Special Election for AGU Board Member

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Earlier this year, AGU Board member Jalonne White-Newsome accepted a position as Senior Director for Environmental Justice for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The role necessitated that Dr. White-Newsome step down from the AGU Board.

The AGU Leadership Development/Governance Committee has decided to hold a special unopposed election with Catherine Coleman Flowers to fill this vacancy. Voting will open for AGU members on 9 November and close two weeks later on 23 November. We encourage your participation in this election to ensure the Board maintains the expertise to keep moving AGU’s strategic plan forward.

Nomination Process
Identifying potential Board candidates starts several months before the election. The Leadership Development/Governance Committee begins this process by consulting with the AGU Board and AGU leadership to identify goals for the next three to five years and the desired expertise and perspectives needed for implementing the goals. This input then sets criteria for selecting nominees for Board positions. The diversity of the Board is also considered in setting these criteria.

The committee then solicits nominations via multiple mechanisms for the open Board positions.  Applicants are asked to read the AGU Strategic Plan, answer questions developed by the committee, and provide background information. The committee then reviews the applications and selects potential candidates based on the Board position criteria. The potential candidates are then interviewed by the committee, and each candidate is asked the same set of questions.  After the interviews are completed, the committee makes final selections for the ballot pairings, making sure that a pairing will result in the election of a candidate with the desired expertise and ensuring diversity and fairness in the pairings. The four Board pairings that the committee selected for the 2022 election resulted from this process.

A Board resignation allows the committee to reflect on and improve the process used to select AGU leaders. The AGU bylaws state that a vacancy on the AGU Board will be filled by a vote of eligible members (Article V. Board, Section 6. Vacancies). Opening a special election at this time will satisfy the requirements of the bylaws and ensure that the AGU Board maintains the expertise and diversity needed to move forward on its agenda in the next two years.

The candidates for the 2022 AGU Election were identified by the Leadership Development/Governance Committee in late spring 2022; the ballot and associated information were developed over the summer. The Board position became vacant just before the opening of the 2022 election in early September. To avoid delaying the 2022 election and revising the ballot, the committee decided to open a special unopposed election following the regular election.

The AGU Board Executive Committee identified the perspectives we were looking for and recommended a nominee, Catherine Coleman Flowers, who would provide the expertise desired. Dr. Flowers’ biographical information, curriculum vita, and responses to the ballot questions posed by the committee are posted online for AGU voters to review.  The Leadership Development/Governance Committee requests your voting support to fill this Board vacancy.

Special Election Announcement and Voting
Eligible voters will be contacted by Survey and Ballot Systems via email from [email protected] with a link to the voting site. To be eligible to vote, your membership must be up to date. The Leadership Development/Governance Committee encourages you to vote in the special election that will open on 9 November and remain open for two weeks.

If you have any questions or do not receive a ballot, please contact the AGU Member Services Center via email at [email protected] or by calling +1-202-462-6900 (international calls) or +1-800-966-2481 (toll-free for North America). AGU Member Services are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

Leadership Development / Governance Committee—Robin Bell, AGU Past President and Chair ([email protected]); Eileen Hofmann, Vice Chair; Regupathi Angappan; Aisling Dolan; Luis A. Gonzalez; Peter Griffith; Elizabeth Johnson; Wendy Watson-Wright; Meng Zhou; Michael Manga; Randy Fiser; Janice Lachance; and Cheryl Enderlein.

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