent the future of the profession.

Our Story

The origin of technical communication has been attributed to various eras: Ancient Greece, the Renaissance, and the mid-twentieth century. However, the professional field was firmly established during the First World War, growing out of the need for technology-based documentation in the military, manufacturing, electronic, and aerospace industries.

In the United States, two organizations concerned with improving the practice of technical communication were founded on the East Coast in 1953: the Society of Technical Writers and the Association of Technical Writers and Editors. These organizations merged in 1957 to form the Society of Technical Writers and Editors (STWE).

STWE merged with the Technical Publishing Society in 1960 in an effort to extend the organization's size and reach. It was via this merger that the Society of Technical Writers and Publishers was born. Over the next eleven years, the organization flourished, continuing to grow and expand its membership. In 1971, the organization changed its name to the Society for Technical Communication.

For the past three decades, STC has prospered, growing in size and scope as an organization whose members lead the field of technical communication. As the information technology revolution brought significant changes to world communication, the Society and its members have stayed on the cutting edge, advancing both the theory and practice of technical communication.

One of the Society's primary missions has been to prove technical communication's relevance and importance in the world. In 2009, the Society successfully lobbied the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics to recognize Technical Writer as a profession. In 2010, the Society began a year-long project to transform the organization and to prepare for the next fifty years of growth for the profession.

This is an exciting time to be a technical communicator!

Mission and Vision


The Society for Technical Communication advances technical communication as the discipline of transforming complex information into usable content for products, processes, and services.

STC serves its members by identifying and promoting best practices in the field and by demonstrating the economic value delivered by technical communicators. By providing lifelong learning opportunities, we help our members develop their skills and competencies so that they may advance in a variety of career paths.

To achieve this mission, we focus our efforts in these areas:

  • Offer continuing education that enhances the competencies and skills of our members and enables lifelong learning
  • Foster the means and opportunity for technical communication professionals to succeed in today’s workforce and to grow into related career fields
  • Define and publicize the economic contribution of technical communication practices to businesses and governments
  • Promote the concept that technical communication training develops foundational skills and fosters in practitioners habits of analysis, discernment, and problem-solving that underpins their ability to successfully perform in many fields
  • Manage the operations of the Society in a sound and sustainable manner, investing strategically to enhance our ability to deliver member value


The Society for Technical Communication is recognized as an authority in the disciplines of designing and delivering content; and a leader in articulating the value of content and the value of those who develop it. Membership in STC is an internationally respected and desired complement to the study, teaching, and practice of technical communication.

Past Presidents

First Name           Last Name                Start         End        
Alan Houser 2012 2013
Hillary Hart 2011 2012
Michael Hughes 2010 2011
Cynthia Currie-Clifford 2009 2010
Mark Clifford 2008 2009
Linda Oestreich 2007 2008
Paula Berger 2006 2007
Suzanna Laurent 2005 2006
Andrea L. Ames 2004 2005
Thea Teich 2003 2004
Edward J. See 2002 2003
Judith L. Glick-Smith 2001 2002
Mark Hanigan 2000 2001
Mary R. Wise 1999 2000
Lance R. Gelein 1998 1999
Donna M. Sakson 1997 1998
Jody H. Heiken 1996 1997
Saul Carliner 1995 1996
Elizabeth Babcock 1994 1995
Annette D. Reilly 1993 1994
JoAnn T. Hackos 1992 1993
David Armbruster 1991 1992
Kathleen A. Young 1990 1991
William D. Leavitt 1989 1990
Austin T. Brown 1988 1989
Janis R. Hocker 1987 1988
Richard E. Wiegand 1986 1987

Past Presidents continued

First Name           Last name                Start       End      
Jeffrey L. Hibbard 1985 1986
Harry N. Pappas 1984 1985
Ernest D. Mazzatenta 1983 1984
Kenneth J. Cook 1982 1983
Ronald M. Field 1981 1982
Alberta L. Cox 1980 1981
A. Stanley Higgins 1979 1980
William F. Funderburk Jr. 1978 1979
H. Lee Shimberg 1977 1978
Russell M. Terry 1976 1977
Peter Smith 1975 1976
Robert F. Ellis 1974 1975
Helen G. Caird 1973 1974
Albert O. Pardoe 1972 1973
Frank R. Smith 1971 1972
Mary M. Schaefer 1970 1971
Gunther Marx 1969 1970
Joseph Godfrey 1968 1969
Richard A. Russell 1967 1968
Kenneth G. Tong 1966 1967
Charles W. Thelen 1965 1966
Stello Jordan 1964 1965
Robert O. Shockney 1963 1964
H.C. McDaniel 1962 1963
Vernon M. Root 1961 1962