ASM Ambassador Guidelines

I. Purpose
The purpose of this program is to identify American Society for Microbiology (ASM) international members, knowledgeable of the governance programs and services of the Society, who would be willing to represent the Society's interests in and about their region of domicile. These persons will be asked to (1) identify and prioritize actions that will advance microbiology in their international region, (2) identify interests of international scientific populations who might be either prospective or active members of the Society, (3) identify needs which, if reflected in ASM member services, could further enrich ASM membership for like individuals in the international sector and (4) promote and explain the benefit of membership in ASM.

These individuals will be identified as 1) Ambassadors  of ASM and will report annually to the Chair of the Committee on Global Engagement of the International Board. They will serve as the CGE representatives worldwide. Ambassadors can perform activities on behalf of ASM committees other than the IMC, in particular international committees, providing that either such request is made by a committee or committee chair, or that prior authorization is obtained from a committee chair.  

II. Policies and Procedures

A. Nomination

Any ASM member may be nominated for this volunteer position. International Ambassadors must be nominated by at least two full members of the Society (self-nomination accepted).

Nominations should include: name; address; curriculum vitae; ASM Member Number; years of ASM membership; membership of any ASM committees; ASM and non-ASM meetings regularly attended; area of scientific interest; membership in national, regional, and international scientific societies; and a letter of intent, including an action plan for their proposed activities.

The nomination should be sent to the Department of International Affairs, who will review the nomination with the Chair of the Committee on Global Engagement and forward it with their recommendations to the CGE Nomination Committee for final determination. The GCE Nomination Committee includes the CGE Chair (chair of the Nomination Committee), the IB Chair, the Ambassador Caucus Chair (except where his/ her own nomination is being considered) and the International Affairs Director (ex-officio). Upon acceptance of the nominee, the appointment will be for a 3-year term, renewable up to a maximum period of 9 years, at the discretion of the Chair of the Committee on Global Engagement.

To qualify for this volunteer position, International Ambassadors must be extremely well versed on the rights and liabilities of persons representing the Society. In particular, they must be familiar with the ASM Volunteer Handbook and agree to follow the policies contained therein, and knowledgeable of the rules and protocols governing individual actions taken on behalf of the Society. For instance, at no time will the International Ambassador have the authority to commit the Society to joint sponsorship of events, activities or programs of other organizations without express, written authorization from the appropriate Officer or Board of the Society.

Once the appointment of the International Ambassador is approved by the Committee on Global Engagement, the International Ambassador will receive a copy of this guideline document.
International Ambassadors shall sign and return the International Ambassador Agreement Form to the office of International Affairs on appointment as an International Ambassador.

B. Responsibilities

I. International Ambassadors

The International Ambassador will be asked to prepare and submit an annual plan for upcoming activities by December 15th of each year to:

  1. Identify and prioritize actions that will advance microbiology in their international region
  2. Promote and explain the benefit of membership in ASM.
  3. Serve as liaison between ASM and the international members in the region of appointment and represent ASM in that region.
  4. Identify interests of international scientific populations who might be either prospective or active members of the Society.
  5. Identify needs which, if reflected in ASM member services, could further enrich ASM membership for like individuals in the international sector.
  6. Inform the CGE and International Affairs staff about activities and events of potential interest for Society action.

The proposed plan will be reviewed and approved by the CGE and Ambassador's Caucus Chairs by February 15th. At the end of that year, the activity plan will be used as the basis for assessing the accomplishments of the Ambassador.

International Ambassadors will also be encouraged to organize electronic communication systems among individuals in their regions, without offering direct funding to system participants. ASM guidelines governing development of homepages and listservs will apply to international member groups who seek to develop a connection to the International Section of the ASM Homepage. Upon recommendation of the International Ambassador and approval of the Committee on Global Engagement Chair, the ASM will provide a link to any qualifying homepage in any international region. Homepages will be grouped by region and linked to the appropriate Regional Section of the International Section of the ASM website. The International Board may review the electronic activities of the Commiee on Global Engagement at any time and request a report and/or policy change, if appropriate.

C. Reporting
International Ambassadors shall submit a written Annual Report on activities in the region of Ambassadorship to the Chair of the Committee on Global Engagement by December 1st of each year. This report should include activities undertaken as an ASM International Ambassador, suggestions/recommendations for improving the effectiveness of the International Ambassador Program, estimated number of new members, an estimate of expenses for the coming year, and a summary of the use of the International Ambassador funds during the past year and how fund usage benefited ASM in any of the following areas or combination of areas:

  1. ASM membership recruiting and development,
  2. ASM International Member retention,
  3. ASM international activities and program promotion,
  4. Data development, and/or
  5. Communication.

Annual Reports of the International Ambassadors will be submitted in a report from the Ambassador Caucus Chair to the Commitee on Global Engagement Chair and the International Board Chair. The Chair of the International Board will present the Report to the full International Board for consideration during the annual budgeting process.

D. Support

Administrative Expenses

  • Local printing of ASM materials, shipping, and telephone
  • Ambassadors submit request for all anticipated administrative expenses prior to incurring
  • ASM staff approves request and reimburses Ambassador

 Ambassador Project Fund (APF)

  • Up to $5,000 per proposal
  • Awarded on a competitive basis through submission of APF proposals
  • Appropriate uses include: any activity that leads to recruitment and retention of ASM membership

E. Outside Funding
If an International Ambassador determines that outside funding (corporate or otherwise) may be obtained to support a project related to ASM, the Ambassador must follow the pertinent language in the ASM Grants and Solicitation Manual. The manual outlines mandatory procedures for ASM members, staff and volunteers to follow when securing gifts and grants from public and private sources on behalf of ASM. It also identifies the officials who are authorized to approve the applications and solicitations for external funding for ASM and the officials that are responsible for assuring compliance with conditions or agreements relating to gifts or grants.

F. Reimbursement
The following are steps/requirements for any and all reimbursements to International Ambassadors for ASM -related activities:

  1. Keep a detailed list of all materials (including postage) used for direct mail purposes.
  2. When an International Ambassador purchases materials for any activities, a receipt must be included in the reimbursement request.
  3. An International Ambassador may seek reimbursement with their bi-annual report to the Director of International Affairs.
  4. Reimbursement shall be sent to the International Ambassador approximately two weeks after the request reaches ASM.

G. Ambassador Caucus
The Ambassador Caucus is the representative body of the ASM International Ambassadors. The focus of this body is 1) to allow communication among the Ambassadors and with the CGE and the other international committees and department, and 2) to advise the CGE and make proposals for the further development of the Ambassador Program, in such areas as creation/ improvement of services, regional aspects, representation issues, guidelines, and proposed structural changes. All Ambassadors are full members of the Caucus. Immediate Past-Ambassadors also participate in an advisory capacity. The CGE Chair and the International Affairs Director are ex-officio members.

The Chair of the Ambassador Caucus is appointed by the CGE Chair with the concurrence of the full Commitee on Global Engagement. He/ she serves as Liaison with the CGE, in an ex-officio capacity.

Reports, nominations, and other information should be sent to:
Department of International Affairs
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 942-9380