Requirements for Service and Expectations of Governing Board

ESA Governing Board Service

The ESA Governing Board consists of 18 trusted individuals who manage the affairs of the Society:

  • Presidential line: Vice President-Elect, Vice President, President, Past President (4)
  • Treasurer (1)
  • Branch (6) and Section (4) Representatives
  • Early-Career Representative (1)
  • Student Liaison (1)
  • Executive Director (1)

Their primary roles are to set the Society’s future directions, protect the resources, engage in outreach to allied groups and individuals, and provide oversight regarding their fellow board members and staff. All must exemplify behavior according to ESA Ethics and Code of Conduct.

Key Responsibilities and Characteristics of All Governing Board Members

Board members agree to three primary duties when agreeing to serve:

  • Duty of Care - using good judgement
  • Duty of Loyalty - the Society’s needs come above their own
  • Duty of Obedience - agree to comply with all rules and laws

Effective board members are:

  • Innovative Thinkers - able to set direction through strategic goals to position ESA for future success
  • Trusted Ambassadors - engage in outreach and understand the needs of those you represent
  • Sound decision makers - leverage insights based on knowledge of the field to help ESA fulfill its mission


Any ESA member in good standing may stand for office and in most cases members can self-nominate.

  • The role of Vice President-Elect requires the support of a Section, Branch, or ten ESA members, and is elected by the full membership.
  • The role of the Early-Career Representative must be an ESA Student Transition or Early Professional member at the start of their term on the Governing Board.
  • The role of Student Representative must be a member currently enrolled at least halftime as a student in an educational institution.

No other formal requirements are needed, though prior experience at other levels of the Society’s governance (i.e., Section or Branch work) may be helpful, especially as it relates to establishing visibility to the electorate.

Examples include:

  • Attendance and engagement at business meetings
  • Service to committees
  • Committee leadership
  • Leadership on special initiatives

Time Commitments

Most board members agree to serve a three year term and can be reelected one time (see specific roles below). Board members attend four meetings per year (two virtual, two physical) and will participate in other meetings as needed. Each board meeting will require advance preparation by reading and understanding the materials provided.

Specific Role Descriptions

  • The Presidential line is a four-year commitment. In addition to the duties defined above, the President has a special duty to establish an open working environment, think and act strategically, and position ESA for future successes. The president will work closely with the executive director throughout the year. Various committee leadership roles are served by those in the presidential line
  • The Treasurer also chairs the finance committee and works closely with staff on all matters related to finance
  • The Representational board members serve a liaison role back to their Section or Branch to ensure open communications
  • The Early-Career Representative serves a two-year term. They serve a liaison role to the Early Career Professional Committee, which meets monthly.
  • The Student Representative serves a two-year term. They serve a liaison role back to the student affairs committee.

Download the ESA Governing Board Service requirements and expectations.

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