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President-Elect Competencies and Responsibilities

The Nominating Committee is accepting applications from members of TESOL who wish to run for the president-elect position. The deadline for completed applications (EOI forms) is midnight, US Eastern time, 21 May 2018.

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 TESOL President-Elect, you must be
  • an active member of TESOL for the past eight (8) years by 1 June of the year for which his or her name will appear on the ballot
  • a director who has served on the TESOL Board of Directors
  • not a former President of TESOL
  • Not a full- or part-time employee of TESOL International Association 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

President-Elect Responsibilities

The president-elect serves for one (1) year as the second highest ranking officer within TESOL International Association before becoming president for one (1) year. Additionally, he or she serves one year as past president. Each position (President, President-Elect, and Past President) carries a unique set of tasks. The candidate must therefore be able to assume responsibility for all tasks as he or she rotates through the positions.

The president-elect serves on the Executive Committee and board of directors. The president-elect carries out his or her duties in collaboration with the Executive Committee and the board of directors. These duties include three core responsibilities:
  • Help set direction for the association: perform strategic thinking and planning, help set mission and vision, honor organizational values, promote positive public image, approve operational and annual plans
  • Help ensure resources for the association: hire capable executive leadership, help ensure adequate financial resources, capably engage the board of directors
  • Help provide oversight of the association: oversee financial management, minimize exposure to risk, measure progress on strategic plan, monitor programs and services, assume legal responsibility and provide ethical oversight, evaluate the CEO
Additional responsibilities include
  • preparing and presiding over meetings and conference calls
  • working closely with the president and executive director on ensuring implementation of the strategic goals
  • working with the president and executive director in acting as the spokesperson for TESOL International Association
  • fully participating in the work of the board of directors
  • representing the association at various affiliate and/or professional events
  • advocating for TESOL members in their professional contexts
  • responding to changes in the field of English language teaching (ELT)

What Competencies Are Needed to Perform the Role Well?


  • Be familiar with the Association’s mission, vision, values, and goals (strategic plan)
  • Understand the role and function of the association in advancing the ELT field
  • Understand the president-elect's specific responsibilities
  • Understand the distinct roles and responsibilities of TESOL staff and TESOL volunteers
  • Understand the association’s governance structure and policies
  • Know the Association's programs and services
  • Understand the needs of the association's members and stakeholders
  • Understand the ELT profession in different contexts
  • Recognize and anticipate opportunities and threats in the ELT field that may have direct implications for the association
  • Understand (or be willing to become familiar with) the authoritative literature on association leadership and governance



  • Ability to inspire and empower others
  • Ability to organize board tasks and delegate responsibilities
  • Understand the difference between managing and leading
  • Ability to effectively direct the association’s resources to achieve its goals and objectives
  • Understand what it means to govern

Strategic thinking

  • Ability to keep the big picture in mind and not allow self or others to be caught up in minutiae
  • 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 unsubstantiated opinions
  • 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 to address the audience's needs
  • Ability to effectively communicate with a culturally and linguistically diverse team of board members, leadership entities, TESOL members, and TESOL staff, orally and in writing
  • Ability to speak in front of small and large groups using both self-prepared and externally prepared material and with a professional demeanor
  • Ability to facilitate board meetings and discussions effectively, maintain focus on agenda, and keep discussions at a strategic level
  • Ability to achieve practical consensus in group discussions
  • Ability to advocate for the English language teaching professionals and for the profession

Decision Making

  • Ability to use logic and reasoning to identify issues as well as the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems
  • 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 with the executive director, board colleagues, and staff
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to interact with other board members in a group setting, both contributing to, and valuing the contributions of all members
  • Ability to provide feedback to the executive director on behalf of the board of directors

Analytical Skills

  • Ability to understand and analyze financial reports
  • Ability to review and analyze proposed budgets in light of association resources, strategic goals, and priorities
  • Ability to analyze reports of standing committees, task forces, etc. and comment on drafts of publications and other documents as appropriate


  • A variety of leadership experiences within the profession
  • :eadership experience within TESOL International Association
  • Thorough knowledge of association policies and procedures
  • Have experience interacting with diverse ELT professionals

What Is Expected of the Candidate?

It is expected that you
  • have a commitment to the purpose, mission, and values of the association
  • have a clear vision for the association that can move it forward
  • have a strong interest in working on the advancement of the association
  • help the board exercise proper stewardship of the association
  • have cultural awareness, understanding, and appreciation of different cultural needs
  • act morally and ethically in accordance with the association's values
  • avoid conflicts of interest
  • understand the need to base decisions on what is good for the association
  • accept accountability for group decisions so that the board of directors speaks with “one voice”
  • can dedicate 5–6 hours a week to your work during your years as president-elect and past-president, with potentially 8 or more hours per week during your year as president
  • be diplomatic yet honest and open in discussions with the executive director and the board of directors
  • prepare in advance for and attend meetings and conference calls and actively participate in all of them
  • maintain confidentiality
  • have institutional support for your service during your three years of presidency

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, 21 May 2018.

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 and 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.)

Leadership Training: List all your leadership training (within or outside TESOL International Association) starting with the most recent. Please include a brief description of each (type, focus and dates of service).

Leadership Experience Within the Profession: List roles and responsibilities that you consider relevant to the position, starting with the most recent.

Leadership Experiences in TESOL International Association or Affiliate: Please list the entities in which you played a leadership role, your role, and dates of service, starting with the most recent.

Key Qualities and Strengths: Describe the qualities and strengths (knowledge and skills) that you would bring to the president-elect position (350 words).

Areas of Growth: Please list the skills and competencies related to service as president-elect that you feel you need to strengthen (150 words).

Competency Statement: Describe how you have demonstrated the knowledge and skills needed for the president-elect position (450 words).

Biographical Statement: Please submit a short professional biography (300 words).

Statement of Understanding: Describe your understanding of the president role (200 words).

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.)

Access the Expression of Interest Form

The deadline for completed EOI forms is midnight, US Eastern time, 21 May 2018.

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).