VOLUNTEER POSITION DESCRIPTION
Member at Large, Board of Directors
Updated December 2009
In the bylaws, NAFSA’s Board of Directors is charged with the following responsibility:
“The affairs of NAFSA shall be governed by the Board of Directors, whose duties
include, but are not limited to, exercising leadership in the affairs of NAFSA; developing
its policies, priorities, and positions; and providing direction for the development and
stewardship of its resources through a strategic plan.”
The composition of the Board is also set forth in the bylaws:
“The Board of Directors of NAFSA in 2011 shall consist of four (4) directors elected to
their offices by the membership, namely:
a) the President of the Association, also serving as Chair of the Board (hereinafter President &
Chair) (elected in 2010),
b) the Vice President for Education and Professional Development,
c) the Vice President for Public Policy & Practice, and
d) the Vice President for Member Relations;
the past President who shall serve in 2011 as a Director-at-Large; and no fewer than
eleven (11) and no more than fifteen (15) additional Directors-at-Large elected by the
membership. The Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (hereinafter referred to
as the Executive Director & CEO) shall serve ex-officio and shall have no vote.”
Up to one-third of the Board’s membership can consist of individuals who are not members of
the association. The remaining two-thirds must consist of NAFSA members.
The major functions of the Board of Directors are as follows. Individual directors will be
expected to contribute their expertise and energy to the execution of these functions.
1. Uphold NAFSA’s vision, mission, and values. (These are attached to this position
2. Set broad policies, direction and priorities for the association.
3. Ensure NAFSA has a highly effective leadership.
4. Actively assist the Governance Committee in identifying prospective Board members.
5. Provide fiduciary oversight of the association.
6. Actively work to identify prospective sources of financial support or business
partnerships and work with staff to determine strategies for approaching such prospects.
7. Maintain the integrity of the programs, products, and services developed for the benefit
of the association.
8. Make an annual financial contribution to the Association.
In exercising these functions, directors serve as individuals, not as representatives of their
organizations, institutions, or constituent groups. In addition to these functions, Board members
are asked to serve on various committees and task forces during their terms. Board standing
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Volunteer Position Description Member at Large, Board of Directors
committees include Development, Education and Professional Development, Finance and Audit,
Governance, Member Relations, and Public Policy.
The term of the office is three years. In each year of tenure, the director is expected to attend all
Board meetings (March, September and December in person and any special meetings by
conference call). Upon election, incoming directors will attend the December meeting of the
Board of Directors as a guest with no vote, prior to the start of their term. NAFSA’s Board of
Directors typically meets on Friday and Saturday, ending at noon on Saturday. Meetings are
held in Washington, DC.
Board committees meet in person for one-half day prior to each in-person Board meeting.
Directors on committees can expect 2-3 additional conference calls during the course of the year.
Directors are expected to review email daily and respond promptly.
Excellent communication strategies and skills
Strong interpersonal, inter-group, and cross-cultural skills
Previous experience on an educational or non-profit board of directors
Access to and skill in email communication
Willingness and availability to travel
Prior experience in a management position that required strategic and operational
Familiarity with non-profit finance, audit reporting and/or development.
Good grasp of NAFSA activities and leadership in the past five years—served on high
level task forces or led committees, experience at both regional and national levels
Attached: Strategic Plan 2010-2012
S TRA TEGIC P LA N 2010-2012
Approved by the Board of Directors, March 28, 2009
NAFSA is the leading association in the field of international education and exchange.
NAFSA is an association of individuals worldwide advancing international education and exchange and
global workforce development. NAFSA serves international educators and their institutions and
organizations by establishing principles of good practice, providing training and professional
development opportunities, providing networking opportunities, and advocating for international
NAFSA’s members share a belief that international education advances learning and scholarship, builds
understanding and respect among different peoples, and enhances constructive leadership in the global
community. We believe that international education by its nature is fundamental to fostering peace,
security, and well-being.
GOALS & OBJECTIVES
In fulfilling its vision and mission, NAFSA organizes its goals around the organization’s three strategic
focus areas: influencing public policy, creating and disseminating knowledge, and maintaining a strong
organization. The goals for 2010-2012 are:
GOAL 1: ADVOCATE FOR U.S. POLICIES, LAWS, AND REGULATIONS THAT PROMOTE AND ENHANCE
1.1 Further promote international education as an essential component of U.S. leadership and public
diplomacy, which enhances security and competitiveness in an interconnected world.
