ABGC Board of Directors Election – Things You Should Know

The Annual ABGC Board of Directors election proceedings are undertaken with the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality, reflecting the organization's mission, core values, strategic goals and bylaws. Excellent governance at the board level provides the vision and direction to ensure that ABGC and the genetic counseling profession are on the right path. 

Benefits of Serving
Board service is beneficial to for your development and may help you advance professionally. A key attribute senior leaders look for when hiring or promoting people is experience serving their professional community. Plus, serving on the ABGC Board allows you to use your unique expertise to make a meaningful contribution to the profession that you care so much about. As a Director, you’ll work with others, consider multiple points of view, sharpen your diplomacy and negotiating skills, and expand and diversify your professional network.

Board Composition
The ABGC Board of Directors is deliberative, and focuses on standard settings in professional practice. This differs from a representative Board, which focuses on representation from all geographic or practice areas, duration of experience or other demographic characteristics. 

Board Member Service
Board Directors engage in high-level oversight of the Certified Genetic Counselor credential and promoting the profession. During their four-year terms, Directors help shape the organization's strategic goals and conduct the business of ABGC, which includes: 

  • Representing the board with dignity, respect and credibility
  • Promoting the value of the ABGC credential
  • Managing ABGC financial obligations
  • Creating a fair and defensible certification examination and recertification program
  • Monitoring the interests and concerns of Diplomates, active candidates, genetic counseling trainees and program directors 
  • Monitoring genetic counseling and allied health care credentialing trends
  • Assessing and addressing professional misconduct or illegal activity by individuals holding or applying for the ABGC credential

Director Qualifications
Day-to-day operations of ABGC are managed by the Executive Director and staff. The Board of Directors supports this work, and provides leadership and strategic governance. Qualified Board of Director candidates should possess well-rounded professional expertise, including:

  • Experience in the genetic counseling field and knowledge of the history and development of the profession
  • Leadership experience on boards or committees of other organizations 
  • Membership in relevant professional organization(s) 
  • Passion for ensuring equity in the field of genetic counseling through inclusion of varied perspectives, experiences and backgrounds 
  • A proven track record of working successfully within groups and providing creative service and learning experiences to others 
  • Well-developed understanding of professional certification methodologies
  • Strong organizational, written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to multitask a significant amount of Board work while maintaining professional commitments

Employer Support
It is essential that employers of Board members support their decision to serve ABGC, as business is sometimes conducted during normal business hours. Job flexibility is also key to Board members’ ability to attend a minimum of two in-person meetings per year. 

Nominating Committee Policies and Procedures
Approximately six months prior to each election, the ABGC President appoints a Nominating Committee, tasked with identifying a slate of candidates for election to the Board of Directors. The Nominating Committee is comprised of one current Board member and at least four certified members at large. Members of the Nominating Committee may not be candidates for election. 

Nominating Committee members conduct telephone interviews to help assess each candidate’s qualifications, and ultimately submit a slate of no more than two candidates per open position to the ABGC Executive Office. 

Ranking Candidates
Nominating Committee members review all completed applications and rank candidates using the following criteria: 
4 = ideal candidate; well qualified to run for a Board position
3 = good candidate; few questions about qualifications
2 = possible candidate; has limited qualifications
1 = reject candidate; unfit to serve at this time based on qualifications

Following the review, ranking and interview processes, all nominated candidates are contacted by the Nominating Committee Chair with outcomes. 
Voting Process
The ABGC Executive Office sends unique electronic ballots for the Board of Directors election to each Diplomate. Ballots must be completed by the date indicated to be considered valid and be counted. Candidates receiving the highest number of votes are elected, and begin serving four-year terms on January 1 following the election.  

For questions concerning the ABGC Board of Directors nomination and election process, email ABGC