2020-2021 AST Board Nominations Open

The nomination period for the 2020-2021 AST Board of Directors (BOD) is now open. If you would like to nominate yourself or someone else to the BOD election slate, please be aware of the AST By-laws, which are explicit:

  • Nominees must have become AST Members prior to August 5, 2019, and continuously since then
  • All nominations must be seconded by another member of AST

Additionally, we are looking for the following in effective board members:

  • Nominees must have demonstrated a track record of supporting the mission of AST
  • Candidates shall not own or operate conferences or initiatives that compete with AST programs

Members of the Executive and Board of Directors are expected to be actively engaged in the leadership of the AST including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Participation in regular calls (executives)
  • Attending three in-person board meetings in North America per year (one held at CAST)
  • Involvement in the day to day operations
  • Involvement in current and future projects

3 slots are up for election this year. We’re excited about the infusion of energy and ideas! Nominations should be submitted through this Google Form by 12:00 p.m. GMT on Tuesday, July 7, 2020.

Candidate Questions

We welcome questions for the candidates from any of our members. We will publish all serious questions, and choose a shorter list to submit to the candidates. To submit a question for the candidates, please use this Google Form.

About Serving on the Board

We would like to share our experience being on the board in order to help you make your decision about whether to run. Remember, running for the Board is a public service to your profession and your fellow testers. It requires dedication, sacrifice, and commitment. If you get elected, someone else will be turned away. Make sure that you are willing and able to serve. Read on for more.

The Work

There is a significant amount of work necessary just to keep the lights on at AST – BBST, CAST, Grants, the website, and so forth. Many bright and dedicated people have worked hard for a long time to get AST this far. Serving on the board is a duty and a responsibility to the membership and the people who brought the organization this far.

AST, like any organization, needs new ideas. Still, new initiatives or programs need lots of energy and time that might be better invested in AST core programs. There are many things that AST could do, but sustaining the programs that have already proven they add value for the community comes first.

For Directors, there are three in-person board meetings (including CAST) each year. At a minimum, board members are expected to attend all of these, monitor and participate regularly in our Slack instance, and write a few blog posts. Some do more. There is no geographic restriction on being a board member, as long as you can attend all the meetings and do the work. AST covers reasonable travel expenses. For executive committee members, including all officers, there are monthly conference calls and additional responsibilities attached.

Board Members currently spend between 2-20 hours/month on AST. Involvement varies depending on role and is expected to be variable throughout the year. Employment and family can make it hard to find the AST time. We ask candidates to think about their commitment in time and energy.

Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

People who run other conferences (outside of program roles) will find themselves in a difficult ethical position – and place the rest of the board in a difficult position as well. Board members are also expected to forego any grant requests – including for organizations they are involved with, even when requested by others. Board members should not take speaking slots at AST events, and be careful about any other activities that mean their involvement in AST business could create motivations or the perception of motivations other than representing AST and its membership.

We urge potential candidates to reflect on their other activities before deciding to run and ask our membership to take a close look at any perceived conflicts of interest and vote accordingly.

Here is the ethics question we will ask all candidates:

Many people come to be AST Board of Directors candidates through a long history of community involvement. This community involvement usually involves teaching, creating and running peer conferences, creating and running regular conferences, and working with commercial entities.

These are all wonderful and valuable activities, but they might create conflicts for board members. One problem is that a board member spending time helping a personal conference to thrive means less or no time spent on AST events. The other problem and the more important one is that knowing the program and financial information of a personal event will affect decisions made for AST events and initiatives and vice versa.

Please describe any current initiatives you participate in that might affect your ability to serve on the AST board, and serve the AST membership.

Outline of Election Proceedings

  • Jun 13: Open Nominations, ask the membership for Candidate Questions
  • July 7: Close of Nominations, 11:59 PM (UTC/GMT -7)
  • July 12: Announce Eligible Candidates
  • July 12: Close of Membership Questions, 11:59 PM (UTC/GMT -7)
  • On or around July 15: Send Candidate Membership-Sourced Questionnaire
  • On or around July 25: Publish Candidate Questionnaire Answers
  • July 25: Start of Voting. All eligible members will be sent a link to vote electronically for up to three candidates.
  • Aug 5: Voting closes, 6:00 PM (UTC/GMT -7)
  • Aug 6: 2020-2021 AST Board Announced

We look forward to receiving your nominations.

The Elections Committee,
Louise Perold
Lena Wiberg