Accomplishing More Together: Volunteer to Serve on an SAA Appointed Group

By Michelle Light, SAA Vice President/President-Elect

How has SAA touched your life? Perhaps you’ve been inspired after hearing from innovative archivists at an Annual Meeting, learned practical skills in an education course that helped you become more effective in your job, found and connected with colleagues around the country on a section discussion list, or gained new perspectives from reading an article in American Archivist. SAA remains a vibrant and relevant organization because members contribute their time and expertise to benefit the profession. Volunteers ensure that SAA remains responsive to your professional needs and interests.  

Now is your chance to help! SAA is seeking volunteers to join several committees and boards to shape their direction and activities. By volunteering to serve, you can make a difference and influence the development of the profession in lasting ways. There are more than 350 appointed leadership positions in SAA, with approximately a third turning over each year. Look below to see the available vacancies.

SAA succeeds as a member-driven organization because so many members volunteer to ensure that its activities support both members’ and the profession’s needs. Getting involved has many benefits, including:

  • Meeting new people and expanding your professional network;
  • Having a seat at the table to influence and guide SAA’s work  for the profession on a variety of fronts; and
  • Growing and learning as you add professional service to your resume. We certainly accomplish more together!

How to Volunteer

Browse the list of appointments available. If you’re not familiar with the group or position, visit the SAA website to review the group’s description and check out their recent work. If you would like to talk to someone about the group, look for the group’s roster and reach out to a current member. There is a wide range of possibilities, and you’ll find descriptions, microsites, and rosters of the groups here.

Identify one or two positions that really interest you, and apply for them using the volunteer form. I’d suggest that you resist the temptation to apply for everything. Instead, volunteer for a group in which you will actively apply your passion and expertise. Encourage friends and colleagues to volunteer, too.

If there are more volunteers than appointed positions available—which unfortunately is often the case—there are other ways to get involved, especially volunteering for service in your favorite Section! Every year, many Sections struggle to find volunteers to run for elected positions. If you don’t get appointed to a position, volunteer to serve in your Section to build your leadership and service portfolio. 

The Appointments Process

As the current SAA Vice President/President-Elect, it is my privilege and honor to make appointments for all 2019-2020 vacancies. An Appointments Committee helps me in this task. Serving on this year’s Appointments Committee are Chair Rachel Onuf (Vermont State Archives & Records Administration) and committee members Krystal Appiah (University of Virginia Library), Robert Horton (Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History), Rebecca Leung (Mills College), Jamie Martin (IBM Corporation Archives), and Dawn Schmitz (University of North Carolina, Charlotte).

The Appointments Committee will review the lists of vacancies and volunteers, consult with current group leaders to learn about the needs of each group, and make their recommendations to me. We will follow SAA’s long-standing policy of making appointments that reflect the diversity of our membership, including years in the profession, race and ethnicity, gender, geographic region, and type of archival repository. To ensure that as many of our enthusiastic members as possible can gain experience as an appointed leader, individuals will be appointed to no more than one position at a time, and current leaders will not be reappointed to a second term unless there is a critical requirement to continue some aspect of the work beyond their original term. It will be my responsibility to make all final appointment decisions.

I hope you’ll put your name forward as a volunteer and encourage a talented colleague to do so as well. For the good of your career, SAA, and the entire profession, get involved and become one of SAA’s next leaders. I look forward to the possibility of working with you!

Appointments Available in 2019–2020

The following groups will have vacancies beginning in August 2019. (The number of vacancies is indicated in parentheses.) Review descriptions of the groups and then volunteer to serve

Application Deadline: January 18, 2019


To Volunteer

To volunteer, log in and submit the self-nomination form by January 18, 2019. You may save changes and come back to this form; you may also change or resubmit information. SAA membership is required both to view the self-nomination form and to be appointed to an SAA group.

The application requires quite a bit of information so that the Committee can make sound recommendations. This process can be competitive, so please send your strongest highlights that relate to the position for which you’re applying. 

Questions? Send them to

Self Nomination Form

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