2017 Election Position Descriptions

President-Elect    Secretary    BOD At-Large Representatives    COMS At-Large Representatives




The President-Elect provides secondary leadership for the Society, substitutes for the President when needed, and prepares to serve as President. The President-Elect shall assist the President, shall be a voting member of the BOD and an ex officio, nonvoting member of the COMS, and  shall substitute for the President in the absence of the President. The President-Elect shall take precedence over the Past President in substituting for the President.

Other roles of the President-Elect include:

  • Review the performance of the various BOD Standing Committee and Program Board/Committee Chairs.
  • Chair the Appointments Committee.
  • Chair, if requested by the BOD, an ad hoc committee to review a major activity, function, or program of the Society or profession and provide a written report with specific recommendations to the BOD.


The Secretary shall assist the President and shall be responsible for overseeing the accuracy of the minutes of all meetings of the BOD and meetings of the Membership.

In addition, the Secretary shall:
•    Provide continuity of service and experience among the Officers.
•    Work closely with the CEO to ensure timely appointment of volunteer members of the organization.
•    In collaboration with the CEO, ensure transmittal to ASM Archives of documents of archival or historical value.

Main Functions

Members of the Board of Directors have 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 which oversees all other bodies and functions. The Board of Directors (BOD) functions include:

  • 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 Council on Microbial Sciences (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, CEO and staff in a constructive partnership. The role of the BOD is to govern, the role of the COMS is to exercise oversight over scientific and programmatic activities; the CEO is responsible for implementation and operations.
Directors are responsible, in partnership with other Board members and staff, for helping to shape and lead ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences. They accomplish their function by participating actively in Board meetings, guiding and overseeing the ASM strategic plan, and by performing fiduciary, strategic, and policy responsibilities.

At-Large BOD members serve three year terms, and can be reelected only once. Just for elections in 2017, in order to stagger terms of various members, a cohort of Directors will serve a one-year term, another cohort a two-year term, and the third cohort a three-year term.

Time Commitment
Directors are expected to attend all in-person meetings and phone calls. It is expected that the BOD will normally meet three times a year, twice in person for 1.5 days and once for half a day electronically. One of the in-person meetings will be in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. 

BOD members are expected to read the provided background material in advance and actively participate in meetings and calls. More calls could be scheduled throughout the year, if needed. BOD members are expected to participate in ASM Microbe meeting and other working groups or events that may require Directors’ presence. In total it is expected a time commitment of ~ 9-10 days per year. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM as an organization and responsiveness to ongoing Board work.


  • Set direction for ASM, after considering input from the Council of Microbial Sciences (COMS)
  • Establish the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM. Oversee the execution of the strategic direction of ASM
  • Articulate, safeguard, model, and promote ASM’s core values and principles
  • Act in the best interests of the organization as a whole, not for any individual, particular constituencies or sub-discipline
  • Delegate authority for organizational and staff management to the CEO
  • Provide oversight and ensure resources
  • Be knowledgeable about the bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the ASM BOD
  • Establish financial policies and ensure accountability
  • Ensure resource allocation is aligned with the ASM strategic plan
  • Ensure compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards
  • Receive and examine an annual audit of ASM by an independent auditor
  • Approve an annual budget and review performance of the annual operating plan and budget
  • Hire, support and evaluate the CEO
  • Serve as an ambassador for ASM to promote and advance microbial sciences, by promoting ASM and encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
  • Utilize and respect staff expertise
  • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all Board of Directors meetings
  • Work collegially with other Board members and key staff by “holding their own” feeling safe to disagree without being disagreeable
  • Understand that the BOD is not a stakeholder group, rather a governing body, therefore, once a decision is made, it is the decision of the whole group
  • 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
  • Understand and apply the provisions of fiduciary responsibility, the bylaws and other policies
  • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
  • Function at a strategic, not tactical, level
  • Participate in periodic evaluation of the Board’s performance and contribute to ongoing improvement of ASM governance
    Participate in Board orientation and be knowledge about effective governance



Main Functions

The ASM Council on Microbial Sciences At-Large members advance ASM and microbial sciences by scanning the environment and advising the Board of Directors (BOD) on scientific and programmatic matters. COMS members bring a key perspective which represents the diversity of microbial sciences and demographics that exist within ASM. The COMS partners with the BOD and staff to shape and lead ASM and microbial sciences into the future.

COMS has several key distinctive functions:

  • Is the “creative mind” of the Society that generates and deliberates on microbial sciences-related ideas, issues, and programs.
  • The COMS has its radar screen set to scan the horizon to detect and anticipate trends in the field Informs and advises the BOD on scientific opportunities and threats, suggesting policies, actions, and programs that need to be taken or initiated to advance the microbial sciences
  • Works in partnership with the BOD staff and seeks BOD approval for resources for scientific programmatic activities deemed a priority by the COMS
  • Works in partnership with BOD and staff to explore feasibility and implementation of programs Identifies and makes recommendations to the BOD for discontinuation of scientific programs deemed no longer essential for the future of microbial sciences
  • Considers petitions to charter Branches and Divisions/SIGs at the programmatic level, and submits to the BOD for fiduciary review and approval


At-Large Councilors are elected for a three-year term, renewable once. For elections in 2017 only, to generate staggered terms, there will be three cohorts of At-Large members serving respectively one, two, and three year terms.

  •  Time Commitment

    At-Large members of COMS are required to attend one day-long in-person meeting, held in conjunction with the ASM Microbe meeting. In addition, working groups and task forces of COMS will meet electronically throughout the year, possibly 3-4 times for a few hours each time. Full participation requires reading background material in advance and collegial discussions and active work. This job requires a level of awareness of ASM strategic plan, activities, and responsiveness.

     Roles and Responsibilities:

    • Advise the BOD and support ASM mission Maintain awareness of emerging issues that could impact microbial sciences
    • Oversee and propose scientific and programmatic activities to advance microbial sciences through ASM activities
    • Understand and act within the financial and strategic framework set by the BOD
    • Engage members
    • Advance the vision, mission, and strategic plan of ASM
    • Bring a unique perspective within microbial sciences, keeping in mind your responsibility to act in the best interests of the organization, not of yourself, nor of any particular constituency
    • Build relationships internally and externally
    • Champion ASM and microbial sciences to all constituents and publics
    • Ensure good interaction with other components of the Society
    • Act as an ASM ambassador, encouraging others to get involved in volunteering at ASM
    • Utilize staff expertise
    • Get to know other COMS members and key staff
    • Be an active member of the COMS
    • Prepare for, attend, and actively participate in all COMS meetings
    • Be knowledgeable about the ASM bylaws, policies and procedures, strategic plan, and governance responsibilities of the COMS
    • Abide by the code of conduct and conflict of interest policies
    • Function at a strategic, not tactical or operational level
    • Be cognizant that the authority rests with the COMS as a collective body, not to any one individual member, or group of members
    • Participate in COMS orientation and be knowledgeable about effective governance

    Joomla! Debug Console


    Profile Information

    Memory Usage

    Database Queries