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. They work in partnership with a part-time, paid Director to grow the organization and the HIA field.
Over the last five years, the Steering Committee has worked to build a solid foundation for SOPHIA’s next phase of growth, and developed a number of key functions and processes upon which the existing and future Steering Committes build. Descrete and actionable goals are outlined in SOPHIA’s Strategic Plan.
The SOPHIA Steering Committee is essential in the success of the organization and works actively together to execute the Strategic Plan, expand our partnerships and reach, and implement a sustainable business model. The Steering Committee members will 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 Virtual Forum (being held on 1st December 2020) as personal resources allow. The SOPHIA Director 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 outside of North America and from community-based organizations. Please see descriptions of the steering committee at-large positions.
SOPHIA is also interested in candidates with experience in 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. Although not required, it is preferable for Steering Committee members to have expertise in HIA, and established relationships in the field.
In addition to the above traits, the SOPHIA Leadership Team (President, Past President, Vice Presidents, Secretary and Treasurer) will ideally have familiarity with business development, project management, and experience working with government agencies, universities, foundations and/or HIA representatives from outside North America. They will be comfortable representing SOPHIA to individual partners and large groups, and have skills in group facilitation (or be willing to develop skills).
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. The nomination period will close on Monday 9th November 2020.
Voting will take place following the nomination period. SOPHIA members will be sent an email with a link to nominee descriptions and a link to a voting website. Voting will be open for two weeks, and election results will be announced to members by December. The new Steering Committee will begin their term in December 2020.
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.
President - The 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.
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 the Director Sophie Grinnell for further details on any of the above positions (email@example.com).