In the Society’s early decades, the President was elected annually to serve for one calendar year. By 1950, the annual meeting had settled into mid-year dates and was no longer held in late December. Therefore, beginning in 1968, the term of office was changed to run from one annual meeting, currently held in August, to the next. The President serves on the Governing Board.
Beginning in 1995, ESA began electing a President-Elect rather than a President and Vice-President. The person elected would then take office at the following annual meeting, serve for one year, then become Past-president, effectively creating a three-year term of office.
Living Past Presidents collectively continue to serve as an informal committee, and take on various roles.
For the Past President’s Addresses, see here.
Our Twitter series of little known facts about past ESA presidents is presented here.

StartEndFull NameLast NameBulletin LinkPast President's Address
19161916Victor Ernest ShelfordShelford
19171917Ellsworth HuntingtonHuntington
19181918Henry Chandler CowlesCowles
19191919Barrington MooreMoore
19201920Barrington MooreMoore
19211921Stephen Alfred ForbesForbes
19221922Forrest ShreveShreve
19231923Charles Christopher AdamsAdams
19241924Edgar Nelson TranseauTranseau
19251925Arthur Sperry PearsePearse
19261926John William HarshbergerHarshberger
19271927Chancey JudayJuday
19281928Homer Leroy ShantzShantz
19291929Warder Clyde AlleeAllee
19301930John Ernst WeaverWeaver
19311931Asa Orrin WeeseWeese
19321932George Elwood NicholsNichols
19331933Edwin Booth PowersPowers
19341934George Damon FullerFuller
19351935Walter Penn TaylorTaylor
19361936William Skinner CooperCooper
19371937Robert Ervin CokerCoker
19381938Herbert Christian HansonHanson
19391939Charles Taylor VorhiesVorhies
19401940Francis RamaleyRamaley
19411941Alfred Edwards EmersonEmerson
19421942Clarence Ferdinand KorstianKorstian
19431943Orlando ParkPark
19441944Robert Fiske GriggsGriggs
19451945Alfred Clarence RedfieldRedfield
19461946John Mulvaney AikmanAikman
19471947Rand Aldo LeopoldLeopold
19481948Paul Bigelow SearsSears
19491949Zeno Payne MetcalfMetcalf
19501950Emma Lucy BraunBraun
19511951Samuel Charles KendeighKendeigh
19521952Frank Caleb GatesGatesPres bio
19531953Lee Raymond DiceDicePres bio
19541954John Ernest PotzgerPotzgerPres bio
19551955William John Hamilton Jr.HamiltonPres bio
19561956Henry John OostingOostingPres bio
19571957William Albert DreyerDreyerPres bio
19581958Stanley Adair CainCainPres bio
19591959Thomas ParkParkPres bio
An Ecologist's View. ESA Bulletin 42(1):4-10
19601960Charles Edward OlmstedOlmstedPres bio
19611961Arthur Davis HaslerHaslerPres bio
19621962Murray Fife BuellBuellPres bio
19631963William Franklin BlairBlairPres bio
19641964John Frederick ReedReedPres bio
19651965Eugene Pleasants OdumOdumPres bio
19661966Bostwick Hawley KetchumKetchumPres bio
19671967Rexford F. DaubenmireDaubenmirePres bio
19681968LaMont Cook ColeColePres bio
19681969John Edward CantlonCantlonPres bio
19691970Edward Smith Deevey Jr.DeeveyPres bio
19701971Frederick Herbert BormannBormannPres bio
19711972Stanley Irving AuerbachAuerbachPres bio
19721973Robert Baxter PlattPlattPres bio
19731974Frederick Edward SmithSmithPres bio
19741975Richard Samuel MillerMillerPres bio
