AIGA nominations process
AIGA nominations process
AIGA nominations process

AIGA nominations process

The nominations process for the 2019–2022 board slate has now concluded.

The committee was tasked with selecting a slate of three individuals for open seats on the national board of directors for the term beginning July 1, 2019.

The nomination process is designed to identify, encourage, and enlist the active participation of dedicated professionals in the service of AIGA at a leadership level. The procedures outlined below assist the nominating committee in conducting a fair and equitable evaluation, deliberation, and recommendation process for all nominated candidates.

Nominating committee

The committee, chaired by Karin Hibma, consists primarily of individuals who are not on the board to make sure member interests are represented in the new nominations and that the national board retains a fresh and diverse perspective. This process is an open, inclusive one; anyone who completes the nomination form is considered.

The 2019 nominating committee:

  • Karin Hibma, : : CRONAN : : (chair)
  • Helen Armstrong, North Carolina State University 
  • Chad Cheek, Elephant In The Room
  • Oen Michael Hammonds, IBM
  • Dian Holton, AARP
  • Katrin Loss, BestBuy

Selection criteria given to the 2019 nominating committee

Open number of board seats

There are three seats with a term through 2022, with a potential fourth should the incoming Board President be selected from qualifying candidates currently serving on the AIGA board.


For the board to effectively govern, it is essential for directors to represent a variety of skills, experience, perspectives and expertise. Considering the roles and contributions of departing and continuing board members, the incoming slate of directors should consist of individuals who can best support four standing board commitees that oversee the key functional areas of finance, membership, corporate relations, and governance. Additionally, the board as a whole should embody the diversity that is reflective and representational of our national community. 

Ideal attributes for 2019

  1. Of the three positions available to fill, it would be ideal if two of those positions were filled with: Designers or Design-friendly leaders from the nonprofit sector, with particular interest places on individuals with fund-development, endowment building, membership program development experience, and/or deep experience in best practices for associations. This candidate would bring board experience/exposure outside of the AIGA National and/or Chapter models to the AIGA board.
  2. Of the three positions available to fill, it would be ideal if one of those positions were filled with: Design-friendly candidates who are legal professionals or data strategists/analysts. AIGA will be building a new business model over the next two years. The oversight provided by these individuals on the bourd would be informative. (note: an ideal candidate would possess both attributes 1 and 2. For example, legal counsel primarily supporting nonprofit membership organizations such as museums or public radio).
  3. Change management experience
  4. Entrepreneurial character and experience or track record of business success
  5. Leaders from corporations that have made design central to their success and can bring insights to our corporate partnership efforts, particularly through client managment of sponsor/partnership development experience
  6. Time commitment: candidates must be able to provide support within the committee structure. Along with defined attendance at board meetings and key AIGA events, these candidates will participate in (or potentially lead) one of the following committees: Finance, Governance, Membership, Corporate Relations. In the next 12–18 months, we anticipate participation to be higher than ususal, at times (but not always) amounting to 30–40 hours per month. Capacity to actively participate will be important at this point of transition for the organization

Evergreen attributes

  • Respect for members and chapters' role, and chapter leadership experience
  • Interest in member outreach, growth, and retention
  • Interest in design as a facilitator of social change
  • Board-level corporate or other leadership experience outside of AIGA
  • National recognition as a thought leader who can serve as a spokesperson

Attributes of diversity

This category of criteria consists of general attributes that should be considered in order to advance the diversity of points of view and stakeholder awareness.

  • Ability diversity
  • Age diversity
  • Discipline diversity (note: this is not limited to disciplines within the design profession)
  • Gender diversity
  • Geographic diversity
  • Racial diversity
  • Workplace diversity

Each slate of nominees must include people relecting racial/ethnic diversity, and be evenly split among gender identities, in order to ensure that the board reflects the population at large. 

Other considerations

Board member participation

Every member of the board is expected to participate in AIGA at the Design Leader or Trustee membership level and to cover their own expenses.


Each year, the committee should consider if one of the following criteria is present in one member of the continuing board or should be achieved with a new candidate. 

  • A full-time educator currently teaching full-time with a minimum of five consecutive years of teaching within the last eight years or a department head of a design program.
  • A candidate with an expressed and principal interest in design education (pedagogy, curricula, theory, research) and demonstrated leadership in that community
  • A candidate willing to be an active and accessible advocate for the Design Educators Community (DEC) Steering Committee, the DEC general membership, student group advisors, and education chairs within chapters


Nominating candidates to the AIGA National Board is essentially succession planning. As such, each slate must be considered within the following contexts:

  • Does each candidate individually meet the requisite criteria? Does the slate as a whole represent a balance of expertise, experience, and point of view that AIGA is proud to stand behind?
  • How well does the slate represent the broader community, its concerns and interests?
  • Does the slate result in an overall board that meets the necessary attributes

Policy on serving on national and chapter boards simultaneously

There is no reason that chapter board members should not be nominated and selected for service on the national board. This is not necessarily a conflict of interest. However, every national board member is expected to represent members as a whole throughout their service on the national board; and to respect both confidentiality and solidarity with national board deliberations and decisions. For this reason, and to ensure that all national board members can meet the expectations, norms, and ethical considerations of the national board, any nominee selected to serve on the national board while still serving on a chapter board, must resign one of the positions. This is not to say that the national board role is predominant; it simply means that it is not acceptable for any national board member to compromise the ethical and principled expectations of the national board position knowingly or unintentionally, as a result of conflicting responsibilities of other boards or positions.

Nomination categories

There are two ways to be nominated for national AIGA board positions:

  • Peer: Any current AIGA member who feels a particular individual will enhance the quality of leadership on the AIGA board may nominate that person via the nomination form by May 5, 2019. The nominee need not be a member at the time of nomination, but will be expected to become a member if approved. 
  • Self: Any current AIGA member willing to participate and to fulfill the obligations of board membership may self-nominate by completing the nomination form by May 5, 2019.

Completing the nomination form

Each nominee is expected to complete the online form so that the nominating committee may consider the credentials of all candidates individually, as well as comparatively. Read the Responsibilities of AIGA's board of directors to better understand the responsibilities of elected board members. If you have questions about the form or the nomination process, please contact the chairperson of this year's nominating committee.

The nomination form is designed to help the nominee prepare and present his or her qualifications in a consistent manner, and assures that the committee has the same information on all candidates.

Responsibilities of the board of directors

Most of the board’s responsibilities are fairly traditional, but one obligation warrants special attention. Each board member is expected to maintain an AIGA membership at the Trustee or Design Leader level for the duration of his or her term.

Find out more about all the responsibilities of confirmed AIGA board members.

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