Success Factors in Selecting a Board or Committee Chair

The Chairman of the board or Committee Chair is a fundamental component of and critical to a committee or organization’s success. Success will depend on your chair’s leadership and experience. If you ever sat through a meeting led by a ‘bad’ chair you know exactly what I am talking about.

Factors to consider:

  1. Selection on merit is a key factor when deciding on a chair. In this context merit relates to the professional standing of the potential candidate, their experience of working in areas relevant to your committee or organization and/or their ability as a chair
  2. Ensure your nomination and selection process is undertaken in accordance with your organization’s policies and/or by-laws

  3. Assess whether the candidate has the appropriate expertise for the vacant appointment, in terms of the function of the board or committee and of the expertise provided by the other members (so that there is the right balance with no gaps or unnecessary duplication).

  4. The chair should have previous experience with your committee or board

  5. He/she should be skilled at team dynamics and group skills

  6. The chair should have the time to do the job effectively. Ensure he/she is fully aware of the time commitment involved in chairing your committee or board

  7. Consider whether there are any conflicts of interest

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