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Every Vote Counts: Final Slate for 2018 AGU Elections

Voting is a right of membership, and your vote is important! Make sure your membership is up to date so that you are eligible to vote.


Every 2 years, American Geophysical Union (AGU) members elect the people who will lead the organization for the next 4 or more years. These volunteer leaders commit to advancing the mission, vision, goals, and core values outlined in AGU’s strategic plan and to upholding AGU’s ethics policy. Elected AGU leaders play an essential role in decisions on how to serve and engage members in AGU.

Leaders elected this year begin their service on 1 January 2019, serving during AGU’s Centennial celebration in 2019. The Centennial offers an opportunity to amplify the accomplishments and stories of the last 100 years to build support for the next 100 years of discoveries and solution, as well as creating greater awareness and appreciation of Earth and space science among policy makers, media, current and prospective funders, and the public.

All regular and student members who join AGU or renew their AGU membership by 1 August 2018 will be eligible to vote in this year’s election.

When Do the Polls Open?

The 2018 AGU election will be held from 27 August through 25 September, allowing members 30 days to vote. Please mark your calendar and plan now to cast your votes for these critical leadership positions. This is a great opportunity for you to make your voice heard.

How Many Ballots Will I Receive?

There are three types of ballots for the 2018 AGU election: candidates for the AGU Board of Directors, student and early-career candidates for the AGU Council, and candidates for section president-elect and secretary positions. AGU has a paired-slate philosophy, so two candidates are required for each open position.

All members will receive ballots for the Board (6 positions, 12 candidates) and student and early-career positions (4 positions, 8 candidates). Members will also receive a ballot for every section to which they belong.

How Long Does Voting Take?

Submitting your votes is faster and easier than ever with our new online voting site. Get a head start on the election before the polls open by familiarizing yourself with the ballots now and reviewing the candidate information. Once you receive your log-in email from Survey and Ballot Systems (SBS) at the end of August (check your inbox for [email protected]), just click the link, select a ballot for the AGU-wide offices or for one of your sections, mark the candidates of your choice, and hit the Submit button. This process will take just a few minutes per ballot, especially if you’ve already read the candidate information before logging in. You will also be given an option to review the candidate information from the voting site. It’s important to know that you can exercise your vote for just one ballot or for all the ballots you receive.

What Is the Easiest Way for Members to Participate?

This year’s election features 114 candidates for 57 open positions. That sounds like a lot, but you have the option to vote for only the positions that matter most to you. Here are some tips for navigating the ballots and casting votes.

  1. Identify the positions for which are you are eligible to vote, including the AGU Board, student and early-career positions on the Council, and the officers of the sections to which you belong.
  2. Read about the candidates for those positions online, and decide which candidates you prefer.
  3. Watch for the email with your log-in information from AGU’s election vendor, SBS, starting 27 August. The log-in email will come from AGU Election Coordinator, [email protected], and will contain a personalized link for you to vote. Once you are logged in, you will be presented with a menu of all the ballots you are eligible to receive. If you have any questions, you can contact SBS from the voting site or the AGU Member Center.
  4. Cast your votes. You can vote in one log-in session or in multiple sessions. The online voting site will allow you to submit votes one ballot at a time until the election closes on 25 September.

Who Is Eligible to Vote?

All regular and student members who join AGU or renew their AGU membership by 1 August 2018 will be eligible to vote in this year’s election. Please log in to to ensure that your membership and section affiliations are up to date.

What Information Is Provided About Candidates?

Each candidate has provided a photo and brief biographical sketch, including a summary of relevant volunteer experience and a short CV. In addition, candidates were asked to reply to a specific question about AGU so that voters could gain perspective on the candidates’ views of organizational challenges and opportunities.

The ballot also includes information on continuing volunteer leaders so that voters have a complete picture of the diversity represented in the Board, in the Council, and in section leadership.

How Were the Candidates on the Ballot Selected?

The Leadership Development/Governance Committee, which I chaired, selected the candidates for the Board and student and early-career candidates on the basis of recommendations from current and past volunteer leaders and AGU staff. Criteria for selection of Board candidates included demonstrated leadership skills and experience in dealing with challenges AGU faces now and will face in the near future. The committee was also committed to ensuring a diversity of perspectives in the composition of the overall Board and interviewed potential candidates before making its final selections for the ballot.

Each section is responsible for selecting its candidates. Sections determine their own selection criteria and processes for choosing candidates, with assistance from the Leadership Development/Governance Committee as requested.

Members at large are also given the opportunity via a petition process to nominate additional candidates. No nominations were received.

In keeping with AGU’s commitment to advancing scientific ethics, committee members agreed to implement AGU’s revised Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics policy in the nomination and selection process for the 2018 AGU Election. All candidates on the ballot have read AGU’s conflict of interest and ethics policies and submitted disclosure forms.

When Will the Election Results Be Announced?

As soon as the election closes, the Leadership Development/Governance Committee will initiate a process to verify the results and notify all candidates. We anticipate that all candidates will be contacted and the results publicly announced in mid-October.

How Can I Participate?

  • Log in to and ensure that your 2018 membership and section affiliations are current before 1 August.
  • Watch your email on 27 August for instructions from AGU’s election vendor, SBS, or go to and click the button to receive a personalized link to the ballot.
  • Identify the ballots you are eligible to receive and take a few minutes now to familiarize yourself with the candidates.
  • Vote and let your voice be heard!

—Margaret Leinen (email: [email protected]), Past President and Chair, Leadership Development/Governance Committee, AGU

Citation: Leinen, M. (2018), Every vote counts: Final slate for 2018 AGU elections, Eos, 99, Published on 17 July 2018.
Text © 2018. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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