2022 Ballot Initiative: Change to the NAI Constitution


Membership of the Board of Directors modification

Recommended by the Board of Directors and forward to the membership for their approval

In the fall of 2021 a task force was created to research and proposed a modification to the membership of the Board of Directors to ensure a diverse membership of the board for the future.  The task force came back with the proposed modification to the Constitution of the Association that would allow for a long term sustainable plan for ensuring a diverse representation on the national board of directors.

At the February 2022 Board of Directors meeting, the proposed change was voted and approved by a unanimous vote of the Board of Directors.  As all constitutional changes must be adopted by the members it was forwarded to be included in the upcoming Fall 2022 election cycle with the recommendation that the membership approve it. Attend an information session on Zoom to learn more!

Join members of the task force and NAI's Board of Directors to learn more about this proposal.

InterpTalk Special Session
Wednesday, August 24
1:00pm eastern/10:00am pacific
Register here

NAI Open House
Wednesday, August 31
6:00pm eastern / 3:00pm pacific
Register here

Question: Why are we proposing this change? 

We recognized that we do not have a formal mechanism to ensure that the NAI Board of Directors is accountable for diverse and inclusive representation. Therefore, this change is being proposed to establish dedicated positions that are member-nominated and -elected in order to increase diversity and representation on the NAI Board of Directors. We identified the need to be the driving force in addressing issues of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility within the interpretive profession as part of the goals of the NAI Strategic Plan. The NAI Constitution currently states the following:

  • Two (2) of the director positions shall be designated for nomination by the individual members of the Board of Directors and for competitive election by the members;

The proposed change converts two positions that are currently board-nominated, member-elected to member-nominated and -elected dedicated positions that align with our strategic plan.  

  • Two (2) of the director positions shall be designated as dedicated positions and shall be nominated by and for competitive election by the members.

Question: Should this pass, what happens next? 

If the approved constitutional changes pass, the Board of Directors will vote on the associated bylaws change.
The current bylaw states:
a. There shall be fifteen (15) directors in total, twelve elected by the members, one appointed by the board, and two elected by the Advisory Council.
Proposed change:
a. There shall be fifteen (15) directors in total, twelve elected by the members, one appointed by the board, and two elected by the Advisory Council. Two (2) of the member-elected directors will be dedicated positions and may remain open if there are no interested nominees. These dedicated positions are for one (1) young professional (defined as 18 to 35 years of age) and one (1) person who self-identifies as from a historically marginalized community.
With the approval of the bylaw change, the Board of Directors will form a task force to determine which of the current board positions will be converted to the new dedicated positions and when that will happen. The plan, once developed, will be approved by the board and communicated to the members in a timely manner. 

Question: How is this different from the current structure? 

Currently, there are 15 positions on the Board of Directors. Two of these positions are nominated by the Board of Directors and then elected by the general membership. This constitutional change will convert these two positions to make them member-nominated, rather than board-nominated.   
The current structure does not provide specific guidance or transparency on our identified need for diversity in organizational leadership. The positions will still be elected by the general membership for 3-year terms. 

Question: How soon will this be implemented? 

The proposed bylaw change will be brought forth at the board meeting immediately following the election cycle for board approval. The task force will be convened as soon as possible once the constitutional changes are approved and will begin to develop an implementation plan.  

Question: What happens if no one runs for a dedicated board position? 

To emphasize the importance of having this type of representation on the Board of Directors, if no candidates run for these positions, the positions will remain vacant until the next election cycle. It is up to the membership, the current Board, and the nominations and elections committee to recruit candidates and ensure a full board.  



Important Dates

February 1
NAI Board of Directors appoints the Nominations & Elections Committee (“Committee”)

March 1
NAI announces the Call for Nominations for open positions

May 31
Deadline for submitting a nomination

Committee goes through the vetting process of those nominated

August 15
Committee finalizes the slate of candidates and notifies all those nominated

August 30
All candidate statements, bios and photos will have been posted on the NAI website

September 1
Electronic ballots mailed to all current members of NAI

September 21
Voting period ends (end of third week in September)

October 1
Committee Chair sends election report to the NAI Secretary for certification; all candidates are notified of results; results posted on NAI website and announced to members

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Review this webinar for information.