The American Geophysical Union (AGU) Governance Committee and section/focus group officers are pleased to announce the slate of candidates for the 2016 AGU election, which opens on 29 August and is to choose leaders to serve in 2017–2018. Names of candidates for the AGU Board of Directors, the student and early-career members of the AGU Council, and section/focus group presidents-elect and secretaries are posted online at

Voting Is for AGU Members

Voting is a right of membership. To be eligible to vote in the 2016 AGU election, you must be a member in good standing, which requires joining or renewing your membership by 1 August 2016. In addition to paying your dues, please go online and ensure that your section/focus group affiliations are up to date. AGU allows members to belong to as many sections/focus groups as desired to encourage interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research. Each member will be provided the opportunity to vote for AGU Board members, student and early-career positions of the Council, and leaders of all sections/focus groups with which they are affiliated.


AGU bylaws require that the proposed slates be announced to the membership 30 days before the ballot is finalized. The bylaws also allow for additional nominations from the general membership by petition, provided that each petition is signed by at least 1% of the full voting members of the Union or section/focus group, as appropriate. This year petitions must be received no later than 6 June. Each nominee must be an AGU member and provide a letter with the petition agreeing to serve if elected. Please send petitions to Carol Finn, Past President, AGU, 2000 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009, USA, or send them by email to

The election will be held from 29 August through 27 September 2016.

The Governance Committee plans to announce the final ballot on the AGU website by early July. The election will be held from 29 August through 27 September 2016. Election results will be announced in October, and newly elected members of the Board and Council will be invited to observe Board and Council meetings held in conjunction with Fall Meeting in San Francisco. Elected members will serve 2 years, from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2018.

Emails with election information will go out to all eligible voters beginning in August. It is important for members to vote and provide feedback on the voting process so that Governance Committee members and staff can continue to improve the voting experience for our members.

AGU Board of Directors Candidates

Board candidates will compete for four open positions on the Board in this year’s election: president-elect and three directors. AGU’s rotation strategy is designed to retain about 50% of elected members each term to ensure leadership continuity. Continuing members for the 2017–2018 term include the current AGU president and president-elect in their new positions, the international and general secretaries, three directors, and the executive director/CEO (nonvoting).

AGU Council Student and Early-Career Candidates

There are six permanent positions for student and early-career members on the AGU Council. The Governance Committee invited volunteer leaders familiar with AGU’s governance structure to submit nominations for two open student and early-career positions. Four student and early-career members will continue for a second term.

Section/Focus Group Candidates

Each section/focus group selects its president-elect and secretary candidates. The current presidents-elect will move up to assume the president position, ensuring leadership continuity. Some sections/focus groups also asked current secretaries to serve a second term.

Section/focus group presidents and presidents-elect serve as members of the AGU Council, along with the AGU president-elect, the chairs of three standing committees (Honors and Recognition, Meetings, and Publications), six students and early-career scientists, the AGU president (nonvoting), the executive director/CEO (nonvoting), and up to five at-large appointed positions.

Leadership for the Future

The AGU Governance Committee is charged with identifying and developing leadership within AGU to advance the strategic plan and strengthen the governance model. This year, the committee, chaired by Carol Finn, AGU past president, adapted the highly successful process used to select student and early-career candidates in the past two elections to create a new process for nominating Board directors.

A new process for nominating Board directors … resulted in the deepest pool of qualified candidates in the history of AGU.

Current AGU leaders were asked to identify potential Board candidates, and those who met the leadership criteria were invited to apply. This resulted in the deepest pool of qualified candidates in the history of AGU. Governance Committee members then interviewed selected candidates before finalizing the slate. Candidates not on the ballot will be asked to consider serving in other leadership positions.

The Governance Committee’s six members are Julie Brigham-Grette, Mary Anne Carroll, Hans Lechner, Catherine McCammon, Holm Tiessen, and George Tsoflias.

Renew Your Membership (If Needed) and Vote

AGU is offering a strong slate of candidates for 2017–2018 positions. Please exercise your right to influence the organization’s decisions and its future by making certain your membership is current now and by voting in late August for the candidates you feel are the most qualified to lead our Union.

—Carol Finn, AGU Past President and Governance Committee Chair;

Citation: Finn, C. (2016), Upcoming leadership elections, Eos, 97, doi:10.1029/2016EO052157. Published on 10 May 2016.

Text © 2016. The authors. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
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