Next month, the United States Ombudsman Association will open the nominations for candidates for its 2011-2013 Board of Directors. The election highlights similarities and differences between the USOA and IOA governance structures.
All seven USOA Director seats are up for election. USOA Directors do not receive compensation and are expected to participate actively in the management of the association by attending monthly Board conference calls and an annual in-person meeting, and serving as an officer committee chair. USOA Bylaws require that at least three Directors be from classical or legislative offices and at least three Directors will be from executive ombudsman offices. Members of USOA are eligible to vote; Associate Members, who pay $25 less per year cannot. (USOA Board Elections.)
By comparison, IOA has a larger board (currently there are 16 Directors, including two Associate Member representatives); IOA Directors serve for three years and only one-third are elected per year; IOA Directors have a similar meeting schedule and duties, but have also been participating in annual or biannual retreats; IOA Directors are not representational and, like the membership, are all Organizational Ombuds; and in IOA, Associate Members are entitled to elect two representatives to two-year terms. (IOA Board.)