Call for Interest | 2020-2021 Leadership Position Descriptions


Board of Directors, Committee & Council Positions


Chair-Elect (Board)

(1 yr term as Chair-Elect, 2 yr term as Chair, 1 yr term as Chair Emeritus)


As Chair-Elect, the focus of the role is to prepare for their tenure as Board Chair - ensuring continuity between Board Chairs. He/she plays an active role on all aspects of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee by maintaining sight on the long-term health of the organization and contributing to our strategic priorities. 

The Chair-Elect automatically assumes the role of Board Chair after one year as Chair-Elect. 

As Board Chair, this individual holds the highest volunteer leadership position within IDSA. He/she presides at all meetings of the Board of Directors and must be equal parts strategist, coach, and conciliator. This role requires in depth knowledge of` organizational leadership and standard board practices. He or she must be respected in the community. 

After two years as Board Chair, this individual serves one year as Chair Emeritus to complete a total four-year committment. 

Primary responsibilities of this role from 2020-2024 include:

  • Working closely with IDSA’s executive director in defining, implementing, and maintaining the strategic direction of the organization
  • Interfacing with membership on a regular basis in the communication of organizational information and updates regarding IDSA’s programming
  • Reviewing and advising on aspects of IDSA’s financial strategies and organizational decisions 
  • Reviewing and advising on legal documents and partnership agreements
  • (As Chair) Serves as the contact point for every Board member on Board issues.
  • (As Chair) Sets goals and objectives for the Board and ensures that they are met.
  • (As Chair) Ensures that all Board members are involved in committee activities; assigns committee chairs.
  • (As Chair) Motivates Board members to attend meetings and participate in their community.
  • (As Chair) Runs effective and productive Board meetings.
  • (As Chair) Assists in defining priorities and necessary qualifications for new Board members as they during elections cycles.

To qualify for this role from 2020-2024, the ideal candidate should:

  • ​Be deeply familiar with IDSA’s organizational structure
  • Have relevant and proven professional organizational management experience
  • Have the ability to think both ‘long term, big-picture’ and ‘near term, quick solutions’
  • Possess excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and be comfortable speaking in public
  • Have leadership experience with other non-profit organizations and/or previous Board experience with other organizations
  • Complement and demonstrate a good rapport with the executive director
  • Have served on the Board at a time that coincides with IDSA's recent future vision task force (while not an absolute requirement, this is strongly preferred to maintain continuity and a level of institutional knowledge that will be lost when current members roll-off the Board)

At-Large Director - Conferences (Board)

The At-Large Director will be given IDSA’s conference and events related program portfolio. He/she will support the International Design Conference and Deep Dive events; developing recommendations for growing, differentiating and advancing all IDSA conferences. This role is not expected to “Chair” or be the primary individual directly planning IDSA conferences, however they will be significantly involved in the overall production of these events; ensuring they hit or exceed budget goals and deliver exceptional value for event goers.

Primary responsibilities of this role for the 2020-2021 term include:

  • Assist in content development, planning, and execution of the annual International Design Conference.
  • Assist in content development, planning, and execution of three Deep Dive events per year.
  • May be asked to attend events put on by other organizations on behalf of IDSA.
  • Interact with potential conference speakers, sponsors, or other partners.
  • Assemble and lead sub-committee groups of volunteers who help with various aspects of event planning (as needed)

To qualify for this role for the 2020-2021 term, the ideal candidate should:

  • Be familiar with IDSA's complete conference portfolio
  • Previously attended IDSA events at all scales - local chapter events through international design conferences
  • Enjoy event planning, logistics, content curation
  • Be comfortable contacting speakers, sponsors, or other partners who we may wish to engage with IDSA for a future event; often leveraging your own personal network to build new opportunities

Education Director (Board)

The Education Director is the conduit between the professional and academic communities, ensuring the needs of our academic members (both students and professors) are voiced and met. He/She plays a large role in the oversight and administration of IDSA’s programming that highlights academic work such as Student Merit Awards, Scholarships, and Education Papers. Additionally, this individual works directly with District Education Representatives across the country to ensure that goals are being met at the local level. The programs under the Education Director’s supervision run year-round and require regular collaboration with members of the IDSA headquarter team. 

