Serving Together and Serving Each Other: Call for SAA Leader Self-Nominations

Terry Baxter, SAA Vice-President/President-Elect

Greetings, friends! The Society of American Archivists (SAA) accomplishes so much each year, and it’s due in large part to our many motivated, hardworking leaders that make it all happen.

In my experience, volunteering with SAA is not service to an organization. It is service to each other, freely given with the goal of building something together that lifts all of us up. It is not the only way archivists build for the future, but it is a valuable one that helps bind us together in solidarity.

SAA leaders in a variety of component groups volunteer their time, energy, creativity, knowledge, and personalities to get things done. We are not in this to add another line to our résumés. There is so much to do and so many talented folks in our Society who want to do that work.

As you consider volunteering for SAA leadership, think of the future. What do you want archivists and archives to look like in five years? What skills, perspectives, ambitions, or connections do you have that could help move our Society toward that vision? And which positions would make the best vehicle for making that change? I recommend looking at positions that connect with your interests and desires and that would benefit from your unique attributes.

How to Volunteer / The Appointments Process

For the 2022 appointments cycle, there are more than 80 positions to be filled across SAA’s 25+ appointed groups, which include boards, committees, subcommittees, task forces, and working groups. Review the list of available positions below and choose up to five groups for which you feel interested and compelled to serve. Then, submit your leadership self-nomination form by December 15, 2021.

There are many ways to learn more about an SAA group before applying. Check the group’s microsite for recent information and the current leadership roster. Ask current group members about their experiences, the time commitment, ebbs and flows in the work, and relationships to other component groups. SAA’s Leader Resources page also has great information about the general responsibilities of leadership positions.

Thankfully, I will not be alone in the appointments process! I am so glad to have the Appointments Committee to provide valuable insight and assistance for this important work. I’m happy to introduce the following members of the 2022 Appointments Committee: Selena Ortego-Chiolero (chair), Steven Booth, Courtney Dean, Brad Houston, Jonathan Pringle, and Kelli Yakabu.

Starting in January, the Appointments Committee will review and consult with group leaders to make sure we understand each group’s needs, particularly regarding the diversity of our membership. In this context, diversity includes race and ethnicity, gender identity/expression, years in the profession, geographic region, and type of archival repository. Individuals will be appointed to 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.

Appointments Available in 2022

The following groups will have vacancies, with new terms beginning in August 2022. (The number of vacancies is indicated in parentheses.) Review descriptions of the groups by following the links below, and then volunteer to serve

Application Deadline: December 15, 2021

Available Positions

American Archivist Editorial Board (1)

Committee on Education (4)
— Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Subcommittee (3)
— Graduate Archival Education (GAE) Subcommittee (2)

Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct (1)

Committee on Public Awareness (2)

Committee on Public Policy (3)

Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment (2)

Crisis, Disaster, and Tragedy Response Working Group (3)

Dictionary Working Group (4)

Diversity Committee (2)

Finance Committee (1)

2023 Host Committee (must live near Washington, DC) (10-12)

Membership Committee (4)

2023 Program Committee (Annual Meeting in Washington, DC) (10)

Publications Board (3)

Standards Committee (3)
— Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS) (4)
— Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) (2)

Awards Committee (1 co-chair)

Brenda S. Banks Travel Award (1)
C.F.W. Coker Award (1)
Distinguished Service Award (1)
Diversity Award (1)
Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award (1)
Josephine Forman Scholarship (1)
F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship (1, must be an SAA Fellow)
Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award (1)
Oliver Wendell Holmes Award (1)
Innovator Award (1)
J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award (1)
Sister M. Claude Lane, OP, Award (1)
Waldo Gifford Leland Award (1)
Mosaic Scholarship (2)
Theodore Calvin Pease Award (1, one-year appointment)
Donald Peterson Student Travel Award (1)
Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award (1, one-year appointment)
Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award (1, must be an SAA Fellow)
Preservation Publication Award (1)
Spotlight Award (1)

To Volunteer

To volunteer, log in and submit the self-nomination form by December 15, 2021. 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 specific and detailed information that will be shared with both the Appointments Committee and current appointed group chairs so they 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. 

Open Forum on SAA Leadership

SAA Vice President Terry Baxter and recent SAA leaders hosted a live discussion and Q&A about all things SAA appointed groups and leadership. View the recording here.

Questions? Contact