Consultation on Advisory Board Coordinator Role

We’ve been discussing on the Board a role to coordinate the Advisory Board and act as a point of contact for organizations. I’ve been filling this role, but as I step down from the Board in December, there won’t necessarily be someone on the Board to take it on. I’m happy to transition into this facilitative, non-decision making role.

Would appreciate feedback on the sketch of the role in this hackmd from the community. I am also requesting input from the Advisory Board. After any revisions, will then put in front of the OSMF Board for a formal decision.

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I’m curious about this statement:

there won’t necessarily be someone on the Board to take it on

Could you elaborate on that?

Responsibilities now detailed under this role grew in my time as tenure as Secretary. The current Board sees these as valuable, but no one on the current Board will have the bandwidth to cover it next year, and there is quite a lot otherwise on the Board’s plate. It’s possible that after the election there be a new Board member with interest in these responsibilities, but that’s not guaranteed.

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To Mikel’s answer, I would add that having someone who can work with the local chapters and companies in a dedicated way is important for building connections for sponsorships for local chapter SotMs and other projects, as well as general fundraising. It’s a “client relationship management” role which is a unique job skill, closer to something like strategic communications, than software devs or data analysis. And, of course, devs and data are just statistically more likely to be the background of most OSM board members.

It’s also not a role that should change every year as it does rely on building long-term relationships.

To me, it’s a good idea to make space for people with certain kinds of skills, who want to support the community, to be able to do so, as distinct from the formally elected board.

I think I’m a good example of this, too. I bring a niche skill and love to use it for the community, but I don’t need to be on the board to do it. It helps make sure that the group of people who volunteer a lot (like you and Mikel) have enough diversity of skill to support the whole project.

I suppose another option might be to designate certain board slots for certain skills: Communications, Finance, Community and Corporate Relations. This way the community could indeed vote for a person and thus validate their role, but we could guarantee the necessary functional areas are covered. But that is probably a discussion the community should start thinking about. now, with an eye to the 2024 board election! :slight_smile: