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Nominating Committee Competencies and Responsibilities

The TESOL Nominating Committee is seeking a wide range of candidates from diverse geographical regions and teaching contexts who wish to run for the Nominating Committee. Applicants must be TESOL members. This year, the Nominating Committee will fill eight (8) vacancies.

The deadline for applications is midnight, U.S. Eastern time, 1 June 2020. Please note that if elected, you will be asked to step down from any professional councils or other formal roles within TESOL International Association.


To run for Nominating Committee, you must be
  • an active member of TESOL for the past five (5) years by June 1 of the year for which your name will appear on the ballot
  • not a full- or part-time employee of TESOL within the past three (3) years
  • not a member of the Board of Directors at the time of the election
  • not a member of the Nominating Committee at the time of the election

Nominating Committee Responsibilities

Members who serve on the Nominating Committee solicit and vet nominations for three TESOL leadership positions: president-elect, board of directors, and Nominating Committee.

Members have five core responsibilities:
  • Complete an online orientation to the application review process
  • Become familiar with the strategic direction and the leadership needs of the association
  • Solicit, evaluate, vet, and screen prospective candidates
  • Recommend candidates for the slate
  • Maintain confidentiality throughout the process
Additional responsibilities include participating in face-to-face and conference call meetings, communicating with the candidates and their references (e.g., soliciting additional information), and staying abreast of updates and information on the committee email list.

What Competencies Are Needed to Perform This Role Well?


  • Be familiar with the Association’s mission, vision, values, and goals (strategic plan)
  • Be knowledgeable about the specific responsibilities attached to the different positions
  • Be knowledgeable about the role and responsibilities of TESOL volunteers within the Association
  • Be knowledgeable about the Association’s governing structure and policies
  • Be knowledgeable about the Association's programs and services
  • Be knowledgeable about the needs of the Association's members and stakeholders
  • Be knowledgeable about the ELT profession in different contexts
  • Recognize and anticipate opportunities and threats in the ELT field that may have direct implications on the Association


Strategic Thinking

  • Ability to always keep the big picture in mind while paying attention to details
  • Ability to think independently, grow in knowledge, and rely on data rather than opinions
  • Ability to be goal and future oriented
  • Ability to think critically, ask questions, and challenge opinions in delicate conversations
  • Ability to understand issues from different perspectives
  • Ability to understand and process large amounts of information (print, online, and oral) effectively and efficiently
  • Ability to synthesize multiple viewpoints and incorporate them into sound decisions


  • Ability to articulate ideas, opinions, rationales, and comments in a clear, concise, and logical manner for the needs of the audience
  • Ability to effectively communicate with a culturally and linguistically diverse team of other committee members, leadership entities, TESOL members, and TESOL staff, orally and in writing
  • Ability to achieve practical consensus in group discussions

Decision Making

  • Capability in executing due diligence in order to effectively evaluate potential candidates
  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of candidates
  • Ability to make informed decisions efficiently and take action when needed
  • Ability to be objective at all times about what is best for the whole of the Association, rather than what is best for a particular constituency


  • Ability to effectively collaborate as well as work independently and online
  • Ability to interact with other committee members in a group setting, both contributing to, and valuing the contributions of all members


  • Has various leadership experiences within the profession and other professional associations
  • Has experience with policies and procedures
  • Has experiences interacting with ease with diverse ELT professionals

What Is Expected of the Candidate?

It is expected that you
  • Has a commitment to the purpose, mission and values of the Association
  • Has a strong interest in working on the advancement of the Association
  • Has cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation of different cultural needs
  • Acts morally and ethically in accordance with the values of the Association 
  • Represents the membership at large, not a particular interest group or clique
  • Avoids conflicts of interest 
  • Understands the need to base decisions on what is good for the Association 
  • Accepts accountability for group decisions with “one voice”
  • Is able to dedicate approximately 5-6 hours per week to the work of the committee between January 15 and July 31
  • Is diplomatic, yet honest and open in discussions with members of the committee 
  • Prepares for and attends meetings and conference calls in advance and reviews materials as needed
  • Maintains absolute adherence to confidentiality

How to Apply

You are required to submit your expression of interest (EOI) form online. The deadline for completed EOI forms is midnight, U.S. Eastern time, 1 June 2020.

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Rita Buckner at or +1.703.518.2507 (Virginia, USA).

Application Materials

The application requires you to submit information about your leadership experience, your background, and your competencies. The process will be easier if you prepare the following information in advance. (Please note that word limits will be strictly enforced.)

Statement of Purpose: Please submit a brief statement elaborating your reason for running.  (250 words).

Institutional Support: Do you have institutional support (time allowed to perform your responsibilities) from your employer? (Yes or No.)

Knowledge: Please explain (and support with examples) your knowledge of : (300 words).

  • TESOL International Association's structure, policies, and culture (including its mission, vision, values, goals, current strategic plan, governance structure, policies, role of staff and volunteers, programs and services, needs of members and stakeholders, responsibilities attached to each leadership position on the ballot)
  • the current TESOL field and its direction (including ELT profession in different contexts, threats/challenges in the ELT field for the association, authoritative literature on association leadership and governance, the association's role in advancing the field)

Leadership Experiences: List your leadership training and leadership roles, both from within and outside TESOL International Association. Start with the most recent and include a brief description of each (type, focus, dates of service). (300 words)

Strategic thinking & Decision making: Please give examples that demonstrate your abilities to do the following before making decisions.  (300 words).

  • consider the big picture while being goal/future-oriented, not get caught in minutiae
  • process large amounts of information; synthesize and incorporate multiple viewpoints and perspectives
  • think independently and critically (including using research data, asking questions, challenging unsubstantiated information)
  • execute due diligence in evaluating potential candidates
  • use logic and reasoning to identify strengths and weaknesses of candidates
  • make informed decisions efficiently and take action when needed
  • be objective at all times about what is best for the whole of the association, rather than what is best for a particular constituency

Communication: Please give examples that demonstrate your communication abilities to do the following:  (300 words).

  • articulate ideas, opinions, rationales, and comments in a clear, concise, and logical manner for the needs of the audience
  • communicate with a culturally and linguistically diverse team of other committee members, leadership entities, TESOL members, and TESOL staff, orally and in writing
  • facilitate group discussions strategically (including focusing on the agenda and working for practical consensus)
  • operate in an online environment efficiently and effectively

Independent and Team Work: Please give examples that demonstrate your abilities to:  (300 words).

  • effectively collaborate with the executive director, board colleagues, and staff
  • work independently
Areas of Growth: Please list the skills and competencies related to service on the Nominating Committee that you feel you need to strengthen within yourself (up to 150 words).

Statement of Understanding: In your own words, describe your understanding of the nominating committee’s role (up to 200 words). See TESOL Policy Manual

Biographical Statement: Please attach a Word document (.docx) or PDF with your professional biography that will be used on the ballot if you are selected as a candidate.

References: Please list contact information for a minimum of three (3) and a maximum of five (5) TESOL members who can serve as your reference. Please make sure to notify your designated references in advance. (Note: Please do not use as references current Nominating Committee members, current past president or current TESOL staff members. Also, please do not use more than one current or past board member. Finally, it is preferred that you do not use a reference who has already written letters for other current applicants.)


  1. EOIs must be submitted by June 1st.
  2. References are due by June 30th.
  3. Notification of results of EOI submissions will be by Aug. 15th. Additional information may be required at this time, including interviews and a video.
  4. Election process begins Oct. 15th and ends Nov 8th.
  5. The TESOL Executive Director will inform each candidate of the election outcome directly.

Please note: If elected, all conflicts of interest will need to be addressed. You will be asked to resign from leadership in any professional councils or other formal roles in TESOL International Association, avoid publishing for TESOL, serving as an editor for TESOL publications, and presenting for TESOL courses. You may have to forego royalties from currently promoted TESOL publications. See TESOL International Association Policy Manual (2019, p. 70) for more information.

Access the Expression of Interest Form

The deadline for completed EOI forms is midnight, U.S. Eastern time, 1 June 2020.
When you have completed your form, you should receive an email acknowledging your application. If you do not receive the acknowledgment or your have any questions, please contact Rita Buckner (phone: +1 703.518.2507).