1.2 Obtain commitment from the new administration and Congress for a coordinated national
strategy on international education.
1.3 Ensure that the nation’s public diplomacy policy includes a national strategy to establish
education abroad as a cornerstone of U.S. higher education with a focus on diversity in
participants and destinations; a national strategy to attract a diverse and talented pool of
international students and scholars; and support for foreign language learning and area studies.
1.4 Influence the immigration reform debate in Congress to best serve international education.
1.5 Promote international education as an essential component of state-level internationalization and
1.6 Enhance NAFSA as the nation’s premier grassroots advocate on behalf of international
1.7 Strengthen relationships with Congress and the Executive Branch by being an indispensable
source of information and guidance on international education policy.
1.8 Maintain NAFSA as an indispensable source of guidance to U.S. government agencies in
forming regulations and practice policies affecting student and scholar mobility.
1.9 Continue to utilize coalitions with organizations such as higher education, immigration, policy,
and business associations in strategic support of NAFSA’s policy agenda.
GOAL 2: ESTABLISH INTERNATIONALIZATION AS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF HIGHER
2.1 Establish NAFSA as an indispensable resource for developing internationalization strategies
among campus policy makers, leaders, faculty, and international educators.
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Strategic Plan 2010-2012
2.2 Develop resources and opportunities to equip international educators to foster, support, and
promote campus internationalization.
2.3 Encourage outcomes assessment and disseminate research findings related to the impact of
international education on individuals, institutions, and the global workforce.
GOAL 3: ADVANCE NAFSA’S LEADERSHIP POSITION IN KEY KNOWLEDGE AREAS.
3.1 Enhance NAFSA’s position in international student and scholar services; regulatory practice;
education abroad; and recruitment, admissions, and preparation by anticipating and creatively
addressing emerging issues and trends.
3.2 Establish NAFSA as a leader in teaching, learning, and scholarship; international educational
leadership; and, international enrollment management by producing programs, products, and
services for those engaged in these areas.
GOAL 4: ACHIEVE EXCELLENCE IN PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND EDUCATIONAL PRODUCTS
4.1 Identify emerging needs, prioritize potential product options, and test market viability to
develop new products.
4.2 Raise the quality of core training programs and explore new modes of delivery.
4.3 Continue to increase accessibility to information beyond traditional publishing—emphasizing
Web-based tools and adopting innovative, interactive technologies.
4.4 Produce conferences that address a variety of learning styles, utilize state-of-the-art presentation
methods, and promote networking.
4.5 Emphasize theory-to-practice integration throughout the knowledge community areas.
4.6 Serve as a resource to, and utilize the resources of, international educators based outside the
4.7 Expand the knowledge base of international educators in the area of peace and justice.
GOAL 5: DEVELOP AND RECOMMEND DESIRABLE PRINCIPLES, GUIDELINES AND PRACTICES FOR
5.1 Establish desirable principles for international educators in general; and, establish guidelines
and practices for specific professional domains.
5.2 Disseminate and promote these principles, guidelines and practices widely.
GOAL 6: ENSURE EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE, LEADERSHIP, COMMUNICATION, AND COORDINATION
FOR THE ASSOCIATION.
6.1 Employ a planning process that aligns strategy, work effort, structure, and resources.
6.2 Periodically assess board governance and the effectiveness of member leadership systems.
6.3 Recruit and orient skilled, creative, and diverse board members, member leaders and staff who
work in partnership to carry out the work of the Association.
6.4 Employ robust technologies to ensure effective and efficient delivery of all products, services
GOAL 7: ENSURE A STRONG ADMINISTRATIVE AND FINANCIAL FOUNDATION TO SUPPORT NAFSA’S
7.1 Ensure adequate financial resources from diverse sources for the sustainability, autonomy, and
leadership role of the Association.
7.2 Achieve substantial and sustainable growth of non-dues revenue by establishing mutually
beneficial partnerships between NAFSA, the private sector and other entities.
7.3 Provide the resources needed to make NAFSA a high performing organization marked by strong
human resources, robust administrative systems and budgetary integrity.
GOAL 8: STRATEGICALLY INCREASE THE MEMBERSHIP AND PARTICIPANT BASE OF NAFSA.
8.1 Manage member growth strategically, consistent with NAFSA’s core competencies, and with
annual review of strategy by the board.
8.2 Manage nonmember participant growth strategically, consistent with NAFSA’s core
competencies, and with annual review of strategy by the board.