CommitteeInternational Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice (ISS RP) Committee
Position: Chair, Regulatory Ombudsperson 
Term Dates: Two-year term, renewable for one additional term 

The Exchange Visitor Subcommittee is one of five subcommittees within the International Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice Committee (ISS RP) that reports to the vice president of public policy and practice. The subcommittee is responsible for prioritizing regulatory issues for NAFSA government liaison with the service centers of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The chair serves as a core member of ISS RP and leads the subcommittee.

Position updated June 2018

Applications are not currently being accepted.
Major Functions and Responsibilities
  • Effectively lead and support a team of regional volunteers in an outcomes-based environment through conference calls and virtual and in-person meetings.
  • Establish, implement, and evaluate the subcommittee’s processes for collecting input from the membership regarding regulatory and practice issues related to USCIS service centers via IssueNet, and monitor conversations on the International Student Advising (ISTA)/International Scholar Advising (ISCA) discussion forums. 
  • Provide training and leadership to the subcommittee on regional conference sessions, regulatory problem-solving, communication and outreach, responsiveness to members and others, development and maintenance of relationships with USCIS government personnel, and the use of the case management online system, IssueNet’s Get Liaison Help.
  • Lead the subcommittee in its efforts to review, analyze, and prioritize information from IssueNet, ISTA/ISCA, input from subcommittee, and other sources to recommend priority actions to the ISS RP Committee and director of regulatory practice liaison. 
  • Model excellent communication skills and a willingness to engage with NAFSA members to discuss current issues, ongoing subcommittee priorities, and ISS RP activities. 
  • Provide information and analysis to staff, as requested, and in a timely manner, for comment letters on matters affecting international students and scholars. 
  • Through staff-arranged activities, communicate with government agencies such as USCIS that result in clarification or positively-changed federal practice or procedure. 
  • Work with staff to provide ongoing practice guidance and information to NAFSA members based on communication from government agencies, and to keep the ISSS community informed of pressing/ongoing issues. 
  • Collect practice resource suggestions from the subcommittee for the ISS RP chair that will be valuable to the membership and of interest to the Knowledge Community of International Student and Scholar Services (KC ISSS).  
  • Develop agendas for quarterly virtual subcommittee calls and participate in quarterly ISS RP calls.  Participate in additional calls, as determined by chair.
  • Assign rotational committee duties and utilize the subcommittee’s workspace to facilitate dialogue, project development, and archive materials. 
  • Provide orientation, guidance, and constructive feedback to subcommittee members throughout their tenure to ensure a positive and productive professional development experience. 
  • Contribute to the completion of the ISS RP work plan and related work plan objectives, in accordance with NAFSA’s Strategic Plan. 
  • Advance strategic partnerships across ISS RP Subcommittees and non-ISS RP Committees, as needed, to contribute to cross-collaborative and timeline-driven tasks and, when appropriate, arrange working groups and task forces.
  • Lead the subcommittee in identifying opportunities to promote and represent ISS RP through annual and regional conference activities. 
  • Work closely with NAFSA staff in coordinating in-person Service Center engagements, ensuring regbud participation (contingent on budget) and outreach to NAFSA members.
  • Partner with regional chair streams regarding the appointment of regulatory ombuds, as rotation occurs.  

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.  


Relationships with Other Members 
This position collaborates closely with other NAFSA leaders to enhance work efforts across the association.

Relationships with the NAFSA staff 
This position partners closely with the NAFSA staff partner assigned. Effective relationships reflect and include responsiveness to phone calls/e-mail correspondence, timely delivery on responsibilities, open communication and mutual respect among other characteristics.

  • Estimated four to six hours per month to participate in position responsibilities.
  • Prepare for and attend the Washington Leadership Meeting and the Regbud Annual Training Meeting in January.
  • Prepare for and attend ISS RP team preconference meetings at the NAFSA annual conference in May.
  • As necessary, attend USCIS Service Center engagements in person (contingent on budget).
  • Previous volunteer/presentation experience with NAFSA at the local, regional, or national level
  • Minimum of 5 years’ experience working in the ISSS field, with knowledge of regulations, DHS-adjudicated benefits for students/scholars, and an awareness of the issues affecting this community
  • Strong leadership skills in project management, with an interest in team work and collaboration
  • Excellent communication skills and a willingness to engage with members to discuss current issues, ongoing subcommittee priorities, and ISS RP activities
  • Institutional support for this volunteer commitment
  • Willingness to adopt organization-wide perspectives and ISS RP 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