Committee: Education Abroad Knowledge Community (EA KC)
Position: Chair 
Term Dates: Three and a half year term

Provide leadership for the development, and dissemination of knowledge needed by professionals engaged in education abroad (EA), as defined in the NAFSA Professional Competencies for International Educators document. Foster an on-going, community-wide discussion about leading issues in the education abroad field. Assume duties of chair in their absence.

This position reports to the Board of Directors through the Vice President for Scholarships & Institutional Strategy (VP SIS).  The EAKC supports the NAFSA Strategic Plan and pan-NAFSA collaborations through cross-committee and regional collaborations. It encourages the development and cultivation of member-leaders and supports the NAFSA Diversity and Inclusion statement in its outreach.

Position updated January 2019

NAFSA is accepting applications for this leadership position from February 5 to March 15, 2020.

Major Functions and Responsibilities
  • During Chair-elect year (2020)
    • Develop a strategically-driven work plan to guide the EAKC in the following year.  Assess the interests and needs of the KC. Consider the needs of the EA community in the planning of KC activities, which may include online resources, professional development activities, conference sessions and workshops.  
    • Lead the Awards Task Force for the EA KC.
    • Assist the Chair with implementation of 2020 Work Plan. 
  • During Chair year (2021)  
    • Lead the EAKC through virtual and in-person meetings to achieve the outcomes of the 2020 Work Plan.  Monitor progress of activities and report progress to VP SIS twice a year.  
    • Recruit and appoint members of the EAKC team and its subcommittees, as well as create opportunities for contributions from other interested members. Consult with the Leadership Development Committee related to the nomination of future EAKC chairs-elect. 
  •  During Past-chair year (2022 and through June 2023)
    • Serve as the EA KC representative for the NAFSA 2022 Annual Conference Committee (ACC)

All NAFSA leaders are expected to foster an inclusive environment and seek to learn and understand the multicultural perspectives of the committee/team, our constituents, and stakeholders to align with the NAFSA Diversity and Inclusion Statement. An expression of leadership in this area includes:

  • Engaging the committee/team to identify and implement strategies for increased personal outreach, recruitment, and onboarding for all, especially diversity-focused and underrepresented groups
  • Increasing accessibility and participation from underrepresented groups, individuals, and institutions
  • Expanding educational content within the committees’ purview through intentional outreach and recruitment of diverse presenters and institutional types in partnership with various NAFSA groups

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is a professional association driven by its Strategic Plan as established by the Board of Directors.  The success of the association depends on the productive engagement of three key constituencies: the Board, member-leaders, and staff.  Member-leaders are advocates for the association’s mission, vision, values, diversity and inclusion, and ethical principles. They align their work closely with the Board through its vice presidents and with staff to carry out the Strategic Plan. Member-leader roles are guided by objectives assigned by the Strategic Plan, by outcome accountabilities outlined in the Standing Rules, and by position descriptions for specific roles.

  • The Chair collaborates closely with the coordinating council and other KC and committee Chairs, as well as the VP SIS, to enhance work efforts across the association. The EA KC Chair will lead the EA KC in developing partnerships with knowledge communities, leadership committees, member groups, and regional teams. The chair serves on Coordinating Council for one year.  
  • Relationships with the NAFSA staff   The Chair partners closely with the NAFSA staff partner assigned to this Committee. Effective relationships reflect and include responsiveness to phone calls/e-mail correspondence, timely delivery on responsibilities, open communication and mutual respect among other characteristics. 

The length of term is three and a half years: one year each as Chair-Elect (2020), Chair (2021) and PastChair (2022 to June 2023), and includes 6 months on the Annual Conference Committee in the year following the Past-Chair year). 
The Chair-elect year, the commitment is one to two hours per week and will increase modestly between June and September for preparation of the work plan and participation in the Summer Coordination Meeting (with travel to Washington, D.C.). 
During the year as Chair, the chair will convene periodic conference calls with the KC team to keep the work moving throughout the year. The commitment will average three to five hours per week, but vary considerably from month to month.  Peak months are:

  • December/January: Prepare for and attending the Washington Leadership Meeting and onboarding new member leaders;  
  • April/May: Prepare mid-year status report, managing leadership meetings before the NAFSA Annual Conference as well as organizing EA KC conference activities during the conference; and
  • August/September: Review conference session proposals, completing an end of year work plan report  

The Past-chair year, the commitment is one to two hours per week for team work, increasing as conference planning work increases.  From mid-August through late October, conference planning activities require three to five per week, when the Past Chair manages the session proposal review process and attends a weekend conference planning meeting.   
NAFSA Meetings  

Travel, per diem, and lodging expenses are reimbursed for national NAFSA meetings, except for those surrounding the NAFSA annual conference. The travel to/from the annual conference, along with any meals and lodging for meetings before/during the conference, is not covered. Annual Conference registration is complimentary for the current chair and chair-elect. Lodging, travel and per diem is provided for the Washington Leadership Meeting (WLM) in January, the Summer Coordination Meeting for Chair-elects, and the Past Chair conference planning meeting in the fall. Other operating expenses members incur in their offices/at home, such as copying, phone calls, etc. are not reimbursed. Large copying jobs should be referred to staff. Conference calls are set up by staff and covered by the association as necessary.  

Please Note: Because the KC team holds in-person meetings each year immediately prior to the annual conference, members of the current chair-steam are asked not to present at pre-conference workshops. 

  • Demonstrated expertise in the field of education abroad
  • Ability to articulate the educational benefits of international education environment
  • Willingness to adopt organization-wide perspectives and KC strategic priorities
  • Willingness to adopt association priorities and perspectives on volunteer development and management
  • High strategic planning, management, networking, and delegation experience
  • Strong coordination, analytical, oral and written communication skills  
  • Ability to work effectively with a team and with NAFSA staff in an outcomes-based environment  
  • Commitment to access and respond to e-mail in a timely fashion as well as communicate using online electronic tools/systems plus the online workspace structure  
  • Willingness and ability to travel for participation and representation at NAFSA meetings
  • Manage unconscious bias in the assessment and decision-making process
  • Recognized by peers for being energetic, innovative, and visionary
  • Valid NAFSA membership through the length of the leadership term  
  • Ability to meet the volunteer commitment outlined and planning calendar deadlines  

Desired Qualifications

  • Previous engagement with EA activities, including team activities, or other NAFSA regional or national leadership experience, preferably within the past five years.


Please submit an application, or nominate a colleague, by March 15, 2020.