Primary responsibilities of this role for the 2020-2021 term include:

  • Serving as Chair of the Education Council (made up of design educators and practitioners)
  • Leading the development and arrangement of the annual IDSA Education Symposium, acting this event’s emcee
  • Reviewing all Education Paper submissions, assisting with the judging process
  • Reviewing all Student Merit Award submissions, assisting with the judging process
  • Assisting with the annual IDSA Scholarship selections

To qualify for this role for the 2020-2021 term, the ideal candidate should:

  • Be a current or former educator at a recognized academic institution, having taught industrial design (or related) courses
  • Have prior administrative / program chair experience with an education institution.
  • Be very organized and detail oriented
  • Comfortable delegating tasks, leading teams, and planning events

Sections Director (Board)

The Sections Director promotes, monitors and nurtures IDSA's Special Intrest Sections and represents their interests on the Board of Directors. This role also cultivates opportunities for relationships between chapters, sections and educators through continued education development offerings that comes from the subject matter experts within IDSA’s Special Interest Sections.

Primary responsibilities of this role for the 2020-2021 term include:

  • Working with leaders of IDSA’s sections to develop and/or propose new program offerings or chapter events that connect Section subject matter experts to our community
  • Identifying and nurture volunteer leaders who are subject matter experts to lead dormant Sections or assit with the transition between Section leaders. 
  • Assist with content curation for Deep Dive events that feature subject matter derived from Special Interest Sections.

To qualify for this role for the 2020-2021 term, the ideal candidate should:

  • Have familiarity with the IDSA chapter and section organizational structure
  • Share an interest in continuing education professional development
  • Understand the needs of wide-ranging current industrial design professional trends
  • Be outgoing and comfortable with community outreach activites

Districts Chapter Representatives (Committee)

District Chapter Representative (Northeast, Central)

District Chapter Representatives (DCRs) are responsible for working directly with the professional chapters and design communities within their district. Each will focus on fostering the growth of chapters in their region, mentoring chapter officers, creating connections among chapters and engaging members who live "in between" chapters. See a district map here.

Primary responsibilities of this role for the 2020-2021 term include:

  • Lead and participate in regular touch-base calls with chapter leaders, IDSA staff, and other DCRs
  • Serve on the IDSA Districts Committee, chaired by the Chapter Director on IDSA's Board of Directors 
  • May be asked to serve on the Nominations and Elections Committee, helping to formalize the slate of candidates during elections cycles.
  • Assisting with the SCARF (chapter event) approval process

To qualify for this role for the 2020-2021 term, the ideal candidate should:

  • Have been involved with, or previously served as an IDSA professional chapter leader
  • Possess excellent communication skills, written and verbal
  • Have basic knowledge of how local design events are run and enjoy passing on their knowledge to others.

District Education Representatives (Council)

These individuals serve in a number of ways and help advance IDSA's efforts in celebrating the work of our academic communities. Primarily, they are the point of contact for the IDSA Student Merit Award (SMA) competition and Student Chapters in their respective districts. Each year, they serve on the jury teams responsible for reviewing work submitted by students to select SMA District Winners and Scholarship recipients. During their two-year term, District Education Representatives may also assist with organizing the annual Education Symposium. All District Education Representatives, collectively with three professional practitioners, form IDSA's Education Council. 

District Education Reps (Education Council composition)

  • Chaired by Board of Directors, Education Director
  • Northeast (faculty, educator)
  • Central (faculty, educator)
  • Midwest (faculty, educator)
  • South (faculty, educator)
  • West (faculty, educator)
  • Practitioner 1 (non-faculty)
  • Practitioner 2 (non-faculty)
  • Practitioner 3 (non-faculty)

Education Council 

The Education Council shall serve in order to ensure the highest standard of industrial design education; to actively maintain a liaison among all members of IDSA (especially those whose professional responsibility is industrial design education); to promote and develop IDSA Student Chapters and activities; to promote Student Membership; and to consult with, and make recommendations to the Chair and the Board of Directors concerning education policies, planning and matters within the Society.