Board of Directors Elections FAQ

Click here to download a PDF of the 2017 Board FAQ.

When is the election?

After candidates have been certified by the Elections Committee of the Board of Directors they will be presented to Sister Cities International voters on May 15th via electronic communications as well as postings on our website. Voting will be open from June 5th until the Annual Business Meeting on July 14th.

How will people vote?

Voters will be sent an electronic ballot on June 5th and may either vote electronically at any time during the voting period or designate a delegate(s) to vote on-site at the Annual Business Meeting on July 14th.

Who are the voters?

Directors are elected by SCI’s member communities, with one or more representatives from each community serving as the voter(s)/delegate(s). Electronic ballots are sent to the primary contact SCI has on record, which is often either the President, Board Chair, or city liaison for a member community.

Is voting weighted?

Yes. Votes are weighted as either two, three, or four votes depending on the size of the community.

What information will be presented to voters?

Candidates’ answers to the narrative questions (bio, why you’re running, skills & assets) will be provided to members. There will also be a candidate panel at the Annual Conference prior to on-site voting.

When is the Annual Conference/Business Meeting?

The Annual conference runs from July 13th through July 15th, with some Board committee meetings on the 13th and the Annual Business Meeting occurring on the 14th. The first Board following the election will be on the morning of Sunday, July 16th.

How much is registration for the conference?

The early-bird rate for registration is $495 (prior to Friday, April 14th) and $595 afterwards. SCI has reserved room blocks at the Doubletree by Hilton for $299/night.

I can’t attend the Annual Conference in Virginia Beach, VA but would still like to run. Can I?

No. All candidates must commit to attending the conference, and registration for the conference must be complete before the applicant is presented to membership as a certified candidate on May 15th.

Can I bring campaign materials to the conference for distribution?

Yes, candidates may distribute information at the conference.

When will the results be announced?

On-site voting occurs at the beginning of the Annual Business Meeting, and on-site as well as electronic ballots will be tabulated immediately and winners announced at the end of the Annual Business Meeting.

Who should I contact if I have questions?

Please contact Adam Kaplan, Vice President, at or (202)347-8630.

How many Directors serve on Sister Cities International’s Board?

There are up to 28 members of the Board of Directors, including the Chair, Immediate Past Chair (Chair Emeritus), twenty-one At-Large Members, one Young Professional Representative, one Youth Representative, one State Representative, and two members appointed by the Chair with the approval of the rest of the Board. The 21 At Large Directors serve three-year terms, with the other five serving two-year terms, and the two appointed Directors serving until the conclusion of the Board Chair’s term.

How is the Board structured?

The Executive Committee is composed of the Board Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and two At-Large members.  In addition to the Executive Committee, there are committees for Audit, Board Development, , Finance, Fund Development, Governance, Human Resources, Membership, and Strategy & Programs. Committees include Directors, State Representatives, Honorary Board Members, or others appointed by the Board Chair. Ad hoc committees may also be created at the Chair’s discretion.

How are the Officers selected?

The Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, and the two At-Large Executive Committee members are elected by the Board during the final Board meeting at the Annual Conference, following the election and appointment of new Directors. Officers are elected each year, with the exception of the Vice Chair, who is elected every other year, and who assumes the position of Board Chair upon the expiration of the Chair’s term.

What are the responsibilities of each Director?

Each Director must attend four Board meetings throughout the year: two at the Annual Conference, which occurs in mid- to late-July every year, one Fall Leadership Meeting, usually occurring in October with the location determined by the Board Chair, and one at the Spring Leadership Meeting, which generally occurs in March in Washington, DC. In addition, each Director must serve on a minimum of two committees, each of which typically meets once per month via conference call, and which may include additional tasks depending on the committee. The Officers’ responsibilities can be found in Sister Cities International’s Bylaws.

What is the financial commitment?

Each Director must contribute or raise $2,500 for Sister Cities International’s Global Leadership Circle for every year served on the Board (waived for the Young Professional, Youth, and State Representative positions). In addition, each Director is expected to bear the cost of travel, hotel, and incidental expenses for the Annual Conference and two Leadership Meetings, as well as registration for the Annual Conference.

What are other commitments to be aware of?

Each Director must sign Sister Cities International’s Disclosure Statement, Conflict of Interest policy, and Code of Ethics upon assumption of Board duties.

Are there term limits?

Yes, each Director serves a maximum of two terms. However, the term of the Chair (two years) may be in addition to the two terms served as an elected Board member. After serving two consecutive terms a Director may run again after sitting off the Board for one year.

Where can I find copies of Sister Cities International’s Bylaws and Board Policies?

Bylaws, Board Policies, and other important institutional documents can be found at www.

Is there a Board orientation?

Yes. Upon election to the Board new Directors will receive a brief orientation at the Annual Conference, prior to their first Board Meeting. The orientation will be held by the current Officers of the Board as well as Sister Cities International staff.

Who should I call if I have additional questions?

Please contact Sister Cities International’s Vice President, Adam Kaplan, at with any questions you might have.

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