Committee: International Education Leadership Knowledge Community (IEL KC)
Position: Chair, International Education Leadership (IEL) Knowledge Community
Term Dates: Two-year term, renewable for one term (maximum of 4 years) 

The The International Education Leadership Knowledge Community (IEL KC) addresses the needs of Senior International Officers (SIOs), those international education leaders who are engaged in visioning, leading, and building commitment for internationalization by working at the nexus of administration, faculty, and international education services.

The chair of the IEL KC works in partnership with NAFSA staff to define programming and opportunities to contribute to NAFSA for those who lead internationalization on their campuses. The position is accountable to the Board of Directors through the vice president for scholarship and institutional strategy.

Provide leadership for articulating and promoting the theory, practice, and significance of effective international education leadership.

Provide leadership for the conceptualization, development, and dissemination of quality products, programs, and services that serve international education leaders.   

Position updated January 2019

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

Major Functions and Responsibilities
  • Lead efforts to assess the interests and needs of the IEL KC’s target audience(s), namely SIOs, and articulate the role and goals of the IEL KC.  
  • Lead the planning of IEL KC activities, which may include training programs, conferences, panels, resource development, networking and so forth, and produce an annual work plan that prioritizes these activities.  
  • Collaborate with other team members and staff to develop specific project plans to realize the overall work plan priorities for each year.
  • Partner with other team members, staff, and the VP SIS to refresh IEL KC priorities and initiatives as needed.
  • Maintain an up-to-date overview of all IEL KC activities, monitoring their progress and ensuring their success.
  • Take the lead in recruiting talent for the IEL KC leadership team, as well as creating opportunities for contributions from other interested members.
  • Lead the IEL KC’s efforts to intersect with other units within NAFSA, and work closely with staff to foster contacts with organizations beyond NAFSA that are relevant to the issues related to SIOs

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 IEL KC Chair will lead the IEL KC in developing partnerships with knowledge communities, leadership committees, member groups, and regional teams. The chair serves on Coordinating Council for one year.  
  • 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 years: one year each as chair-elect, chair, and past chair. During the year as chair, NAFSA work will average three to five hours per week, but vary considerably from month to month. Peak months are January, March-June, and December, especially:

  • December/January/February: Preparing for and attending the Washington Leadership Meeting, delivering orientation, onboarding new members and recruit new leaders;  
  • April/May: Preparing for and attending leadership meetings before the NAFSA Annual Conference and organizing IEL KC conference activities; and
  • July/August/September: Reviewing conference session proposals, completing an end of year work plan report, and attending the Summer Coordinating Meeting.  

The chair-elect year hours are one to two hours weekly and will increase modestly during June-August for the preparation of the work plan. Past chair hours are two to five hours monthly and will increase modestly during November/December/January to facilitate team leader transitions. 

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 Washington Leadership Meeting (WLM) in January, lodging is provided via a shared room or a single room may be available at half the cost of a double room. Travel and per diem is reimbursed for WLM. 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:  KC Chairs are kindly asked to not present at Annual Conference pre-conference workshops because their attendance is necessary at the KC team’s pre-conference meetings. 

  • Experience in a role of leading campus internationalization (with or without the title of senior international officer)
  • Demonstrated dedication to professional development for colleagues in the field
  • Willingness to adopt organization-wide perspectives and IEL 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


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