NAIS Board of Trustees

The NAIS Board of Trustees, made up of 20 individuals, addresses its fiduciary, strategic, and generative duties, led by the officers and the executive committee.

The full board meets three times a year, in Washington in June and November, and before the NAIS Annual Conference in late February or early March. The six committees of the board meet by teleconference. 

The NAIS Board of Trustees is committed to diversity and actively seeks those belonging to underrepresented populations.

View the current NAIS board of trustees

The call for nominations for the NAIS Board of Trustees' Class of 2022 will open on July 1, 2018. Submit your nomination by September 25, 2018! Nominations and supporting materials received after the deadline will not be accepted.

Process for the Call for Nominations

The NAIS Board of Trustees issues an annual call for nominations each July for a class of trustees who will serve a three-year term commencing at the following year’s Annual Meeting. All individuals are welcome to nominate a trustee and anyone can be a trustee, although the Governance Committee is likely to consider the individual’s ties to the school world and whether they are consistent with the NAIS mission.
Once a nominee has been entered into the system, the candidate must complete the information form, which includes educational background, resume information, statements of interest, optional demographic information, and reference contact information. The reference will be contacted to provide a statement in support of the candidate’s nomination. The candidate’s profile is not complete until both the candidate information and the reference statement are in the system.
The Governance Committee reviews all complete nominations and makes recommendations to the full board at its November meeting. The final slate is then subject to a vote by the membership at the NAIS Annual Meeting at the NAIS Annual Conference.

Proposed Criteria for the Class of 2022 (to be elected in March 2019)

When considering candidates for the NAIS Board of Trustees, the Governance Committee is seeking future-focused leaders who are actively engaged with the numerous dynamic opportunities in the changing landscape of independent schools (examples: reimagining schools, student health and well-being, and equity and inclusion). We strongly encourage women, people of color, trustees, other education thought leaders in and outside the independent school world, and people who have come to independent school headship from other industries.

Steps for Submitting Nominations

1. To submit a nomination for yourself:
  • Submit your nomination by September 25, 2018. Note that you will be prompted to create an account in order to submit your form. Your login and password for this website is not the same as your NAIS login and password.
  • Complete and submit your Candidate Information Form. The Candidate Information Form includes the following sections: contact information; demographic information; comments on your interest in serving on the board; and resume including key skills, work history, education, and professional affiliations. These sections have a size limit of up to 250 words each, so please make sure to save your information in a Word document before copying and pasting it into the form.
  • Reference Request: You will be asked to submit the name and email address of one person who can serve as your reference. Once you submit this form, your reference will receive an email from our nominations system, BigPulse, notifying them about your nomination for the NAIS board. The reference comments can be up to 250 words.
  • Your reference must submit a Reference Form by September 25 for your nomination to be complete. You may return to your account to check if your reference submitted the Reference Form and if they have not, please encourage them to do so by September 25.
  • Note that only those nominations that are complete by September 25 will be taken into consideration and will be reviewed by the NAIS board. Complete nominations must include a Candidate Information Form (submitted by the candidate) as well as a Reference Form (submitted by the reference). We encourage you to return to the nominations platform prior to the September 25 deadline to check if your nomination is complete, and if not, you will be able to submit all required forms and remind your reference to submit the Reference Form by the deadline.
2. To submit a nomination for someone else:
  • Submit a nominationThe candidate will receive an email from NAIS notifying him/her about the nomination.
  • If the candidate you're nominating is interested in being considered to serve on the NAIS Board of Trustees, he/she must submit a Candidate Information Form and Reference Request and his/her reference must submit a Reference Form, all by the deadline of September 25. Incomplete nominations will not be considered.
  • Note that your nomination is simply a nomination and it will not serve as a reference for the candidate. If the candidate wishes you to be his/her reference, he/she will request this through the Reference Request form and you will receive an email with a link to where you can submit the Reference Form.
  • If the candidate you're nominating is not interested in being considered to serve on the NAIS Board of Trustees, no further action is required.

Timetable for the NAIS Board Nomination and Election Process

  • June: The NAIS Governance Committee reviews strategic priorities for the next three years and factors them into criteria articulated for nominees. Committee chair announces call for nominations to be disseminated in July. After soliciting comments from the board at large and in consultation with the NAIS president, the NAIS board chair makes a recommendation to the Governance Committee on the next slate of officers. While anyone on the board can serve as an officer, typically officers come from the ranks of current committee and task force chairs who have already demonstrated effective leadership. New trustees attend their board orientation.
  • July: The Call for Nominations opens.
  • September: September 25 is the deadline for the completion of all nominations and supporting information. Confidential Governance Committee teleconference vetting of the nominations comparing nominees’ skills with expertise sought by the board (the criteria). A Governance Committee subgroup of two conducts conference call interviews with candidates on the short list to ascertain level of interest in serving and availability to attend all of the next year’s meetings.
  • November: NAIS Governance Committee determines slate of the new class of board members and reports out to full board. Board votes approval of the slate. Governance Committee chair calls candidates to confirm their willingness to serve. Board administrator informs other nominees that they will not be on this year’s slate and encourages them to remain in the pool for up to three years.
  • January: Executive Committee assigns mentors to the next class of new trustees and makes committee assignments for the coming year for all board members, attempting to balance individual trustee preference and expertise with the board's needs.
  • March: At the NAIS Annual Meeting of the Membership (roughly March 1 of each year, during the NAIS Annual Conference), the NAIS membership elects the coming year’s class of trustees and officers. New trustees attend their first board meeting.


Contact Cheryl Thibideau, executive assistant, at