National Committee Structure & Descriptions

Committee Structure

For SACNAS to effectively and efficiently carry out its mission, it is necessary to have a streamlined committee structure that allows the engagement and input of the board, members, and volunteer experts. Committees provide organizational structure, and at the same time allow enough flexibility so the organization can adapt quickly to the changing demands of the environment.

There are four main functions that committees serve:
1) Divide up the work of the organization
2) Utilize the specific talents and knowledge of board members
3) Make recommendations (via Chair) to the Board of Directors
4) Convey high-level Board decisions (via Chair) to the Staff Liaison

SACNAS’ committee structure is broken into two main categories: Standing Committees and General Committees. Each committee is then supported by subcommittees and task forces/ad hoc committees.

Expectations of Service

Committee Chairs can expect to contribute 12 - 15 hours annually.
General committee, subcommittee, advisory groups, and task force members can expect to contribute 10 - 12 hours annually.

Each bi-monthly virtual meeting (6) last approximately 1 hour. Additional meetings (phone or virtual) may be required to attend to other committee business.

Interested in serving on a SACNAS committee? Sign up today!

What is a Standing Committee?

Standing Committees are established on a permanent basis. These committees strategize and analyze issues within their areas of focus and make recommendations. A standing committee also monitors and evaluates the performance of the whole organization in relation to its responsibility.

A standing committee is chaired by a board member and is composed of the chairs of its corresponding subcommittees. A standing committee may have additional members, as needed and appointed.

What is a General Committee?

General Committees are established on a semi-permanent basis and are advisory in nature. These committees strategize and analyze issues within their areas of focus and make recommendations. A general committee also monitors and evaluates performance in relation to its specific responsibility.

A general committee is chaired by a board member and is composed of the chairs of its corresponding subcommittees. A general committee may have additional members, as needed and appointed.

What is a Subcommittee?

A Subcommittee is tasked to strategize around targeted issues or campaigns that work in sync with the larger committee to which it reports. A subcommittee makes recommendations to the committee through the subcommittee chair, who is a member of the standing or general committee.

A subcommittee is chaired by a either a board member or volunteer/member and is composed of other members, volunteers, and experts, as needed and appointed.

What is a Task Force/Ad Hoc Committee?

A Task Force or Ad Hoc Committee is a temporary grouping of volunteers for the purpose of solving an issue and/or accomplishing a defined objective. A task force is not permanent and has a defined start and end date (e.g. 4 months). A task force, or its members, may always be reinstated if future relating objectives need to be accomplished.

Which committee, subcommittee, or task force is right for me?

Take a moment to read the descriptions below and then submit interest around which committee, subcommittee, or task force aligns best with your skill sets, expertise, and passion.

Standing Committees

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee plans the work of the board. The committee approves board meeting agendas and other guidelines for board actions. This committee also provides guidance for the organization between board meetings. When necessary, the Executive Committee assumes broader functions and makes key policy decisions and takes action on behalf of the board and/or organization. The Executive Committee reports its actions to Board of Directors.

The Executive Committee is composed of the board officers, as specified by the bylaws. Members of the executive committee are limited to the President, Immediate Past President, President-Elect, Treasurer, and Secretary.

Chair, Board President
Staff Liaison, Executive Director


 

Governance Committee

The Governance Committee oversees the identification, recruitment, orientation, training, and retention of board members. The committee oversees and evaluates general board governance. This committee looks for opportunities to strengthen and evolve the board’s effectiveness, build capacity, diversify composition, and enhance the ability to lead the organization into the future.

Chair, Immediate Past President and/or Board President-Elect
Staff Liaison, Executive Director

Board Nominations Subcommittee

The Board Nominations Subcommittee is composed of past SACNAS board members, founders, and/or elders. This subcommittee is charged with identifying and recruiting the next class of top-tier STEM leaders to serve on the board of directors. This subcommittee is charged with the develop of the slate of candidates and presentation to the board of directors for review and approval.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Executive Director

By-Laws Task Force

The By-Laws Task Force is a select group of SACNAS leaders, members, and volunteers that have expertise around nonprofit governance, especially by-laws and compliance (federal and state). This group of select individuals will be called into action, over a defined period of time, whenever a specific by-laws issue arises and to strategize, formulate, and/or submit future by-laws revisions.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Executive Director


 

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee is led by the board treasurer to oversee the budget process, monitor and report on the financial status and activities of the agency, ensure the financial policies and practices are followed, and oversee investments.

Chair, Board Treasurer
Staff Liaison, Director of Finance


 

Audit Committee

The Audit Committee provides accountability for the organization’s independent audit. The committee is not involved in the nonprofit’s daily accounting functions, but instead oversees the independent audit process which often entails hiring and evaluating the independent auditor(s). Where applicable, the audit committee may also be accountable to make sure that recommendations made by the auditor (e.g. statements that appear in the auditor's letter to management) are implemented.

