Committee: Board of Directors
Position: Vice President for Scholarship and Institutional Strategy
Term Dates: Three Years

The Vice President for Scholarship and Institutional Strategy (VP/SIS) provides leadership for NAFSA's professional development programs in the areas of scholarship and institutional strategy related to internationalization. S/he serves as a member of the Board of Directors, and the Board's Executive Committee, contributing to the governance of the association and the exercise of leadership.

Under the purview of the VP/SIS are three knowledge communities: International Education Leadership (IEL), Teaching, Learning, and Scholarship (TLS), and Education Abroad (EA); and the Annual Conference Committee (ACC). These groups comprise the Vice President's portfolio. The VP/SIS also advises the NAFSA professional staff on three functions related to her/his portfolio: internationalizing the curriculum, the portfolio and products of the Senior Fellows, and the research function.

The VP/SIS oversees the work of volunteer leader groups in the areas in her/his purview and works closely with staff partners to support these strategic goals of NAFSA's 2018-2020 Strategic Plan:

  • Support the integration of global perspectives throughout higher education by furthering comprehensive internationalization. (Goal 2)
  • Encourage and support intercultural learning for students, scholars, and educators. (Goal 3)
  • Identify critical trends and issues, and champion responses that advance international education. (Goal 4)
  • Create and disseminate knowledge and resources and provide professional development opportunities responsive to the ever-changing needs of the field. (Goal 5)
  • Deepen and broaden NAFSA's engagement with individuals and groups whose work contributes to the success of international education, through mutually beneficial collaboration. (Goal 6)
  • Continue to strengthen and diversify the association's revenue streams and organizational infrastructure to successfully meet the challenges of the future. (Goal 7)1

As a member of the Board of Directors, the VP/SIS also takes part in setting the strategic direction for the association in all goal areas and chairs the Scholarship & Institutional Strategy (SIS) Committee of the Board. S/he may also be assigned to serve on other committees of the Board.

The VP/SIS participates in meetings of the President's Coordinating Council that fosters knowledge and understanding of the strategic plan and achieves collaboration among member- leader groups with common or overlapping interests. S/he collaborates and coordinates with the Vice President for Professional Development and Engagement (VP/PDE) and the Vice President for Public Policy and Practice (VP/PPP) to ensure the effective work of all national leaders in professional development programs. In particular, integration of the input from the knowledge community and regulatory committees overseen by the VP/PDE and VP/PPP is critical to the work of the ACC. The VP/SIS also oversees contributions from her/his portfolio groups to the development of regional conference programs, as requested.

Position updated January 2020

NAFSA is accepting applications for this leadership position from February 5 to March 31, 2020.

Major Functions and Responsibilities
  • Serve on NAFSA's Board of Directors, contributing to the development of policies, priorities, and positions for the association and helping provide direction for the development and stewardship of NAFSA's resources through the Strategic Plan.
  • Represent the Board in various venues such as regional meetings and conferences, as requested.
  • Chair the Scholarship and Institutional Strategy (SIS) Committee of the Board.
  • Serve on the Board's Executive Committee.
  • Working with the leader groups in her/his portfolio and staff partners, maintain an overview of member needs in related areas of professional development and assess the portfolio of NAFSA services in meeting those needs.
  • Working with the leader groups in her/his portfolio and staff partners, establish policy and processes in related professional development areas that enhance the ability of the association to remain strong and serve its members and participants in the related domains.
  • Coordinate the input of the knowledge communities EA, IEL and TLS, and the ACC to the refreshing of the Strategic Plan and communicate the results of the Board's work and priorities to these leader groups.
  • Working with the VP/PDE and VP/PPP, oversee the development of a consolidated work plan across all national member-leadership groups, ensuring that both the Strategic Plan priorities and service portfolio development are addressed in those plans.
  • Monitor the progress of the leader groups in her/his portfolio in fulfilling their plans, intervene as necessary to ensure objectives are met, and share periodic reports with the Board and SIS Committee regarding progress.
  • Create opportunities and mechanisms for communication and cooperation among the leader groups in her/his portfolio to ensure that they effectively deliver their assigned outcomes.
  • As needed, recruit, select, and appoint members to various teams, committees, subcommittees, and task forces of the leader groups in her/his portfolio, according to the Standing Rules, working with the Leadership Development Committee.
  • Working with the Deputy Executive Directors or Executive Director, resolve any issues where staff performance impacts volunteer leader teams' ability to achieve their objectives.
Diversity and Inclusion

Champion resources and hold the association accountable to our on-going commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • Engage board committees to identify and implement strategies for increased personal outreach, recruitment, onboarding, and engagement toward diversity-focused and underrepresented groups.
  • Avoid unconscious bias in decision-making.
  • Lead the assessment of relevant practices, policies and procedures of the board.
  • Foster an inclusive environment by increasing accessibility and participation from underrepresented groups, individuals, and institutions.
  • Seek to learn and understand the multicultural perspectives of member leaders, our constituents, and stakeholders to align with the NAFSA Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

With Members

The VP/SIS works most closely with her/his colleagues on the Executive Committee and the chair streams of the three related knowledge communities EA, IEL and TLS, the two sequential chairs of the ACC. S/he serves as manager and coach for the leaders in her/his purview and holds them accountable for meeting the objectives set in their annual work plans.

The VP/SIS also has representative duties with other leadership groups, such as regional teams, and with the broader membership, participating in meetings at the annual conference, the Washington Leadership Meeting (WLM), and if requested, regional meetings.

Relations with the Staff

The VP/SIS works most closely with the Deputy Executive Director for Knowledge Development but may also work with other members of NAFSA’s senior management team in the fulfillment of his/her duties, including those related to the Board’s Executive Committee. The VP/SIS’s relationship with the senior staff is that of partner.


The term of the Vice Presidency is three years. Upon election, the in-coming VP/SIS will shadow the sitting VP/SIS in the fall prior to assuming the position in January and attend the December meeting of the Board of Directors as a guest (with no vote).

In each year of tenure, the VP/SIS is expected to attend all Board meetings (March, September, and December), Board conference calls, and the annual conference in May. S/he is also expected to prepare for and attend the Washington Leadership Meetings (WLM) in late January, as well as the Summer Coordination Meeting (SCM) in the summer. The VP/SIS may represent the Board at regional meetings and serve on Board task forces, as requested.  As a member of the ACC Executive team, the VP also participates on ACC calls and meetings, including the Fall planning meeting. NAFSA funds his/her participation in all such meetings.

The VP/SIS will plan and lead meetings of coordinating groups across the sphere in her/his portfolio, including virtual meetings, occasional conference calls, new leader orientation and training, and face-to-face meetings at the annual conference and Washington Leadership Meeting. 

The VP/SIS is expected to review e-mail daily and respond promptly to leaders and members of the association and to report critical issues to the President and Chair or Executive Committee in a timely fashion. On-going work in coaching and managing the chairs in his/her purview and in reporting and answering questions should be expected.

At an operational level, the VP/SIS can expect to have periodic calls with staff partners, spending an hour approximately every month in such calls (varies by time of year).  Such calls, along with ongoing e-mail, conference calls, and other communication with volunteer leaders and members as noted above, average 5-10 hours per week (in addition to travel to meetings).


Required Qualifications

  • 10 or more years as an international educator and member of NAFSA
  • Previous experience on an educational or non-profit board of directors
  • Substantial experience in other NAFSA volunteer leadership positions, including one or more national position
  • Deep knowledge in one or more of these areas and familiarity with all three: internationalization leadership, curriculum internationalization, and research in international education.
  • Significant experience in a leadership position that required strategic and operational planning
  • Significant experience in managing volunteers
  • Excellent communication strategies and skills
  • Access to and skill in e-mail communication
  • Willingness and availability to travel

Desired Qualifications

  • Doctoral degree
  • Familiarity with non-profit finance and audit reporting
Sample Meeting Calendar
Month Responsibilities
  • Prepare for and attend Washington Leadership Meeting (WLM)
    • Review EA, IEL, TLS, and ACC ("portfolio groups") meeting agendas
    • Plan coordination meeting of groups in portfolio and invite related staff as needed
    • Lead the coordination meeting of chairs/chair streams in portfolio
    • Visit/provide information to portfolio groups
    • Participate in new leader orientation session if requested
  • Prepare for Board meeting in March, including agenda and materials for Scholarship and Institutional Strategy (SIS) Committee meeting and report for Board
  • Attend Board meeting in DC: refreshing of strategic plan, and lead SIS Committee meeting
  • Attend regional team meetings if requested
  • Lead conference call of chairs/chair streams in portfolio to report on Board actions and planning of next year’s work plans
  • Prepare for meetings at annual conference; work with chairs and staff partners to set agendas
  • Develop agenda for meeting of chairs/chair streams in portfolio at conference
  • Attend Annual Conference: Leader group meetings on the Saturday-Tuesday before the conference; responsibilities at various plenaries; other representational duties as requested o  Attend Board reception/meeting on Monday afternoon
  • Lead meeting of chairs, chair-streams of groups in portfolio o Lead meeting of past, present, and future conference chairs
  • Visit/provide information to portfolio team meetings
  • Review mid-year reports from EA, IEL, TLS, and ACC and provide feedback
  • Report to the SIS Committee on their progress
  • Optional: Attend TCS meeting in DC
  • Review next year's work plans submitted by EA, IEL, TLS, and SIM chairs-elect/designate and provide feedback
  • Review budget implications of work plan drafts with staff partners
  • Provide feedback to EA, IEL, TLS, and SIM chairs-elect/designate to reach approved plans
  • Prepare for Board meeting, including agenda and materials for SIS Committee meeting and report for Board
  • Attend Board meeting and lead SIS Committee meeting
  • Review Consolidated Work Plan with VP/PDE and VP/PPP
  • Optional: Review selected proposals for the upcoming annual conference
  • If requested, attend a regional conference (may occur in November)
    • Participate in meetings as requested, such as the Newcomers Session, Business Meeting,
  • Team Meetings - Present certificates to out-going national committee and team chairs
  • Complete recruitment of SIM chair (every other year)
  • Develop plans for virtual orientation with chairs-elect/designate in portfolio
  • Prepare for Board Meeting, including preparing agenda and materials for SIS Committee meeting and report for Board
  • Lead virtual orientation of chairs-elect/designate in portfolio (or in December)
  • Attend Board meeting in DC and lead SIS Committee meeting
  • Lead virtual orientation of chairs-elect/designate in portfolio (or in November)
  • Lead conference call with chairs and chairs-elect/designate in portfolio to report on Board actions that affect work plans
  • Prepare for WLM: Set agendas for meetings chaired by VP/SIS

Monthly:  Optional - Participate in conference calls of the ACC Executive Team


Please submit an application, or nominate a colleague, by March 31, 2020.