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July 3, 2018


IDSA Board Paves Way for Diverse and Sustainable Future

Exciting changes are on the horizon with the IDSA Board of Directors’ recent approval of recommendations from the Governance Task Force. These proposals include diversity, inclusion and equity initiatives designed to transform the Society into a more effective, engaging and all-encompassing organization. During its June 21-23 meeting, the Board also participated in a visioning session to generate ideas for a sustainable financial model that will support the Society and its strategic initiatives for future generations.

Under the leadership of IDSA President Paul Auwaerter, MD, MBA, FIDSA, the Board approved the recommendations of a Governance Task Force established in late 2017 to review how well the current governance structure aligns with the six IDSA strategic priorities, and whether the current committees, their structures, and processes are appropriately organized to attract a group of volunteers reflective of the Society membership.

Led by IDSA Immediate Past President Bill Powderly, MD, FIDSA, the Governance Task Force was charged with developing a set of recommendations that would:

  • Support diversity, inclusion and equity
  • Increase transparency and strengthen lines of communication
  • Align to support IDSA strategic priorities
  • Increase efficiency and effectiveness
  • Maximize opportunities for members to engage in volunteer leadership

Governance Task Force recommendations approved by the Board include:

  • Establish a Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DI&E) Task Force that will develop guiding principles for the Society to ensure that the IDSA Board and committees reflect the depth of diversity within our membership, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, geographic location, clinical vs. non-clinical, among other factors. The task force will also help develop professional pathways that expand the Society volunteer leadership pipeline and create a “DI&E” roadmap that provides a clear definition, metrics andguidance on the Society’s ongoing efforts to achieve and maintain diversity, inclusion and equity.
  • Retire the current IDSA Nominating Committee, and establish a new Leadership Development Committee that will develop and oversee the process of identifying, coaching and stewarding qualified pools of applicants to serve as volunteer leaders. The Leadership Development Committee will also ensure that volunteers meet core competency skill areas and represent the diverse needs, perspectives and experiences of IDSA’s membership – tapping into an expanded pool of potential leaders and volunteers with diverse expertise and backgrounds.
  • Establish a new COI/Ethics Committee to ensure that members, staff, and others involved in official IDSA activities uphold the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct in carrying out the work of the Society, including disclosure and management of conflicts of interest.
  • Use of ad-hoc entities, such as task forces, working groups and advisory groups, to carry out the work of the Society and offer members more opportunities to volunteer on a short-term basis to assist on specific issues and initiatives.

In addition to important decisions on diversity and governance, the IDSA Board of Directors also participated in brainstorming sessions to develop ideas for a long-term sustainable financial model for the Society. Currently, IDSA has three primary sources of revenues – IDWeek, Society journals and membership dues. These revenues support the strategic priorities of IDSA.  By diversifying sources of revenue, the Society can ensure lasting, long-term impact and support for those who work in the infectious diseases profession and their patients.

One of the key items to arise from these sessions also prompted the approval of a Special Task Force on Publishing. This group will address the current contract between the Society and the official publisher of IDSA journals, Oxford University Press, ending in 2020 and will assist the Board of Directors in a strategic assessment of the publishing landscape and manage the upcoming publisher search process.

More information on recommendations of the Governance Task Force will be shared leading up to and during IDWeek 2018. Watch IDSA News and other IDSA communications for more information on how you can participate in the new IDSA governance structure and DI&E initiatives. Shortly, we will be calling on our members to volunteer and engage with us to build a brighter future for the Society and the field of ID. Stay tuned!

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