Chair (CPA or Finance Expert)
Staff Liaison, Director of Finance


 

External Relations Committee

The External Relations Committee provides expertise and insight, around fundraising, marketing, communication, branding, and government relations to staff. The committee takes an active lead on raising funds, amplifying our national voice/branding, and evaluating legislation and policy (internal and external) all in relation to the organization’s mission, goals, and strategic plan.

Chair, Board Member
Staff Liaisons, Director of Development & Director of Communications

Development Subcommittee

The Development Subcommittee works closely with staff to create and implement the resource development plan that will help guide organizational activities in seeking out and securing funding from diverse sources. This subcommittee also takes an active lead in cultivating new relationships, stewarding existing relationships, asking for money, and strategizing ways to increase existing revenue streams and create new revenue streams (e.g. annual campaign, earned revenue, planned giving, etc.)

Chair
Staff Liaison, Director Development

Grants Task Force

The Grants Task Force is a select group of members and volunteers that have expertise around specific types of grants (e.g. federal, foundation, corporate, etc.). This group will remain active but select members or grouping of members will be called into action, over a defined period of time, to strategize, formulate, and/or submit specific grants.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Development Manager

Data & Evaluation Task Force

The Data and Evaluation Task Force is a select group of members and volunteers that have expertise around data collection, composition, analysis, dissemination, and value (internal and external). This group will remain active but select members or groupings of members will be called into action, over a defined period of team, to strategize, analyze, and report on specific or collective, as needed or requested for a grant, funder, and/or partnership.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Development Manager

Marketing & Communications Subcommittee

The Marketing & Communications Subcommittee works closely with staff to develop and implement a marketing/communications plan that articulates the primary audiences for the organization, how best to reach them, and what they most care about. The committee monitors the presentation of the organization’s brand, and ensures that the products, services, and programs of the organization remain relevant to the audience.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Director of Marketing and Communications

Government Relations Subcommittee

The Government Relations Subcommittee works closely with the Executive Director on monitoring key legislation that could have positive or adverse effects on the organization’s ability to carry it its mission. This committee also advises the board of directors on which legislative and/or policy positions the organization should take. This committee takes an active role in cultivating and stewarding relationships with politicians and key political staffers at the federal and state levels.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Executive Director

STEM Policy Task Force

The STEM Policy Task Force is a select group of members and volunteers that have expertise around Science, Technology, Math, & Engineering policy or related issues. This group will remain active but select members or grouping of members will be called into action, over a defined period of time, to strategize, formulate, and/or make recommendations to the Government relations committee and/or Board of Directors on policy positions and statements. This committee looks at policy positions and not specific legislation.

Chair
Staff Liaison, Executive Director


 

Membership Committee

The Membership Committee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around aspects of membership, including new member acquisition, existing member retention, and education. This committee is charged with helping SACNAS grow its membership base. This committee also evaluates membership benefits and any potential changes to the membership model to make official recommendations to the Board of Directors.

Chair, Board Member
Staff Liaison, Director of Marketing & Communications

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Subcommittee is responsible for ensuring continuing progress towards SACNAS’ vision of “Achieving True Diversity in STEM.” The subcommittee provides expertise and guidance in the design and implementation of suites of activities, programs, and resources: 1) to help SACNAS members gain the necessary resources to be competitive in an ever-changing environment and 2) to assist partners gain the necessary knowledge and access to resources and trainings to increase cultural competency and build environments of inclusiveness. This committee promotes respect for and acceptance of diverse individuals and promotes awareness of opportunities across all sectors for all underrepresented populations. This committee endorses a broad definition of diversity including but not limited to race, ethnicity, national original and indigenous heritage, gender and sexual orientation, professional discipline and setting, age and generational influences, religion and spiritual orientation, and disability.

Chair
Staff Liaison, TBD

Professional Development Subcommittee

The Professional Development Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around the creation of programs and initiatives specifically around educational opportunities and trainings in STEM. This committee help SACNAS members with their STEM professional development across all sectors, disciplines, and specializations.

Chair
Staff Liaison, TBD

Young Professionals Subcommittee

The Young Professional Subcommittee provides strategy, advice, and support to staff around the creation of programs and initiatives specifically targeted towards young professionals (under 40). This committee also strives to create networking opportunities of young professionals within the SACNAS membership and with sector leaders and influencers.

Chair
Staff Liaison, TBD

Advisory Group(s)

Council of Senior Advisors (COSA)

The Council of Senior Advisors is a select group of SACNAS founders, elders, past board members, and leaders that provide strategy, counsel, and advice to the board of directors and executive director based on their history and institutional knowledge.

Chair, a Past Board President
Staff Liaison, Executive Director

 

QUESTIONS?

Email info@sacnas.org