What leaders are elected? What leaders are appointed?

The NAFSA President and Chair of the Board of Directors, Board vice-presidents, Board members-at-large, the chairs of the five knowledge communities and the chairs of the Leadership Development Committee and the Membership Engagement Committee are elected by NAFSA members from a national ballot provided each August.

Other positions on the knowledge communities, committees, subcommittees, task forces, and working groups are appointed by the chairs of the respective leader groups.

What is the elected leadership process for volunteer member leaders?

The NAFSA Standing Rules stipulate that your peers on the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) will issue the call for all nominations for board members, board officers, and national chairs of knowledge communities and membership engagement and leadership development committees. The Governance Committee of the Board will decide the slate of the Board members and officers, while the LDC will develop and present the slate of the member-leader nominees. The Vice President for Professional Development & Engagement presents the slate for the next chairs of committees/KCs to the Board, while the Governance Committee presents the slate for officers and board members. Upon the Board's acceptance of both slates, the secretary announces the full slate to the membership and oversees the election. This is a confidential process; candidates are asked not to discuss nominations or the process with anyone except a supervisor.

What is the timeline for elected positions?

February

NAFSA opens the applications/nominations for elected leadership positions

March

NAFSA closes the application process

April – May

Leadership Development Committee and the Board 's Governance Committee hold interviews with candidates. Candidates not selected for a final interview will be informed by May 15.

Early June

The Governance Committee proposes a slate of board members and vice presidents to the Board of Directors, Leadership Development Committee propose their candidates as a slate of to the Vice President for Professional Development & Engagement for recommendation to the Board of Directors for acceptance in its entirety.

Late June

NAFSA Board reviews candidate slate.

July

NAFSA Board confirms candidates. Photos and biography information is collected from each candidate.

August

Board Secretary announces the election slate to the Membership. Election opens.

September

Election closes, Board President or Secretary issues notice of election results by end of September.

January

Elected position terms begin.

If I am not elected to a leadership position, what are other opportunities to serve as a NAFSA member-leader?

There are many opportunities to volunteer with NAFSA. Appointed positions are generally posted in July; other position may be posted as vacancies occur throughout the year.

Leadership Opportunities

What is the Elected Position Process?

The NAFSA Standing Rules stipulate that the Leadership Development Committee (LDC) will issue the call for all nominations, both for board members, officers and member-leader positions (knowledge community positions and chairs of Membership and Leadership Development Committees). The Governance Committee of the Board will decide the slate of the Board members and officers, while the LDC will develop and present the slate of the member-leader nominees. The Vice President for Professional Development & Engagement presents the slate for the next chairs of committees/KCs to the Board, while the Governance Committee presents the slate for officers and board members. Upon the Board's acceptance of both slates, the secretary announces the full slate to the membership and oversees the election. This is a confidential process; candidates are asked not to discuss their nominations or the process with anyone but a supervisor.

What is the Appointed Position Process?

Appointed positions are advertised in the early summer (July) of each year.

  • Once the deadline to apply closes, the chair of the committee or knowledge community will review applications, contact candidates about their application (as needed), and answer specific questions about the position.
  • Appointments are typically announced in September/October, and the newly appointed leader begins serving in January of the following year.
  • Regional positions are typically announced during the summer in addition to year-round. Each NAFSA region specifies their process for appointment or election.