About our Association

Usually pronounced “azz-clad” by those in the forensic sciences, The American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors (ASCLD) is a nonprofit professional society of crime laboratory directors and forensic science managers dedicated to providing excellence in forensic science through leadership and innovation. The purpose of the organization is to foster professional interests, assist the development of laboratory management principles and techniques; acquire, preserve and disseminate forensic based information; maintain and improve communications among crime laboratory directors; and to promote, encourage and maintain the highest standards of practice in the field.

What We Do

A number of mechanisms exist to allow ASCLD to achieve these goals. The organization has a yearly symposium devoted to providing training in leadership and management techniques. The meeting also offers the membership the opportunity to network with other laboratory directors. The ASCLD website is maintained and monitored with weekly updates that contain current news and business items for our members.

Our History

The ASCLD organization began to take shape in a meeting that occurred in 1973. In the fall of 1973, a small group of some thirty crime laboratory directors, geographically representing the country, met in Quantico, Virginia. Although called there by Clarence Kelly, then Director of the FBI, it was Briggs White, Director of the FBI Laboratory, who, by his desire to bring local laboratories and the FBI Laboratory together, made it all possible. At that meeting, a steering committee under the able chairmanship of Richard Fox, was formed and met in Kansas City in the spring of 1974. A constitution was drafted, and, in the fall of 1974, in Quantico at the first meeting, ASCLD was born. Chairman – Briggs White, FBI; Vice Chairman – Richard Fox, Missouri; Secretary – Atley Peterson, ATF; Treasurer – Larry Howard, Georgia. On February 18, 1976, ASCLD became ASCLD, Inc.


ASCLD is not an accrediting body. In the 1980’s ASCLD developed a standards subcommittee to evaluate the needs of the criminal justice system.  This subcommittee eventually incorporated as a separate and distinct non-profit entity based in North Carolina and has the acronym ASCLD/LAB [usually pronounced azz-clad-lab by those in the profession]. You can visit their website at www.ascld-lab.org and find out more about the origins of this organization by selecting ‘About Us’ and ‘History.’  Due to our origins our acronyms are similar but we are completely separate organizations with independent Boards, missions and structure.