Help Shape AAR Leadership

Nominate Candidates for the Board of Directors

Members shape AAR’s leadership. The opportunity to influence the direction of the organization in this way is an often-overlooked benefit of AAR membership. Each year, members may nominate candidates—even themselves—for positions on the AAR Board of Directors.

Board elections happen each year for open board positions. In September of this year, AAR membership will be voting to elect new board members (Vice-President, Secretary, Contingent Faculty Director, Regional Director) whose terms will begin at the close of this year’s Annual Meeting. These candidates were nominated last year. Now is the time to nominate members who could become candidates in the 2021 election for the AAR Board of Directors. 

The call for 2021 AAR Board of Directors nominations is open through September 1, 2020. Not all board positions are open for election each year. This year, AAR members may nominate candidates for Vice President, Treasurer, At-Large Director, Status Committee Director, and Student Director. The members elected this fall, as well as those members elected in 2021 as a result of this call for nominations, will guide the AAR into fulfilling its mission for the future.

President José Cabezón emphasizes the benefits of holding a board position: “Serving on the AAR Board Directors is an opportunity to learn about the organization and to contribute to its direction. It is a wonderful chance to get a broad perspective on the field. We need representation from all areas of religious studies. Please consider nominating someone.”

Secretary Kimberly Rae Connor highlights the role of the professional guild throughout her entire career: “I wanted to serve on the board because I felt obliged. I had benefitted as a student and an academic professional from my relationship with and service for the AAR. I was introduced to opportunities unavailable to me elsewhere to develop my skills and share my talents. Many things have changed over the course of my academic career but the AAR has always been there.”

Board positions open for election differ each year. Board members whose terms end this November are: President José Cabezón, Secretary Kimberly Rae Connor, Contingent Faculty Director Kerry Danner, and Regions Director Katherine Downey. Presidential line board members move into new roles after a year of service; President-elect Marla Frederick will become President and Vice President Mayra Rivera will become President-elect. Current board members continuing this November include Treasurer Randall Styers, At-Large Director Stacey Floyd-Thomas, At-Large Director Amir Hussain, Program Unit Director Whitney Bauman, Status Committee Director Zayn Kassam, and Student Director Aarti Patel.

AAR members can nominate someone using this form. All nominations must be received by Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 11:59 Eastern Time and must include the following materials:

  • A brief 200-word biographical sketch
  • A statement (450–500 words) on the nominee’s objectives and goals for the position
  • A current curriculum vitae

In addition to board nominations, the AAR seeks nominations for AAR Ombudspersons who are elected to work with the Committee on Professional Conduct to uphold AAR’s professional conduct policies. AAR Ombudspersons are responsible for receiving reports of professional misconduct and facilitating the investigation, adjudication, and informal resolution processes under the Professional Conduct Policy. The Ombudspersons serve in staggered three-year terms and are elected by the AAR membership. As with board nominations, members may self-nominate or nominate others.

If you know of someone who thinks strategically and might have a positive impact on AAR’s future, please nominate them for a leadership position. 

“This is the time to consider those who could have the most impact on the guild issues you care about most,” says Executive Director Alice Hunt.