Open Call for Public (Nongovernmental) Candidates to serve on the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Science Advisory Board and Health Professionals Advisory Board
Are you interested in helping guide the future of Canada-US cooperation on protecting and restoring the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem? The International Joint Commission (IJC) is seeking talented and dedicated individuals from a variety of disciplines to help it develop advice to the governments on the implementation of the binational Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The IJC is accepting self-nominations for its Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Great Lakes Science Advisory Board and Health Professionals Advisory Board. Board members are not paid but may receive reimbursement for travel to board meetings according to government policies.
Through this open call for nominations, the IJC seeks to establish a pool of potential nongovernment candidates to serve as members on these boards and their work groups. This pool will be used to assist the Commission in addressing future openings. Nominations will be accepted from February 1, 2019 to March 1, 2019 for the Great Lakes Water Quality Board, Great Lakes Science Advisory Board, and Health Professionals Advisory Board.
Candidates that improve the boards’ diversity are especially encouraged to apply. The IJC values diversity and the benefits it can bring to boards, committees and work groups. To the extent practically achievable, gender diversity is sought by the IJC in all of its boards. For purposes of board composition, diversity includes, but is not limited to, age, gender, ethnicity, race, aboriginal status, sexual orientation or disability.
To self-nominate, please forward a one–two page letter of interest, CV/resume and other items you would like to submit to provide additional information on your areas of expertise, as needed. Prior to appointment, employed applicants will need to obtain letters from their employers confirming their ability to occasionally work on board-related activities during regular business hours.
Please send self-nomination materials here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ijc-open-call by March 1, 2019. Applicants should indicate which board(s) they are interested in and why their background, interests and/or training make them well suited for the board(s). Applicants are invited to send their letter of interest, resume and other materials (optional).
The International Joint Commission and its Advisory Boards
The IJC was established in 1909 to help resolve and prevent transboundary water issues along the Canada – United States border. The key responsibilities of the IJC in the Great Lakes region is to assess progress made by governments, facilitate collaboration and provide governments with advice and recommendations to help protect and restore the Great Lakes. The IJC’s roles and responsibilities are described in Article VII of the 2012 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA). The IJC relies on its advisory boards for advice and support on issues affecting the health of the Great Lakes.
Common attributes of WQB, SAB and HPAB
The WQB, SAB and HPAB provide valuable advice to the Commission, which has factored prominently in reports to governments on Great Lakes water quality and human health issues related to the protection of drinking water sources, recreational water use and fish consumption.
The boards are composed of an equal number of members from the Canada and the United States, appointed by the Commission. Co-chairs of boards are selected by the Commission and are responsible for managing the work of the boards. The boards usually meet twice a year in person and two to four additional times a year through a combination of in-person meetings and teleconferences or videoconferences. Members also are expected to join one or two project-specific workgroups which meet several times a year, usually by teleconference.
Board members are usually appointed to serve a term of two or three years. Terms may be renewed by mutual agreement. Board members advise the Commission in their personal and professional capacity rather than as an official spokesperson for their respective organization.
General Competency Guidelines for all board members include:
- effective communicator
- good networking skills
- highly motivated
- good interpersonal skills
- team player
- Scientific, engineering, policy, medical or legal expertise. Additional specific competencies for each board are described separately in the next section.
Water Quality Board
Under the GLWQA, the Water Quality Board functions as the principal adviser to the International Joint Commission with respect to Great Lakes water quality issues. The Water Quality Board (WQB) has provided valuable advice to the Commission and this advice has factored prominently in many of IJC’s reports to governments on Great Lakes water quality. The WQB is charged with assisting the Commission in its assessment of the Parties’ progress in implementing the Agreement, identifying emerging issues and recommending approaches to address challenges facing the Great Lakes.
To carry out these functions, the WQB includes 28 members from diverse sectors including federal, state and provincial governments, First Nations, Tribes, Métis, nongovernmental organizations, municipalities, agriculture, business and the public. Details about the composition of membership, functions and other information about the WQB are available online at: https://www.ijc.org/en/wqb/.
Water Quality Board - Member Competencies
- Extensive knowledge of and experience in addressing Great Lakes water quality policy matters. Members meeting this requirement will have a minimum of five to 10 years of experience and/or participation in Great Lakes water policy matters as an analyst, advocate, manager or policymaker. A member not having a full five to 10 years of experience also will also be eligible if she or he has significant experience in public engagement regarding Great Lakes water policy or holds an advanced degree in a field closely related to Great Lakes water quality policy.
- Extensive experience in governmental program implementation and administration. Members meeting this requirement will have a minimum of five to 10 years of experience in governmental water policy implementation and/or administration.
Science Advisory Board
The Great Lakes Science Advisory Board (SAB) is the principal adviser to the IJC on scientific matters, research, and environmental monitoring. The SAB conducts most of its work through two standing committees, the Research Coordination Committee and the Science Priority Committee.
The Research Coordination Committee (RCC) consists of 14 members representing government and nongovernmental research organizations within the Great Lakes basin. The RCC addresses research management issues and supports the Commission’s efforts to identify specific programs for which binational or international cooperation is essential. Tasks include: promoting binational communication, collaboration, and coordination between scientists, managers and organizations as well as the compilation and synthesis of research activities and findings pertinent to the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement.
The Science Priority Committee (SPC) also consists of 14 members with expertise in Great Lakes research, science, engineering and monitoring. SPC members come from various areas including academia, research institutes, environmental organizations, business, and affiliated retirees. Details about the composition of membership, functions, and other information about the SAB are available online at: https://www.ijc.org/en/sab.
Science Advisory Board - Member Competencies
- should fill a defined discipline/knowledge requirement (Science Priority Committee)
- or have knowledge associated with managing a scientific research facility/program (Research Coordination Committee).
- minimum requirement is a Master’s Degree, but preferably a Doctorate Degree.
- recognized as an expert in their area of expertise by the broader scientific community.
- recognized leadership expertise.
- preferably 10 or more years of Great Lakes-related scientific work experience (Science Priority Committee).
- preferably five or more years of experience managing a scientific research facility/program (Research Coordination Committee).
Health Professionals Advisory Board
The Health Professionals Advisory Board (HPAB) was established in 1995 to provide advice to the International Joint Commission and its boards about current and emergent clinical and public health issues in the area of transboundary environmental health. The HPAB also is responsible for developing recommendations concerning the effective communication of transboundary environmental health knowledge and information. Details about the composition of membership, functions and other information about the HPAB are available online at: https://www.ijc.org/en/hpab.
Health Professionals Advisory Board - Member Competencies
- Extensive knowledge of and experience in addressing human, animal or environmental health issues;
- Significant specialized clinical or scientific knowledge of environmental and public health issues or significant experience working in relevant health research or research programs;
- The membership will be made up of scientific experts from relevant disciplines such as, but not limited to, environmental health medicine, environmental epidemiology, toxicology, public health, drinking water quality, fish consumption safety, and recreational water use safety.
The International Joint Commission is committed to building a diverse and skilled pool of candidates for our boards that is reflective of Canadian and US societies. We encourage candidates to indicate if they identify to a particular designated group. We thank all those who apply.