Governance Committee

The Governance Committee shall:

  1. lead the Board of Governors in regular reviews of its roles and responsibilities, and of expectations of individual members,
  2. prepare slates of nominees for elected offices of the Board of Governors, and
  3. work with new and current members of the Board of Governors to assess and maximize effectiveness. 


The Governance Committee is a standing committee of the Board responsible for ongoing review and recommendations to enhance the effectiveness of the Board, and to recruit and nominate new Board members well suited to meeting the current and future goals of the Society. Our bylaws require that this committee comprises two past presidents and additional members who can help identify candidates for officers and the Board of Governors, particularly people who have a wide range of contacts among SCB members.

Committee Members
Richard Kingsford Chair
Eleanor Sterling  
James Watson  

Terms of Reference 

Revised: October 15, 2014

The Governance Committee is Chaired by the immediate past president of SCB, who serves for an additional two years as a member of the Committee. The Committee may consult Senior Advisors when the committee is considering issues where institutional memory would be helpful.

Roles and responsibilities of the Governance Committee:

1.  Define board roles and responsibilities

  • Lead board in regularly reviewing and updating the board’s description of roles and areas of responsibility
  • Lead board in regularly reviewing expectations of individual board members

2.  Monitor board expertise and experience

  • Lead board in assessing current and anticipated needs related to board composition, determining the knowledge, skills, and other attributes such as access to resources that the board will need to accomplish its future work.
  • Identify potential candidates for board positions. The Governance Committee will use questionnaires and interviews to screen candidates. The GC will first consider only persons who are (1) passionate about SCB’s mission of promoting conservation science and practice and developing global and regional communities of conservation practitioners, and (2) are willing to commit at least 50-100 hours per year to SCB business. From among these persons, the GC will strive to identify persons with good problem-solving and analytic skills, and any specific skills (e.g., budgeting, finance, organizational development) that are currently lacking on the Board.
  • Work with board committees to evaluate long term needs for skills and expertise to meet the goals of the Society.
  • Nominate individuals to be candidates for election to the board

3.  Develop professional capacity of the board

  • Design and oversee a process of board orientation.
  • Design and oversees an ongoing program of board education and information sharing

4.  Assess board effectiveness

  • Periodically assist the board in a self evaluation process, and propose changes in board structure and operation as appropriate.
  • Regularly review the board’s practices regarding member participation, conflict of interest, confidentiality, and suggest needed improvements.
  • Periodically review and update board policy and practices.

5.  Plan for future board leadership

  • Take the lead in succession planning, taking steps to recruit and prepare future board leadership.