Choose Your Own Adventure: Call for SAA Leader Self-Nominations

Tomaro Taylor, SAA Vice-President/President-Elect

A popular series of children’s books once beckoned youngsters to create their own narratives by selecting from different plotlines. The book allowed readers to construct a different tale each time they started reading, and so the books were called “choose your own adventure” stories. As kids read, they chose from a carefully placed series of options that led them to one part of the book or another. Their newly concocted story might go on for hours or conclude in a matter of minutes; both outcomes were designed to engage and enrich readers while also encouraging them to revisit the opening storyline and chart new courses based on the information they had just received. Each fresh read engendered new perspectives and new outcomes; none of the readers’ journeys were ever quite the same.  

So it is when volunteering with an organization. We often spend a bit of time getting to know the organization’s story and then more time identifying the best pathways we can take to navigate—and, potentially, change—its course. Each time we volunteer, we approach our journey with new knowledge and determination, taking what we learned previously into novel directions and striving for different outcomes.  

It is with this spirit and mindset that we ask you to choose your own adventure with the Society of American Archivists.  

This year, opportunities to volunteer for appointed groups—which include committees, subcommittees, boards, working groups, and awards—abound. Each opportunity presents the chance to get to know SAA and work toward changing its trajectory.  

Where do you want SAA to be in the next 1–5 years? What should your organization look like? How will your participation effect a positive change?  

Choose your adventure by self-nominating for the appointed groups to help both you and SAA along your respective journeys in the archives field.

How to Volunteer

For the 2024 appointments cycle, there are many positions to be filled across SAA’s appointed groups. Review a list of the available positions on the SAA website and then select the groups you’re most interested in (we recommend no more than five). Then, submit your leadership self-nomination form by December 15. 

There are several avenues to gather information about an SAA group before submitting your application. Start by exploring the group's dedicated microsite to review their recent activities and the current member roster. Engage in conversations with existing group members to gain insights into their personal experiences, the expected time commitment, the group's workflow, and its relationship within the broader organization. Valuable information about the general responsibilities of leadership roles can be found on SAA's Leader Resources page

Commencing in January 2024, the Appointments Committee will initiate a thorough review process and engage in discussions with group leaders to ensure a comprehensive understanding of each group's specific needs. This review will particularly focus on promoting diversity within our membership, encompassing aspects such as race, ethnicity, gender identity/expression, years of experience in the profession, geographic location, abilities, and the nature of archival repository experiences. Each individual will be appointed to a single position at a time, and current leaders will not be considered for reappointment to a second term unless there is a compelling need to extend their involvement in certain aspects of the work beyond their initial term. 

Appointments Available in 2024

The following groups will have vacancies, with new terms beginning in August 2024. Review the descriptions of the groups by following the links below, and then volunteer to serve.
Application Deadline: December 15, 2023

Appointed Group/Role # of Openings Term Start Term End
American Archivist Editorial Board     
- Board Member  4 8/15/2024  9/1/2028 
Archival Repatriation Committee     
- Committee Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2027 
Awards Committee  
- Co-Chair  1 8/15/2024  9/1/2027
- Brenda S. Banks Travel Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- C.F.W. Coker Award  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Distinguished Service Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Diversity Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Mark. A Greene Emerging Leader Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Josephine Forman Scholarship  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship  1 (must be an SAA Fellow) 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Oliver Wendell Holmes Award  1 8/15/2024  9/1/2027
- Archival Innovator Award  1 8/15/2024  9/1/2027
- J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Sister M. Claude Lane, OP, Memorial Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Waldo Gifford Leland Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Mosaic Scholarship  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Theodore Calvin Pease Award  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Donald Peterson Student Travel Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Harold T. Pinkett Student of Color Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Fellows' Ernst Posner Award  1 (must be an SAA Fellow) 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Preservation Publication Award  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
- Spotlight Award  1 8/15/2024  9/1/2027
Committee on Education   
- Committee Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct   
- Committee Member  4 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Committee on Public Awareness   
- Committee Member  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Committee on Public Policy   
- Committee Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment   
- Committee Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Crisis, Disaster, and Tragedy Response Working Group   
- Working Group Member  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Dictionary Working Group   
- Working Group Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2028
Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Subcommittee   
- Committee Member   3 8/15/2024 9/1/2028
Diversity Committee   
- Committee Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Finance Committee   
- Committee Member  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Graduate Archival Education (GAE) Subcommittee   
- Committee Member  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Host Committee (Anaheim, CA)   
- Co-Chair  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2025
- Committee Member  8 8/15/2024 9/1/2025
Intellectual Property Working Group   
- Working Group Member  7  No set length  No set length
Membership Committee   
- Committee Member  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Program Committee (Anaheim, CA)  
- Committee Member  10 8/15/2024 9/1/2025
Publications Board   
- Board Member  3 8/15/2024 9/1/2028
Standards Committee   
- Committee Member  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2025
Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS)   
- Committee Member  2 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS)   
- Committee Member  6 8/15/2024 9/1/2027
Technical Subcommittee on Guidelines for Reappraisal and Deaccessioning (TS-GRD)   
- Committee Member  1 8/15/2024 9/1/2025


To Volunteer

To volunteer, log in and submit the self-nomination form by December 15, 2023. 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. Join or renew your SAA membership, here!

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. 

Questions? Contact