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Answer the Call: Nominations Open For USA Fencing Board of Directors

01/02/2024, 10:15am CST
By Bryan Wendell

The USA Fencing Nominating Committee is announcing an open call for nominations to fill three critical At-Large Director positions on our Board of Directors. Submissions are due Jan. 12, 2024.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — In a pivotal moment for the sport of fencing in this country, will you step up to serve?

The USA Fencing Nominating Committee is announcing an open call for nominations to fill three At-Large Director positions on our Board of Directors.

This is a unique opportunity to shape the direction of fencing in the United States, bringing your expertise and passion to a sport that thrives on strategy, precision and commitment.

Nominations are now open and will be accepted through Jan. 12, 2024 at 5 p.m. MT. (Find details about the process below.)

Three At-Large Director positions need to be filled. As stipulated in the USA Fencing Bylaws, two seats will be filled through an election, while the third will be filled through Board appointment.

Two At-Large Directors to Be Elected

  • Two At-Large Director positions are up for election.

  • These seats are currently held by David Arias and Peter Burchard.

  • The two successful candidates will serve four-year terms that will begin Sept. 1, 2024 and conclude on Aug. 31, 2028.

One At-Large Director to Be Appointed

  • One At-Large Director position was recently vacated as a result of the resignation of Ivan Lee.

  • As required by the USA Fencing Bylaws (Section 7.6: Vacancies on the Board of Directors), this vacancy must be filled through Board appointment. The Board has asked the Nominating Committee to solicit and review candidates.

  • As outlined in the Bylaws, the appointed individual will complete the balance of the original three-year term, which began Sept. 1, 2023, and will conclude on Aug. 31, 2026. 

  • It is anticipated the appointment will be made at the USA Fencing Board meeting scheduled for Feb. 17, 2024

Process and Timeline

As per our Bylaws, the Nominating Committee is tasked with identifying and soliciting candidates for the USA Fencing Board of Directors. For each elected role, at least one qualified individual will be nominated for election by our general membership. 

Note: All nominees’ names go into the same pool for both the elected and appointed roles. In other words, there’s no need to apply twice or indicate whether the nominee is for the elected seats or the appointed seat. All nominees will be considered for all available roles.

The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. MT on Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. Please submit your self-nomination or suggest potential candidates to Follow the process outlined here.

What Makes a Qualified Nominee?

All nominations are welcome and will be considered. USA Fencing especially values diversity in both experience and background. 

Graduates of USA Fencing’s Leadership Academy are particularly encouraged to apply.

The USA Fencing Nominating Committee will be especially seeking individuals who have prior board experience (inside or outside of the sport), or have held senior leadership positions in complex organizations, preferably at the Board level. 

The ideal individual, as identified by a July 2023 analysis commissioned by the Board, is someone with expertise in growth, service, finance, education, fundraising, strategic planning, or another knowledge gap of the USA Fencing Board. They also have an ability to collaborate and work well with fellow board members, to serve the membership, to support the USA Fencing strategic plan (available here), to support and lead the CEO, to lead and inspire USA Fencing to move forward in a positive strategic direction, and to understand the difference between governance and operations. 

The Nominating Committee will also be looking at the diversity of our board, both in terms of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging considerations as well as diversity of experience and thought.

As three of the five individuals who may be selected by the Board as Chair of USA Fencing, experience as a Board Chair or in leadership positions is also sought. The Nominating Committee also recognizes that there are currently few saberists on the Board.

Your participation could be a game-changer — not just for you, but for the entire fencing community. This is more than a position; it's a chance to help lead our sport at a critical moment for our growth and development. Thanks in advance to those who step up and serve — but make no mistake, Board work is demanding, and we need a dedicated, service-led, set of volunteer leaders.

Timeline at a Glance — Board of Directors

  • Jan. 2, 2024: Window for nominations opens
  • Jan. 12, 2024: Window for nominations closes at 5 p.m. MT
  • Feb. 15, 2024: List of election candidates announced, appointee candidates recommended to BoD
  • Feb. 17, 2024: Appointed At-Large Director named by Board of Directors.
  • March 29, 2024: Petition Deadline
  • On or before April 15, 2024: Final ballot announced to membership
  • April 29, 2024: Bios, one-minute candidate videos posted to 
  • May TBD, 2024: Candidate Forum on Zoom for one half of candidates
  • May TBD, 2024: Candidate Forum on Zoom for other half of candidates
  • May 13, 2024: General election* opens
  • May 27, 2024: General election closes
  • May 28, 2024: Winners announced
  • Sept. 1, 2024: Four-year terms begin for the newly elected At-Large directors

*Note: The 2024 election also will include a vote for the Hall of Fame and, for eligible referees, a vote for three positions on the Referees’ Commission. See more at our Election Hub.

Tag(s): Updates  Election 2024  Board Election