How do you know if you are ready to run for the SHEA Board of Trustees?

SHEA Board Positions

SHEA is looking for the best candidates to fill open board positions each year. Often, qualified candidates pass up the opportunity for fear they aren’t ready. Below are the key qualities we are looking for in board members to help our members gauge their readiness to run for an open board position.

The ability to think strategically and analytically and to effectively communicate thoughts and the reasons for them.

As a board member, this means that you can not be “in the weeds.” You have to look up and out and scan the environment for opportunities and threats to best position SHEA to respond. You have to make sure you are bringing your expertise at a higher level to board meetings and participating in a way that is clear and persuasive. As a board member, you are not doing the work of the staff but you are setting the direction and guiding principals of all SHEA activities. You have to be at a point in your career where you can see the bigger picture of infection prevention/antibiotic stewardship and what this means on a global scale.

Possession of earned respect of other key stakeholder group members

SHEA member will only elect member with strong reputations in the field. You don’t have to be the most well published or researched, you do not even have to work at an academic institution. You do have to have a reputation for being honest and committed.

The ability to work well with others as a member of a collaborative group with group decision-making authority.

SHEA has a collaborative culture that really stems from the collaborative nature of our members and how they work within their own healthcare settings. Ensuring that we are communicating with other groups and maintaining this reputation is important. Board members have to be willing to work with other societies and groups in this manner. The board makes thoughtful, evidence based decisions based all available information and board members have to be willing to stand behind this process even if they are not personally supportive of the decision. To be successful, Board members have to be committed to the process and agree to support the actions of the board as a result and not backchannel with each other or members.

Understanding of the fiduciary duties of loyalty, care, and obedience by committing to SHEA. 

When you are elected to the SHEA board you become SHEA. Everything you say or do reflects on the organization and when you talk, people see you as a leader of the organization. When you sit in a board meeting you need to make decisions not based on personal preference or what’s best for your institution but what is best for SHEA the organization. To be successful, you have to be able to delineate these roles successfully.

Demonstrated understanding of the differences between “oversight” and “supervision.”

The only employee of the SHEA Board of Trustees is the SHEA Executive Director. The SHEA Board supervises this role but in all other cases provides oversight for ensuring that volunteers, committees, task forces, workgroups, and liaisons are executing on the strategic plan to achieve the mission of SHEA. 

Earned reputation for emotional maturity, personal integrity, and honesty.

SHEA volunteer leaders come from many different backgrounds and have their own areas of expertise and passion. Being able to work with them as well as other stakeholders with respect is critical. Having a reputation of emotional maturity, personal integrity, and honesty is integral to this successful relationship.

A demonstrated familiarity with the body of knowledge related to both the process for which the group is responsible as well as the substantive content of the subject area within which decisions and choices will have to be made.

Good board members have worked in infection prevention and stewardship roles. They understand the landscape of what is going on in healthcare settings and can bring the expertise to the Board.

Willingness and availability of time and effort required to be prepared and effective in board discussions.

This clearly includes both willingness and availability. Successful board members put in hard work to ensure they are prepared. It takes up time, and those that are overcommitted in other areas may find that board service is unrealistic. Serving the SHEA board sets you up for other leadership opportunities. There is an expectation that you will be present on calls and prepared to make decisions. 

SHEA Board of Trustees’ primary responsibilities:

  • Interpret and enact the five-year strategic plan
  • Ensure effective organizational planning
  • Ensure adequate resources and manage resources effectively
  • Support the Executive Director and assess his/her performance
  • Determine, monitor, and strengthen SHEA’s program and services
  • Enhance SHEA’s public standing
  • Ensure legal and ethical integrity and maintain accountability
  • Orient new Board members and assess Board performance


SHEA Board of Trustees’ legal responsibilities:

  • A Board member exercises reasonable care when making a decision as a steward of the organization
  • A Board member acts in the best interests of the organization and can never use information obtained as a member for personal gain
  • A Board member actions are faithful to SHEA’s mission and public trust is placed in the Board that donated funds will be used to fulfill the society’s mission