Electing Section Leaders

How Do We Choose the Best Section Leaders?   

Leaders are selected biannually from among a Section’s membership. ASPEN’s President-Elect will appoint a Chair-Elect from the Section’s Leadership Council, a group of three people who has been identified by the current Chair and Chair-Elect as future leaders within that Section.

Leadership succession is critical.    

While arguments can be made for the value of retaining an experienced leader who has held a top leadership position for an extended period of time, research consistently shows that the longer the leadership remains unchanged the less likely others will seek election. With this in mind, Section terms for officers are limited to a two-year non-renewable term. Once the Section chair’s term is up, the chair-elect becomes chair under the same terms. 

What leaders do we need?   

Sections are member groups and therefore are only required to fill five positions: Chair, Chair-elect and the Leadership Council (three or more people). Each Section may decide to have a Secretary and subcommittees.  Once elected, the Section Chair may appoint various subcommittees to carry on the work of the Sections. Recommended position descriptions are provided. 

How do we choose our leaders? 

Every other year, ASPEN’s President and President-Elect will appoint each Section’s Chair and Chair-Elect. All Section leaders must be members in good standing as well as a member of the Section. All terms shall be two years in duration, which provides continuity and stability as well as the opportunity for new, emerging leaders to make a positive impact on the Section with fresh ideas and energy. Terms would start at Clinical Nutrition Week. Each Section’s Chair and Chair-Elect must then appoint a Leadership Council of three or more people; these individuals should be recommended by Section members or should volunteer themselves, and should expect to assume the Chair-Elect and Chair roles in the future. The deadline for Leadership Council appointments is April 1.  

For a newly petitioned Section: when a Section is formed, an acting (interim) chair should be selected by majority of the forming group. 

Can a leader be removed? 

Any Section Chair, regardless of the manner of election or appointment, may be removed by the ASPEN Board of Directors. The ASPEN Board of Directors will provide the Chair to be removed notice of the meeting date and time at which a decision for removal is to be made, and will be given an opportunity to be heard prior to the final decision.


Section Chairs  

1. Shall be the principal Section spokesperson. 

2. Shall call and preside at all Section meetings, including the Section business meeting at CNW.

3. Shall respond to requests from ASPEN for Section information in a timely manner, including Section work plans. 

4. Shall report to the Section Affairs Subcommittee and attend the annual Section Leaders Meeting at CNW. 

5. Shall work with the Chair-Elect to appoint a Leadership Council of three or more people. 

6. Shall ensure that required communications are provided to Section members. 

7. Shall foster membership and active participation in the Section. 

8. Shall ensure that Section initiatives and work projects remain on task and are delivered on time. 

9. Shall communicate and consult often with the Chair-Elect to ensure a smooth transition and continuity.

10. Shall seek advice and suggestions from the Leadership Council so that the Section is seeking to meet the needs of its members.

11. Shall collaborate with the Director of Membership related to review and approval by EPD of Section CNW education offerings. 

12. Ensure that all Section activities comply with ASPEN’s mission, principles, and programs.

Section Chair-Elect  

1. Shall assist the Chair in the execution of the duties of the Chair. 

2. Shall, in the absence of the Chair or in the event of the Chair's inability or refusal to act, perform the duties of the Chair. 

3. Shall work with the Chair to appoint a Leadership Council of three or more people. 

4. Shall attend the Section Leaders Meeting at CNW. 

5. Shall focus on identifying leadership and talent in the Section membership. 

6. Shall foster membership and active participation in the Section. 

7. Shall keep an open line of communication with both the Chair and the Leadership Council in order to adequately prepare for and ensure continuity in leadership and strategic direction.

Section Leadership Council  

1. Shall act as an advisory board for the Chair and Chair-Elect by offering ideas, suggestions, and advice for Section activities. 

2. Shall foster membership and active participation in the Section. 

3. Shall be comprised of potential future leaders within the Section to ensure continuity.