19751976Forest Walden StearnsStearnsno bio publishedUrban Ecology--Opportunity or Tar Pit? ESA Bulletin 59(1):7-9 (excerpt)
19761977Frank Benjamin GolleyGolleyPres bio
19771978George Masters WoodwellWoodwellPres bioEcology 1979. ESA Bulletin 60(4):190-195
19781979William Dwight BillingsBillingsPres bioAmerican Deserts and Their Mountains: An Ecological Frontier. ESA Bulletin 61(4):203-209
19791980Robert Treat PainePainePres bioTruth in Ecology. ESA Bulletin 62(4):256-258
19801981Arthur Wells CooperCooperPres bioWhy Doesn't Anyone Listen to Ecologists And What Can ESA Do about It? ESA Bulletin 63(4):348-356
19811982Gene Elden LikensLikensPres bioA Priority for Ecological Research. ESA Bulletin 64(4):234-243
19821983Lawrence Carroll BlissBlissPres bioEcologists Need to Increase Their Involvement in Society. ESA Bulletin 65(4):439-444
19831984Francis Cope EvansEvansPres bioIn Praise of Natural History. ESA Bulletin 66(4):455-460
19841985Paul Gillan RisserRisserPres bioEcological Literacy. ESA Bulletin 67(4):264-270
19851986Richard Bruce RootRootPres bioThe Challenge of Increasing Information and Specialization. ESA Bulletin 68(5):538-543
19861987Jean Harmon LangenheimLangenheimPres bioThe Path and Progress of American Women Ecologists. ESA Bulletin 69(4):184-197
19871988Margaret Bryan DavisDavisPres bioInsights from Paleoecology on Global Change. ESA Bulletin 70(4):222-228
19881989Harold A. MooneyMooneyPres bioToward the Study of the Earth's Metabolism. ESA Bulletin 71(4):221-228
19891990Dennis Hal KnightKnightPres bioCongressional Incentives for Landscape Research. ESA Bulletin 72(4):195-203
19901991Simon Asher LevinLevinPres bioSustaining Ecological Research. ESA Bulletin 73(4):213-218
19911992H. Ronald PulliamPulliamPres bioHuman Population Growth and the Carrying Capacity Concept. ESA Bulletin 75(3):141-157
19921993Jane LubchencoLubchencoPres bio
19931994Jerry Forest FranklinFranklinPres bio
19941995Judy Lynn MeyerMeyerPres bioBeyond Gloom and Doom: Ecology for the Future. ESA Bulletin 77(4):199-205
19951996Gordon Howell OriansOriansno bio publishedHuman Behavioral Ecology: 140 Years without Darwin Is Too Long. ESA Bulletin 79(1):15-28
19961997James Hemphill BrownBrownPres bio
19971998James A. MacMahonMacMahonPres bio
19981999Katherine Lynn GrossGrossPres bioIt's a Good Time to Get Involved: Perspectives on the ESA, from Aldo Leopold to Today. ESA Bulletin 82(2):112-118
19992000Diana Harrison WallWallPres bio
20002001Stephen Russell CarpenterCarpenterPres bio
20012002Pamela Anne MatsonMatsonPres bio
20022003Ann Marie BartuskaBartuskaPres bio
20032004William Harrison SchlesingerSchlesingerPres bio
20042005Jerry Michael MelilloMelillo
20052006Nancy Beth GrimmGrimm
20062007Alan Paul CovichCovich
20072008Norman LeRoy Christensen Jr.Christensen
20082009Alison Gail PowerPower
20092010Mary Eleanor PowerPower
20102011Francis Stuart Chapin IIIChapin
20112012Steward T.A. PickettPickett
20122013Scott L. CollinsCollins
20132014Jill Spann BaronBaron
20142015David William InouyeInouye
20152016Monica TurnerTurner
20162017David LodgeLodgePres bio
20172018Richard PouyatPouyat
20182019Laura F. HuennekeHuenneke
20192020Osvaldo SalaSala
20202021Kathleen WeathersWeathers
20212022Dennis OjimaOjimaAnnouncement
20222023Sharon K. CollingeCollingeAnnouncement
20232024Shahid NaeemNaeemAnnouncement