Report From the May 2021 ESA Governing Board Meeting

May 26, 2021

The ESA Governing Board meets at least four times per year to discuss strategic initiatives, oversee the work of staff and volunteers, and advance new ideas to benefit the Society. A summary of activities is published after each meeting to inform members about board activities and decisions.

As part of ESA’s commitment to a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the Governing Board held a special, DEI-focused, video-conference meeting on May 20, 2021. Below are highlights from the meeting and actions taken. 

The purpose of the two-hour meeting was to engage board members in conversation about identifying areas of programming and operations within ESA where more focus on DEI is required.  

The meeting began in Executive Session where members discussed the 2021 nominations for Honorary Membership. Whereas this is normally a procedural step, the board conversation addressed the fact that all of the nominations received this year were male and nearly all were Caucasian, with the board expressing a desire to grow diversity in future nominations. The board opted to create a special task force of the board to focus solely on re-evaluating the criteria for Honorary Membership. The Awards and Honors Canvassing Committee, meanwhile, will continue to address ensuring diverse nominees across ESA’s awards program. 

The remainder of the meeting was facilitated by ESA’s membership and diversity program manager, Stacie East. She led the board through several discussions and exercises, all of which focused on the successes and challenges ESA has encountered as it strives to live up to its strategic principles of growing and strengthening a culture of diversity and inclusion. Topics included the importance and the difficulty of discussing equity issues, how ESA is viewed by others in the scientific realm, a desired future state for the Society, and brainstorming ideas about how to make that future, more-inclusive Society a reality. 

Several potentially viable ideas surfaced including potential new Society programs and various roles ESA could play as a central convening force for the entomology community. The board will explore some of these ideas further in the coming months. 

Actions taken: Two motions were passed during the meeting, both related to the nominees for Honorary Membership.  

  • Move to convene a task force from the Governing Board to explore the criteria by which Honorary Members are nominated and selected.  
  • Move to accept the recommended nominations from the Honorary Members Committee for the 2021 ballot.

Members with questions about the outcomes from the May 2021 Governing Board meeting can contact ESA Executive Director Chris Stelzig at

See past news and updates from the ESA Governing Board.

Minutes from past Governing Board meetings are available online following Governing Board approval.

For more info, visit the ESA Governing Board page.