SCBNA Board of Directors – Role Descriptions

The Society for Conservation Biology is an international professional organization dedicated to advancing the science and practice of conserving the Earth’s biological diversity. While our historical roots were founded in the field of biology, we recognize that conservation in today’s complex world requires a globalized approach that maximizes collaboration amongst professionals from all fields.

The SCB North America (SCBNA) section represents the United States and Canada and works with other regional sections to achieve our common goal of advancing conservation practices. SCBNA envisions a world where people share diverse views of the value of diversity of life on Earth, and collaboratively work toward conservation among these plural understandings. We conceive of SCBNA as a diverse community of conservation professionals, practitioners, and stakeholders, and a leading scientific voice for the study and conservation of Earth’s biological diversity.

SCBNA is led by the board of directors that is nominated and elected by its members. We are especially interested in increasing equity and inclusion at all levels, including on the board, and we encourage nominations of individuals from historically underrepresented groups. Every board member attends one in-person meeting (financial support for travel is available) and 4-5 virtual SCBNA Board meetings per year plus performs committee work (e.g., meetings, writing). If cost of membership is a deterrent to nomination, the board will consider covering membership fees for successful nominees.

The following are the current SCBNA board positions and their respective descriptions:

President Series (6-year term: 2 as President-Elect, 2 as President, 2 as Past-President)
  • President-Elect
    • (2-year term)
    • The President-Elect serves on the Executive Committee of the SCBNA Board, chairs the Conference Committee, and provides support for the President, including filling in as needed.  Chairing the conference committee includes playing a significant role in selecting the location for the upcoming NACCB as well as co-chairing the organizing committee for that meeting. Nominees for this position must have previously served on the SCBNA Board or another SCB Board (e.g., working group or SCB global board).
  • President
    • (2-year term)
    • The President provides leadership of the organization and the North America (NA) Board, as well as supervising NA staff and serving as the NA representative to the SCB Board of Governors. This includes attending both SCB Board of Governors and leading SCBNA Board meetings. During the transition, the President also serves on the newly formed Regional Council, which will replace the SCB Board of Governors by 2026.
  • Past-President
    • (2-year term)
    • The Past President provides support to the President providing institutional knowledge and support for the transition.

Treasurer

(3-year term)

To represent the wider membership of SCBNA at a board level and to serve on the executive committee of the board. The Treasurer maintains accounts, oversees section financial interests, and participates regularly in quarterly board calls and meetings.This position requires either financial management experience and/or previous service on the SCBNA board.

Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Officer

(3-year term)

The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer serves on the Executive Committee of the SCBNA Board, chairs the standing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, and participates regularly in quarterly board calls and meetings. The DEI Officer facilitates and carries out initiatives designed to promote equity, inclusion and diversity within SCBNA, and works to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion in the field of Conservation across all levels. This includes both mainstreaming diversity, equity and inclusion in all regular tasks and events (such as the biennial North American Congress for Conservation Biology) and carrying out special projects intended to mainstream diversity, equity and inclusion across the field of research and practice. The position requires exposure and experience in dealing with and addressing issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in an institutional setting. We acknowledge that no one candidate will be able to fully understand and anticipate all experiences and impacts relevant for this role, so the position requires someone willing to work broadly across the board and society at large. The DEI Officer will also engage with the SCB Global DEI Officer and serve on the global DEI committee as we move towards 2026.

Vice President for Policy & Programs

(3-year term)

To represent the wider membership of SCBNA at a board level and to assist in board activity as required. This position chairs the standing Policy Committee and participates regularly in quarterly board calls and meetings. The position requires experience and enthusiasm in conservation policy, including preparing policy statements, reviewing proposed statements submitted for consideration by members of SCB, and collaborating with other scientific societies in the policy arena.

Vice President for Education & Chapters

(3-year term)

To represent the wider membership of SCBNA at a board level and to assist in board activity as required. This position chairs the standing Education and Chapters Committee and participatesregularly in quarterly board calls and meetings. This position requires carrying out initiatives designed to promote the education—at all levels, including preparatory and continuing of the public, of biologists, and of managers in the principles and practices of conservation biology, and shall administer the student awards program.

Chapters Representative

(2-3 year term; must be a current or past member of an SCB chapter)

Currently, the SCBNA Chapters Representative serves as the North America (NA) Section Representative alongside other section representatives on the global SCB Chapters Committee (https://conbio.org/about-scb/who-we-are/committees/chapters).  As part of this role, one participates in chapters committee quarterly board calls and meetings and provides support to NA-based chapters through assisting with the chapter registration and/or new chapter formation processes, organizing chapter-focused events, programming and financial support at SCBNA’s biennial conferences, and communicating with chapters about other opportunities and resources available to Chapters. The Chapters representative also chairs the ad hoc North America Chapters Committee, which works to support NA chapters through the activities described above and maintains the NA Chapters webpage on the SCBNA website.

Student Representative

(2-3-year term; must be a student at the time of election in conservation biology or a closely related field and attending an accredited university or college)

The Student Representative chairs the ad hoc Student Affairs Committee, which organizes programs and events targeting undergraduates, graduates, and early career professionals in conservation or adjacent fields – some examples include a webinar series and programming at biennial conferences. The Student Representative also participates regularly in quarterly board calls and meetings. The Student Representative may also be involved in developing and organizing programming and conference planning for NACCB.

Member at Large

(2-3 year term)

There are two Members at large positions on the SCBNA Board of Directors. Members at large participate in quarterly board calls and meetings, and often participate on one or more SCBNA committees. The Member at Large position is an accessible point of entry into board service for those who have never served on a board.