Application for Election to the 2019–21 AAUW Board of Directors

2019 AAUW national election mark

AAUW is one of the nation’s leading women’s empowerment organizations with more than 170,000 members and supporters and an annual budget of over $20 million and assets of $120 million. For more information on AAUW, please visit the website.

Before submitting your application, please read the following information regarding the responsibilities of the Board of Directors.

Applications opened on Wednesday, September 5, 2018, at 12 p.m. noon ET and closed at 6 p.m. ET on Friday, November 30, 2018.


Board Responsibilities

The Board of Directors of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) provides strategic leadership and fiduciary oversight for the organization. Board members share a passion for AAUW’s mission of advancing gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy. The work of the board is challenging and invigorating as it deals with issues central to AAUW’s long-term success nationally and internationally.  It makes major decisions, provides direction to the CEO, and exercises strategic leadership.  The board is not involved in day-to-day management or operations of the organization. Board responsibilities include:

  • Oversight of the organization’s mission and goals, approval of the strategic plan and oversight of its implementation;
  • Approval and oversight of the budget and review of finances and investments;
  • Oversight and annual evaluation of the chief executive officer (CEO);
  • Approval of major organization-wide policies, partnerships, and collaborations, grants, and programs, as appropriate and in keeping with the delegation of authorities;
  • Oversight of legal and compliance issues;
  • Approval of governance matters including the appointment of committees, review of bylaw changes, public policy priorities and other proposals to be voted on by the membership, and board evaluation.

Collectively, members of the board bring their intellect, diverse experiences, and creativity to effect meaningful and sustainable impact in empowering women and girls. As a complex research, education, and advocacy organization in existence since 1881 and with more than 170,000 members and supporters engaged in advancing AAUW’s mission, the board also works to ensure the organization is responsive to members’ and supporters’ needs as AAUW evolves to meet new challenges and priorities.

AAUW seeks board candidates who understand and have a passion for AAUW’s mission and work, and who have:

  • A clear understanding of the fiduciary duties of directors and the governance function of a national nonprofit board;
  • Demonstrated leadership experience with AAUW or other nonprofit or for profit organizations, particularly national or international in scope;
  • Expertise in one or more specific areas such as advocacy, business management, communication, diversity and inclusion, finance, fundraising, non-profit governance, marketing, public policy, research, social media, strategic planning, technology and other areas identified by the AAUW Board of Directors;
  • A commitment to donate to the AAUW Fund annually with a significant gift based on individual capacity;
  • The time and energy required to participate fully in the work of the board.

Expectations of AAUW Board Members

AAUW board members are expected to:

  • Understand and exercise the fiduciary duties of care and loyalty, fully prepare for board and committee meetings, ask questions, make informed decisions, put the mission of the organization first and avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Consistently attend meetings, including:
    • three to four regularly scheduled board meetings a year, typically held in Washington, D.C. in October, February, and June on Friday through noon Saturday, with an optional dinner on Thursday[1]. Review a schedule of tentative board meeting dates for FY 2020-2021.
    • quarterly teleconferences of the Finance Committee usually held the week before regular board meetings;
    • other board and committee meetings, usually by teleconference.
  • Serve as a liaison to two or three AAUW state affiliates, which requires regular email or telephone contact with the assigned state affiliate presidents.
  • As requested, attend and make presentations at state conventions or other AAUW-related meetings.
  • As requested, serve or assist one or more AAUW committees, which requires attendance at that committee’s teleconferences.
  • As requested, serve on special board-level taskforces or subcommittees dealing with the work of the board.
  • Stay informed about AAUW programs and activities, as well as affiliate and member issues.
  • Communicate with and be a resource for affiliates and members on AAUW matters, subject, of course, to board-established guidelines on confidentiality.
  • Be an advocate for the organization within AAUW and in the community, including actively fund-raising and promoting programs of the organization.

Board Structure and Term

AAUW’s Board of Directors is composed of 15 AAUW members, including 12 elected and 3 appointed board members. In June 2018, AAUW’s membership voted to move from biennial elections of the full board to staggered terms. 2019 will serve as a glidepath as we move to full implementation of 3-year staggered terms. In spring 2019, the membership will elect 12 directors and the board will appoint three directors. Of the 12 being elected:

  • 4 will be elected for a term of 1 year
  • 4 will be elected for a term of 2 years
  • 4 will be elected for a term of 3 years

Candidates who are elected for a 1-year term will be eligible for election to 2 additional 3-year terms. Candidates who are elected for a 2-year or 3-year term will be eligible for election to 1 additional 3-year term. The positions of Chair and Vice Chair will be 2-year terms. In 2019 the term length for all other elected board members will be decided by vote totals, with 3-year terms going to the highest vote totals, 2-year terms going to those receiving the next highest vote totals, etc.

In spring 2019, the Board of Directors will appoint 3 directors with terms of 1, 2, and 3 years respectively. Information about the director appointment process will be announced in early spring 2019.

After this initial transition, all new board terms will be 3 years.

For any questions about the new staggered term structure, please email

Key Dates

November 30, 2018
Deadline to submit an application for election to the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee will review applications as they are received.

February 16-17, 2019
The Board of Directors will review the slate of candidates proposed by the Nominating Committee and will approve the candidates to stand for election. Candidates will be notified as to whether they have been nominated shortly thereafter. Candidates for election will receive instructions on publicizing their candidacy following the February board meeting.

April 2019
Candidate information will be publicly available

Mid-May 2019
Elections close

June 8, 2019
Incoming elected and appointed Board members will attend and observe the Board meeting in Washington, DC

June 9, 2019
Incoming elected and appointed Board members will attend Board orientation in Washington, DC


[1] Travel to board and other meetings is reimbursed by AAUW in accordance with AAUW’s Travel Policy.