League board members can be both elected by the League membership and appointed by the Board. Elections are held annually. Information about how to apply and how to vote are distributed via email.
How Candidates Apply
- Applicants must review the requirements and accept the responsibilities of serving on the Board (see below).
- Candidates write a statement of qualifications addressing the seven qualifications below, showing how they meet the qualifications of serving on the League board.
- Abiding by the deadline set forth, send your statement of qualifications and resume to Governance Committee Chair at firstname.lastname@example.org along with a short bio/candidate profile and a photo.
Application Process and Timeline
- The League Board Governance Committee will determine if applicants are qualified to be placed on the ballot.
- Profiles and photos of each qualified candidate will be posted on bikeleague.org with voting instructions. Please remember to include a short bio/candidate profile and a photo with your application sent to email@example.com
- The new members of the League Board of Directors will be seated at the subsequent Board meeting.
The Board of Directors of the League of American Bicyclists should be composed of persons who understand and embrace the League’s mission to lead the movement creating a Bicycle Friendly America for everyone. As leaders, our commitment is to listen and learn, define standards and share best practices to engage diverse communities and build a powerful, unified voice. Directors should be knowledgeable about the issues facing our world to provide insights into how the bicycle can be utilized to address them. For the Board to be effective, members must be willing to demonstrate their commitment to the mission through regular attendance of board meetings and active participation in one or more board committees.
There are two components to this qualification: volunteer service and leadership. The minimum qualification is prior service on a non-profit or for-profit board and/or a senior leadership position at a non-profit or for-profit organization. A high qualification would entail a history of board service including: leadership positions in large regional, state or national non-profit organizations with the same order of magnitude or larger than the League – national in scope with professional staff and budget in the millions.
Membership in the League is a minimum qualification. Additional factors to be considered include: length of membership, attendance at League‐sponsored events, participation at the National Bicycle Summit, completion of League‐sanctioned training, and/or volunteer service on a League Committee. High qualification is many years of ongoing participation in the League’s activities.
The League board is responsible for the following to maintain a sustainable and robust organization.
- Determine mission and purpose. It is the board's responsibility to create and review a statement of mission and purpose that articulates the organization's goals, means, and primary constituents served.
- Select the chief executive. Boards must reach consensus on the chief executive's responsibilities and undertake a careful search to find the most qualified individual for the position.
- Support and evaluate the chief executive. The board should ensure that the chief executive has the moral and professional support he or she needs to further the goals of the organization.
- Ensure effective planning. Boards must actively participate in an overall planning process and assist in implementing and monitoring the plan's goals.
- Monitor and strengthen programs and services. The board's responsibility is to determine which programs are consistent with the organization's mission and monitor their effectiveness.
- Ensure adequate financial resources. One of the board's foremost responsibilities is to secure adequate resources for the organization to fulfill its mission.
- Protect assets and provide proper financial oversight. The board must assist in developing the annual budget and ensuring that proper financial controls are in place.
- Build a competent board. All boards have a responsibility to articulate prerequisites for candidates, orient new members, and periodically and comprehensively evaluate their own performance.
- Ensure legal and ethical integrity. The board is ultimately responsible for adherence to legal standards and ethical norms.
- Enhance the organization's public standing. The board should clearly articulate the organization's mission, accomplishments, and goals to the public and garner support from the community.
To fulfill these responsibilities, board members with the following professional skills are desired:
- Advocacy, particularly in a leadership role in a local or state bicycle group
- Board and staff development
- Executive recruiting
- Human resources
- Strategic planning
Minimum qualification is experience in one of the above areas. High qualification is proven expertise in one or more of these skill areas.
Ideal candidates will possess the following qualities:
- Integrity: Demonstrating a zero tolerance for unethical behavior, both for themselves and their colleagues.
- Independence: Having no unique business, financial or personal relationships — or hoped-for-relationships — that create even the perception of a conflict of interest.
- Mature Confidence: Speaking out and actively participating in board and committee deliberations.
- Corporate Manners: Recognizing the difference between productively participating in discussions and counter-productively dominating deliberations through the volume or length of comments. Must be able to work with other members to create workable compromises.
- A Sense of Context: Making relevant, informed comments focused on the specific aspect of the issue being considered. Must be able to stay on topic.
- Courage: Willingness to do the right thing/make the right decision even if it is difficult or unpopular (i.e., no fence sitting).
- Commitment: Understanding that being an effective board member requires the time, the heart, and the standards to make the enterprise successful.
Candidates may be asked to provide references. A high qualification would be references from a variety of sources demonstrating a number of these qualities.
As a non-profit organization, the League depends upon funding from a variety of sources to execute its valuable programs. In addition to giving their valuable time and insight, the League Board leads by example by being a 100% giving board. Every Board member is expected to:
- Provide financial contributions commensurate with their individual ability. At a minimum, board members are expected to pay registration to the National Bike Summit and their travel and expenses to attend Board meetings which occur two times each year.
- Introduce and expand connections with potential donors, business and political leaders, and other sources of support for the League.
The League's code of ethics:
- Consider myself a trustee of the League and will do the best I can to ensure it is wellmaintained, financially secure, and operating in the best interest of our members;
- Not use my service for personal financial gain;
- Respect and support the majority decisions of the board;
- Approach all issues with an open mind, and will be prepared to make the best decision for everyone involved;
- Conduct myself in a respectful way, and extend that respect to all board members and staff of the League;
- Not violate the trust of those who elected me;
- Accept our differences, but do not feel that those differences are unimportant, or that they should be ignored or treated as if they did not matter;
- Not make public statements critical of members or their committees;
- Keep confidential information confidential; and,
- Always work to my best ability to help make America more bicycle-friendly
Yes. The majority of board members are directly elected by the membership. The value of appointing members to the board is that particular skills and attributes that the board needs can be recruited – and remember, the majority of the board members making the appointments are always going to be elected.
The six regions into which the League membership was divided for board elections were arbitrary and unwieldy; board members struggled to truly “represent” their regions. Under the new system, both elected and board-appointed members are responsible for considering the needs of all League members, and indeed all cyclists. Our appointed board members have always had strong ties to the bicycling community and impressive bicycling credentials. At the same time as we made this board change, we also reinvigorated the State Ambassador program to better connect the League to state and local activities, clubs and advocacy groups.
Each year, the League announces the opportunity to apply for open board positions via the League's website, E-news and social media.
Once applications are submitted, the nominating committee evaluates each candidate based on the seven specific qualifications above and their capacity to provide high-quality, national board service. Committee members take this responsibility extremely seriously, to ensure that all the candidates have the basic qualifications necessary to serve the League well, regardless of their specific platform or views.
Each member of the governance committee makes an independent recommendation that are tallied and sent to the board as a recommended list of candidates. They approve the nominations for the upcoming election. Those not selected are thanked and invited to continue to play an active role in the League.
There is no single or right way to govern a national membership group; the hybrid approach of having some appointed and some elected board members is common and the use of a board nominating or governance committee to manage the election process is standard. In our own small world of bicycling, IMBA, Adventure Cycling and People for Bikes all have different board selection approaches — none as transparent as the League.
The League moved to a preferential voting system for the 2011 board election. We tested our system by conducting a survey for our members on our website. We asked you to rank a list of 10 cyclists from 1 to 10, and then used the principles of instant runoff voting (IRV) to determine the all-time best cyclist, and the four runners up, in a trial run of how we elect our board members.