Erika Castaño, Candidate for Nominating Committee

Professional Experience:  Digital Archivist, University of Arizona Special Collections (2008‒present); Curator for the Oregon Multicultural Archives, Oregon State University (2004‒2008).

Education:  MS in Information and Library Science, Knowledge River Program, University of Arizona (2004). BA in Spanish Language and Literature, University of Arizona (2000).

Professional Activities:  Society of American Archivists: Member since 2004; Diversity Committee (2010‒2012); Waldo Gifford Leland Award Committee 2007‒2010, Chair, 2009‒2010; 2011 Annual Meeting Speaker, Session #604, “Fostering a Diverse Profession: Mentoring and Internship Programs, Experiences at the University of Arizona Libraries.”  Northwest Archivists, Inc.: Treasurer (2007‒2009); Program Committee for 2006 Annual Meeting in Moscow, Idaho.  Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums 2009 National Conference: Member, Conference, Program, and Awards Committees.

Other Activities:  Archives Leadership Institute, 2008. 

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Question posed by the Nominating Committee: An essential component of the nomination and election process is identification of new leaders within SAA who embody the diversity of the archives profession. Describe what you believe to be the core responsibility of the members of the Nominating Committee, and outline your ideas for identifying the next generation of SAA leaders to ensure that new or distinctive voices and perspectives contribute to the future of the profession.

The core responsibility for the Nominating Committee is to identify and connect individuals who have the talent and desire to advance the organization and the profession forward. I believe that this can be achieved through the activities of advocacy, awareness, and transparency.

In many respects, the activities that the committee undertakes are similar to the strategic directions of the Society. Committee members should be advocates for the Society as an organization as well as the needs of its members. The ability to articulate the needs of the Society and its members, and communicate those needs to potential leaders, will be essential for the Nominating Committee. The committee should also be aware and recognize the spectrum of voices that have emerged through the use of social media and other modes of communication,  identifying members who have passion, desire, and drive, and connect them with leadership opportunities  that will enhance our organization  overall. Finally, I think the idea of trying to make the Nominating Committee work at being as transparent as possible will provide members with insight into the direction that the Society is heading and demystify the process and the notion that leadership is a closed process. The committee can show that the process of identifying new and emerging leaders is a participatory process—one where many voices can and should be reflected.