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Proposed Bylaw Amendment to Rightsize

AFSA Governing Board

Attention AFSA Members:

The Governing Board has con-

ducted a review of the AFSA

bylaws in accordance with its

2013-2015 strategic plan. The

Board is proposing one bylaw

amendment that, if passed by

the membership, would take

e’ect in 2017.

Membership last approved

bylaw amendments in 2012

to facilitate electronic voting,

to modify the Board eligibility

requirements and to make a

technical change to the name

of the Scholarship Commit-

tee. The process of amending

bylaws requires notification

to the AFSAmembership, a

45-day period for submission

of statements in opposition,

a vote of the membership

and two-thirds approval of

those voting. The full process

is found in Article IX of the

AFSA bylaws at

bylaws. It is the responsibility

of the AFSACommittee on

Elections to conduct polling.

The following schedule has

been set:

Statements in opposition

to the proposed bylaw amend-

ment must be signed by not

less than 10 AFSAmembers

in good standing and must be

received by close of busi-

ness on January 16, 2015.

They must be sent by mail to:

Chair, AFSA Committee on

Elections, 2101 E Street, NW,

Washington, D.C., 20037, or by

fax to (202) 338-6820 or by

email to

Explanation of

Proposed Changes from

the Governing Board

Following review, the Gov-

erning Board found one issue

for bylaw reform, which, if

approved by the membership,

would necessitate amending

two sections of the bylaws. At

its November 5, 2014, meet-

ing, the Governing Board

voted to solicit member

feedback through

The Foreign

Service Journal

of a bylaw

amendment to reduce the

size of the Governing Board

from 29 to 19 members.

The Governing Board

recommends members

support the amendments to

Sections 4 and 5 of Article V

as proposed.

Size of Governing Board


The current bylaws state

that each AFSA constituency

is allotted one representa-

tive to the Governing Board

for each 1,000 constituents,

or fraction thereof, who are

members of AFSA. According

to this formula, the current

AFSA Board has a total of

29 members. The reform

envisioned by the Governing

Board would change the for-

mula and reduce

the number of

members to 19.

The Gov-

ernance and

Executive Com-

mittees have dis-

cussed at length

the inežciencies

posed by a large

governing board.

It is hoped that

a proposed

reduction of the

number of mem-

bers might help

to alleviate some

of the dižculties

associated with

a large board

and bring it back

to the more


levels of past

years. The size of the board,

the high frequency of its

meetings, and the resources

required to sta’ and run it

were highlighted as problem

areas in an outside consul-

tant’s 2012 review of AFSA

governance and operations.

In the report, the outside

consultant recommended

reviewing the organization’s

governance, noting that

the previous two Governing

Boards had commented on

the Board’s large size.

The board has grown from

eight members in 1974 to 21

members in 1991 to 29 mem-

bers at present. During the

same period, the membership

of AFSA has grown from 7,000

in March 1975 to 16,450 today.

The Board’s growth outpaces

growth in membership and

has resulted in a Governing

Board of record size. Note:



December 1, 2014 Proposed amendments announced

to membership

January 16, 2015

Deadline for statements in opposition

to proposed changes

Mid-April 2015

Sending of ballots, together with any

statements for or against the proposed

amendments by mail and email

June 4, 2015

Bylaw amendment ballots tabulated

July 1, 2015

Governing Board endorses results of

bylaw poll reported by the Committee

on Elections