Steering Committee Selection and Rotation
Nomination/Search and Selection of New Steering Committee Members
The VEXAG steering committee is composed of 14-20 volunteer community members (depending on year and workload) plus Chair and Deputy Chair along with the Prior Chair. This small group seeks to be representative of the full spectrum of the Venus community. This includes, as much as possible, equitable representation of different career stages, discipline (e.g., science and its sub-specialties and engineering/technology and its sub-specialties), institutions (e.g., academic, center, industry), backgrounds, ethnicities, identities, cultures.
Solicitations for new members of the VEXAG SC begin in the run up to the annual November meeting. Requests for self-nominations should begin with the late announcements about the meeting program.
Requests for Self-nomination are repeated/formally announced in an October Listserve newsletter, PEN announcement(s) and in the VEXAG meeting itself. Nominations close two weeks after the end of that year’s VEXAG meeting, to give the SC time to review applications. Additional announcements in non-traditional venues, such as engineering/industry/academic meetings/newsletters, including areas not currently heavily involved in Venus science, will increase diversity of applicants.
Applicants are encouraged, but not required, to self-identify gender, whether they are from an underrepresented group in STEM, etc. Applicants are required to send a current CV, and short ~1-page statement of interest, goals, and experience to the Steering Committee (e-mailed to Chair). Nominees may select a preferred Jan or July start time and that will be taken into consideration.
Review and voting on new SC members takes place in the December SC meeting.
Draft Evaluation Rubric - to be released with request for self-nominations for transparency.
- Participation in VEXAG/Venus community organizations (normalized to career stage)
- Understanding of VEXAG
- Desire to Support Community
- Organizational Experience (normalized to career stage)
- Leadership Experience (normalized to career stage)
- Experience in Community Activities (normalized to career stage)
Sums and standard deviations of scores will be calculated for evaluation.
- Career stage balance (Early: Post-Bacc-10 years Postdoc; Middle 10-20 years Post EC); Advanced (20+ Years Post EC)
- Field (Geology, Atmosphere, Interior, and other science fields; Technology & Engineering)
- Institution (Academic, NASA Center/Lab, Industry)
- Gender – only if self-identified or common knowledge. No guesswork.
- Underrepresented group in STEM – only if self-identified or common knowledge. No guesswork.
Scoring Criteria are used to rank-order candidates based on community contribution and potential, establishing an acceptability cutoff based on the needs and community landscape of the current year. Some applicants may become obvious selections based on these scores alone. The balance of selectable candidates are discussed by the SC, aided by the Representation Criteria, to sort among the qualified candidates for membership balance and diversity.
Steering Committee term of service is nominally three years. Selected SC members begin service staggered over the year. Two begin on the committee in January following the December of their acceptance. Two begin in July.
Steering Committee members who must vacate their positions due to circumstances beyond their control, or choose to for other reasons may be replaced by interim selections offered to qualified candidates from the last solicitation, should they still be available, or through an interim solicitation.
Nomination / Selection of Selection of VEXAG Chair/Deputy Chair
VEXAG Chairs serve a three-year term of office from May 1 through April 30. For continuity and planning purposes, the VEXAG Chair is normally the preceding Deputy Chair, though the final choice of VEXAG Chair is decided in consultation with the PSD Director, per the VEXAG ToR.
Accordingly, self-nominations for the VEXAG Deputy Chair (who will become Chair in three years) are solicited by VEXAG every third year at the time of the VEXAG annual meeting, and are due to the Steering Committee no later than December 15. The current VEXAG Chair may consult with HQ personnel, past VEXAG Chairs, and any other planetary science community members in making this decision. Deputy Chairs may be selected from the SC or externally from the community. Because the Deputy Chair is the presumptive next Chair, decisions on the Deputy Chair are also made in consultation with the PSD Director and will be made final no later than February 1. The new Chair/Deputy begins term of service May 1 of the year following the selection of the new Deputy.
The retiring VEXAG Chair transitions six months after the VEXAG annual Meeting, around May 1 after completion of term of service, but remains “Emeritus” for one full year after to help transition to the new Chair, and acclimatization of the new Deputy.
Should the Chair need to step down before the end of the three-year term, the Deputy will step up to Chair ahead of schedule. If this occurs in the 3rd year of the term of office, then the new Chair may serve the balance of the year and the expected 3-year term after. If it happens in the first or second year, the term of the new Chair shifts one or two years earlier, respectively. In either case, VEXAG begins a search for a new Deputy immediately.
Should the Deputy Chair need to step down before the end of their term, or if for any reason the PSD Director decides the Deputy should not become Chair, then VEXAG will immediately search for a replacement. If the replacement arrives late in the 3-year term, the Chair, PSD Director, and incoming Deputy will determine together if the Chair’s term should extend one more year for the Deputy to acclimatize.
If the Deputy cannot or does not step up to Chair at the end of their term, VEXAG and the PSD Director have several options. A new Chair and Deputy may be selected at the same time, a Chair may be selected while the selection of Deputy is deferred for up to a year, or some other selection mode for Chair and/or Deputy may be enabled, such as nomination/selection/election from the Steering Committee.
- Assist Chair in VEXAG functions (represent VEXAG when chair can’t)
- Assist leading SC meetings and annual meetings.
- Maintain and update the VEXAG Organizational document (this document) as needed
- Take and disseminate SC meeting minutes