Changes to AAPA’s Elections

Dear PA Colleagues,

I am writing today – as Chair of AAPA’s Governance Commission – to inform you about several changes to AAPA’s elections intended to encourage broader member engagement for both candidates and voters, to improve the transparency of our processes, and to create greater parity and consistency in procedures for all elected positions. Here, you can find the full details, including the revised election timeline.

Following last year’s election, the Board of Directors charged the Governance Commission with conducting a comprehensive review of all election procedures, in alignment with the Governance Commission’s role and responsibilities within the construct of AAPA’s bylaws and policies. This analysis has resulted in several changes which will be applied to the 2019 elections.

  • A revised election timeline, pushing the Board of Directors general election to post-conference, will allow both the Board of Directors (BOD) and the House of Delegates (HOD) elections to take place in May, taking advantage of additional candidate and voter engagement opportunities at the annual AAPA Conference. Applications for all BOD positions, including House Officers, will be available on March 15 and due on April 11. Voting for the HOD election will continue to take place at the annual HOD Meeting at AAPA Conference in May. Electronic voting for the BOD general election will open the final day of AAPA Conference – May 22 – and remain open until June 3. This will allow AAPA to seat a full Board of Directors in alignment with the beginning of the 2019-2020 leadership year on July 1.
  • Expanded candidate interview forums will ensure all potential BOD members undergo the same rigorous interview processes. Traditionally, those running for an HOD-elected position have participated in a live Meet the Candidates Forum, while candidates running in the Board general election underwent the Nominating Work Group’s (NWG) interview and endorsement process. To provide parity and align these two processes, this year all candidates who may ultimately serve on the BOD will participate in the NWG interview process and a Meet the Candidates Forum at AAPA Conference.
  • A single application for the BOD general election and the HOD election will provide greater consistency in the application and validation process. While some portions of the application will remain position-specific, the core application – which all candidates must complete – will include identical written-response questions. This will allow voters to understand not only individual candidate experiences, expertise, and positions, but also how potential candidates may contribute to a diverse and well-balanced board.
  • New campaign guidelines will provide greater clarity and more specific guidance for candidate engagement, particularly surrounding campaigning, use of social media platforms, and endorsements.
  • Leveraging technology will allow us to make the process easier for candidates, improve transparency, and encourage voter education and engagement. In addition to the streamlined digital application process, enhanced election webpages will make election and candidate information readily available to members. Also new this year, candidates will submit their platform statements via video, which the Governance Commission believes will foster a more engaging connection with voters.

How an organization elects its board is critical to the integrity of the organization, the trust in its leaders and the ideals they promote, and the value provided to its members.  I look forward to keeping you informed during the 2019 election season and encourage you to contact me at [email protected]  with any questions.



Dennis Rivenburgh, ATC, PA-C, DFAAPA

Chair, AAPA Governance Commission