The BOD has the primary fiduciary responsibility for governance and the exercise and assignment of power of authority for the Society. It is the highest governing body of the Society and oversees all other bodies and functions. The BOD’s role includes: 

  • Setting the strategic direction and upholding the objectives of the Society
  • Authorizing policy matters
  • Directing fiduciary, legal , and business decisions
  • Hiring and overseeing the work of the CEO
  • Upholding the strategies and measuring progress through objectives
  • Ensuring that the Society’s property, funds, and affairs are handled in conformity with the Bylaws and within the Articles of Incorporation of the Society under the statutes of the District of Columbia (D.C.)
  • Approving an annual budget

The BOD delegates to the COMS the role of identifying trends in science and suggesting programs that best capture and serve the future of microbial sciences and its workforce and reserves for itself the role of approving them. The BOD delegates to the CEO responsibility for leading and managing operations. The BOD does not operate as an “outside examiner” of the Society; rather, it supports the roles of the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, while the COMS is responsible for scientific activities and the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations. 

Broadly defined characteristics of an exception al board include, but are not limited to:

  • Works in constructive partnership with the COMS, Program Boards/Committees, and CEO
  • Is mission driven, articulating a compelling vision to ensure congruence between decisions and core values
  • Sets the strategic direction, engaging in discussions and deliberations which affect the Society’s direction in the long run
  • Presents a culture of inquiry, respect , and debate that leads to sound strategic decisions
  • Is independent -minded, putting forward the interests of the Society before anything else
  • Develops a culture of transparency, ensuring that members and all stakeholders have access to appropriate and accurate information regarding finances, operations, and outcomes
  • Adheres to the highest standards of integrity by managing conflicts of interest and establishing appropriate mechanisms of oversight
  • Is a careful steward of the Society ’s resources, by linking bold visions and plans to appropriate financial prudence
  • Is results-oriented, measuring and evaluating the performance of various bodies and programs without managing them directly
  • Operates under best practices in fulfilling its governance duties
  • Evaluates its own actions for continuous learning and improvement
  • Revitalizes itself through planned turnover and inclusiveness based on diversity at all levels (gender, race, geography, sexual orientation, scientific discipline)

In concert with the broadly defined characteristics of an exceptional board, a Director should:

  • Be an individual who is a leader in the field of microbial sciences as viewed by his/her peers and has a stake in microbial sciences;
  • Be an individual who is selected for this role on the basis of his/her skills in governing and has experience and competencies in this arena;
  • Be familiar with ASM bylaws and governance structure, in particular with the roles and responsibilities of key components of the organization, such a s the BOD, COMS, and CEO;
  • Consider the needs of the entire organization, not the specific region or section from which he /she was elected;
  • Understand the decision process and chain of command for both the volunteer leaders and the headquarters staff;
  • Maintain respect for other Directors and their opinions; the BOD should be a place where it is safe to disagree without being disagreeable. Once decisions are made, though, the BOD speaks with one voice, and responsible Directors do not publicly voice their dissent with decisions made by the BOD;
  • Study and become knowledgeable about all subjects on which a decision is needed;
  • Know when and how to present views on policy or issues, knowing that the BOD needs to function as a group that makes decisions and is not simply a discussion forum;
  • Set personal goals as a volunteer leader in support of the Society's mission and strategic plan; and
  • Set personal priorities to ensure attention to all communications and attendance at all BOD meetings.

For more information about the Board of Directors (BOD) please see the Policy and Procedure Manual