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About the Board of Directors

The Public Affairs Council is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of industry leaders. Board members are typically outstanding, senior-level executives who have demonstrated a commitment to upholding the mission and goals of the Public Affairs Council.

The board is a group of approximately 160 senior public affairs executives from leading corporations, associations and consultancies. Board members provide input and oversight for the Council’s programs and services; approve budgets and the allocation of resources; and participate in high-level discussions about emerging public policy and business issues.

The Council’s board is the premier network of senior public affairs executives. Participation gives members the chance to work with and learn from professionals in other industry sectors, and develop strong personal relationships that can benefit them in innumerable ways.

About the Executive Committee

The Executive Committee – composed of the most active board members – oversees networks, develops budgets, recommends new programs, sets staff performance goals, plans board meetings and conducts other Council business. Over time, many active board members have the opportunity to serve on the fifteen-person Executive Committee. Executive Committee positions are term-limited in order to ensure that there is a constant flow of new people and ideas into the group.


Expectations for board members are as follows:

  • They provide input and oversight of the Council’s programs and services.
  • They act as resources for the participants of the Council’s networks.
  • They assist in the recruitment of new member companies and associations.
  • They volunteer to be an information resource for other members.
  • They provide financial support to our Foundation for Public Affairs.
  • They attend a minimum of one board meeting during a two-year term.
  • Their company or association is compliant with Council dues requirements.

Time Commitment
Board members serve as “sustaining members” of the Council. The time commitment is modest, but the time spent should be valuable to both the individual and the Council. In addition to attending the annual meetings, board members volunteer to serve on advisory groups or in networks.

Financial Contributions
The Council’s bylaws require that a board member’s organization is in compliance with dues guidelines. However, board members are also expected to make a contribution to the Foundation for Public Affairs the research affiliate of the Public Affairs Council. This 501(c)(3) organization conducts and supports research on emerging public policy issues and trends that affect the public affairs practice. More information is available at www.pac.org/foundation.

No fundraising is required, but board members are expected to assist with member recruitment. Some members are extremely effective at directly recruiting new member companies and associations; others contribute by informally spreading the word about the Council’s programs and services. More information is available at pac.org/membership or you may contact our membership team for information at 202.787.5950.

Board Meeting Attendance
Two board meetings are held annually, one in Washington, D.C., each spring and one in the western United States each fall. The meetings address Council program and budget priorities, but also feature presentations on world events and public affairs management topics.

The spring meeting is a one-day forum that gives senior executives the opportunity to hear nationally renowned speakers address emerging issues. The fall meeting is a two-day event that combines strategy sessions about Council priorities and budgets, stimulating speakers and presentations on public affairs best practices.

Nominations Process

Each June, the Council issues a call for nominations. Members in good standing are invited to nominate senior public affairs executives from member organizations to serve on the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. Members may also nominate themselves. Executive Committee nominees must already be board members.

In July, the Nominating Committee meets to review all nominations and recommend a slate of candidates. At the October meeting, the full Board of Directors makes its final selections. Board members serve a two-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve, but he or she is automatically considered for reelection every two years.

Resignation Process

Because Council board members are elected as representatives of their organizations, any board member who retires or leaves his or her organization during a term of service is considered to have automatically resigned from the Board of Directors on the date of departure.

This resignation is officially recognized by the full board at the subsequent fall meeting. We request that the departing board member provide an appropriate point of contact within the organization ahead of departure so we can maintain a strong relationship with the organization. If the departing board member joins another member organization of the Council, he or she may be considered for nomination to the board the following June.

Additional Questions?

Council President Doug Pinkham serves as staff executive of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. You can reach him directly at (202) 787-5964.

The Council’s chairman for 2015-2016 is Rusty Ring, Vice President, Government Affairs at Roche Diagnostics Corp.

Staff Contact:
Brenda Plantikow
Manager, Board Relations
202.787.5965 | Email