Nominations Process and About the Steering Committee

SOPHIA is an international membership association for Health Impact Assessment (HIA) practitioners that launched in 2011. We currently have over 125 members from around the world, though most are U.S.-based. Our mission is to provide leadership and promote excellence in the practice of health impact assessment; we accomplish this through activities such as peer-networking and development of tools and resources.

SOPHIA is fiscally sponsored by Human Impact Partners, an Oakland, California non-profit consultancy.

SOPHIA’s Steering Committee

SOPHIA’s volunteer, elected Steering Committee provides leadership and direction for the organization. Members work in partnership with a part-time, paid Coordinator to grow the organization in the HIA and HiAP fields. 

The SOPHIA Steering Committee is essential in the success of the organization. The committee works together to execute the Strategic Plan, expand our partnerships and reach, implement a sustainable business model, and provide services for new and experienced HIA and HiAP practitioners. The Steering Committee members guide SOPHIA’s operations as well as our programmatic and policy work.

Steering Committee Term Details

Steering Committee members serve a 2-year term. During this time, all members are expected to participate in Steering Committee meetings (currently 90-minute calls held every other month) and actively contribute to one or more subcommittees (Growth and Partnerships, Member Communications, Practitioner Workshop, Living Library, or Budget Committee). Leadership Team members (President, Past President, Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer) have six additional meetings per year, and all Steering Committee members are encouraged to participate in the SOPHIA Practitioner Workshop as personal resources allow. The SOPHIA Coordinator will communicate regularly with Steering Committee members via email.

What is SOPHIA looking for on the next Steering Committee?

SOPHIA would like its next Steering Committee to represent a range of geographic locations and organizations. We are especially interested in representatives from community-based organizations.

SOPHIA is also interested in candidates with experience in health in all policy implementation, fundraising/development, grant writing, marketing, graphic design, conference planning, and/or member recruitment. Prior experience with a nonprofit board, especially a member-based association, is desirable. 

Members should have a solid understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health; however, it is not necessary for members to be public health practitioners. We welcome nominations for individuals outside the health sector. It is preferable for Steering Committee members to have expertise in HIA and/or Health in All Policies, and established relationships in the field, but it is not required.

Election Process

Any SOPHIA member may nominate any other individual or themselves for a position on the Steering Committee. If the nomination is accepted, the nominee will fill out this form to provide voters with information about their interest and experience. 

Voting will take place following the nomination period. If there are enough nominations to warrant a vote by membership, SOPHIA members will be sent an email with a link to nominee descriptions and a voting website. Voting will be open for two weeks, and election results will be announced to members following the vote. The new Steering Committee will begin their term immediately. 

Learn about the current Steering Committee members here.

Steering Committee Position Description

In odd years, SOPHIA seeks nominations for members-at-large only. In even years, SOPHIA seeks nominations for both members-at-large and the leadership committee.

Officer Positions

PresidentThe SOPHIA President represents the organization with external partners and audiences. The President looks for opportunities to build relationships with key organizations and stakeholders that will grow SOPHIA and the field of HIA. The President has responsibility for leading the Steering Committee, and ensuring that the organization’s activities align with the Strategic Plan. 

Vice President of Operations and Development - will lead the Growth and Partnership Committee, comprised of SOPHIA members and other volunteers, to implement SOPHIA’s long term development plans. Ideally, they will have experience with at least one aspect of development for a small membership organization (e.g., grant writing, meeting sponsorships, fundraising drives, new member recruitment) and/or connections with development professionals, as well as the organizational and business development skills to move our vision into the implementation phase.

Vice President of Member Services has primary responsibility for leading SOPHIA’s member activities and communications. This includes convening the Member Services Communications committee, and overseeing the overall strategy, coordination and implementation of the website, newsletter, social media, peer exchange and mentoring programs, membership survey, conference presence and development of materials as needed.

Both of the above positions will work closely with the Director to support the running of the organization. 

Secretary -  has primary responsibility for organizing the Steering Committee and Leadership Team Meetings. This includes creating agendas, communicating with members, recruiting facilitators and taking notes.

TreasurerThe SOPHIA Treasurer monitors the organization’s finances and serves as the liaison to the fiscal sponsor organization on matters related to money. The Treasurer reports on the organization’s profit and loss to the Steering Committee, convenes a Budget Committee to create the multi-year budget. 

Members-at-Large - In addition to the officer positions, SOPHIA’s Steering Committee is comprised of six to ten members-at-large. The Members will be expected to participate in bi-monthly Steering Committee calls, and to participate in at least one SOPHIA Committee that works to grow the organization. In addition to the every other month calls and other committee meetings, we anticipate that members-at-large will spend as much as 2 hours per month on SOPHIA-related activities.

Please contact SOPHIA's Coordinator, Oma McLaughlin, for further details on any of the above positions (

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