AAUW Board Chair Position Description

The Board Chair shall have the usual executive powers of supervision and management as may pertain to the office of chair and such other powers and duties as designated by the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee (as defined below at Article VIII, Section 1); shall serve ex officio on all committees except the Nominating Committee and Audit Committee (as defined below at Article IX, Section 1); and shall execute, with the Chief Executive Officer of AAUW (as defined below at Article XII, Section 1), all appropriate legal documents of AAUW.

Requisite skills and experience

  • Previous service on the AAUW Board of Directors or one of its predecessor corporations
  • Leadership experience with nonprofit and volunteer organizations
  • Demonstrated leadership in organizational and management skills
  • Experience with development and implementation of organizational strategic plans
  • Understanding of financial reports and budgets
  • Knowledge of fundraising strategies that support an organization’s work
  • Recognition of the strategic value of current information technology
  • Proficiency in public speaking, written communication, and online technology
  • Understanding of board governance and member-staff relationships
  • Other capabilities as listed under requisite skills and experience

Responsibilities of each member of the AAUW Board of Directors

  • Understand dynamics of organizational governance and role of the board in strategic thinking and policy development
  • Commit to fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience
  • Work in partnership with AAUW chief executive officer and staff in setting direction and implementing the AAUW mission and strategic plans and goals
  • Monitor AAUW programs and finances; ensure sound fiscal management and necessary resources
  • Attend all board meetings and participate in AAUW events at the affiliate level, as appropriate
  • Review all written materials in preparation for board meetings
  • Review all written material and communications between board meetings and respond when necessary in a timely manner
  • Stay informed about AAUW programs and activities as well as affiliate and member issues
  • Identify and develop future AAUW leadership at all levels
  • Represent and promote AAUW to membership and the public
  • Provide leadership in expanding the member/donor base through role modeling and support of recruitment and development initiatives
  • Participate actively in fundraising efforts and give personally according to capacity
  • Possess basic fluency with computers, Internet, and other technologies
  • Respect the protocols of board relationship with the chief executive officer and staff
  • Maintain strict confidentiality regarding any board business
  • Pursue ongoing board learning and professional development
  • Work toward building an inclusive AAUW with outreach to diverse communities

Specific responsibilities of the board chair

  • Work closely with the chief executive officer on establishing strategic direction and maintaining organizational values
  • Ensure that board members adhere to duties of care, loyalty, and obedience
  • Facilitate work of board in monitoring programs and measuring strategic progress
  • Receive updates; be closely informed about organization business through regular communication with the chief executive officer
  • Represent AAUW and serve as a spokesperson on issues and projects that promote AAUW’s work among stakeholders and the general community
  • Execute, with the chief executive officer, legal documents of AAUW, as necessary
  • Work to ensure organizational and affiliate compliance with the AAUW Bylaws and regulatory bodies
  • Call special meetings as provided for in the bylaws
  • Serve as ex officio member of all committees except the AAUW Nominating Committee and AAUW Audit Committee
  • Oversee and facilitate efficient, productive work of committees and task forces by appointing chairs and board liaisons, ensuring committee leadership development, and monitoring progress
  • Appoint task forces and advisory groups with approval of the AAUW Executive Committee
  • Work to secure board and member participation in meeting philanthropic goals

The board chair accomplishes her or his responsibilities by completing the following tasks:

  • Preside at all meetings of AAUW
  • Set agendas and chair meetings for the AAUW Board of Directors and the AAUW Executive Committee
  • Work with the chief executive officer on developing AAUW’s strategic plan and determining the board’s role in its implementation
  • Facilitate approval of the annual budget, regular review of financial statements, review of Public Policy Priorities, review of bylaws changes and resolution proposals, and review committee appointments and other board responsibilities
  • Take part in board and committee meetings that review and approve AAUW programs and issues
  • Oversee the hiring and evaluation of the chief executive officer
  • Oversee planning for the annual meeting and biennial AAUW National Convention
  • Ensure ongoing leadership development and board training

Updated December 2016



AAUW Bylaws

Governance history, policies, and procedures for managing the organization and conducting AAUW’s affairs.

National, State, and Branch Leadership Positions

Understand the responsibilities of all AAUW board members and volunteer leaders.

AAUW Board of Directors

Directory of leaders responsible for the governance of our 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.