Impending AOVET Governance Elections

05. October 2017

Elections for 19 positions within the governance structure of AOVET will be held.

AOVET ElectionsElections are an exceptional opportunity to refresh and recommit the assets of an organization and 2018 will be an important year for AOVET in terms of which international surgeons will come to lead this medically guided, not-for-profit organization. In the months ahead, elections for nineteen positions within the governance structure of AOVET​ will be held, providing for a new constellation of officers by July 2018. This is an excellent opportunity for enthusiastic, committed, passionate AOVET surgeons to attain leading roles within the organization.

The voting process will begin with the AOVET International Board whose members are responsible for overseeing and coordinating the global strategy, functions and activities of AOVET, one of the four Clinical Divisions of the AO Foundation (along with Trauma, Spine and Cranio-maxillofacial). The Board comprises the international Chair along with the Chairs of all the global Commissions and Regions. This year, elections will be held for the International Board Chair, the European Board Chair, the Asia Pacific Board Chair, the Education Commission Chair, the Community Development Commission Chair, and the Research & Development Commission Chair. To facilitate this year’s comparatively complex election process, the International Board Chair election will occur between October and December 2017, followed by the Regional Board Chairs from December 2017 until February 2018 and lastly, the Commission Chairs between February and April 2018. All current and past International Board members are eligible to apply for any position, whereas all current and past members of the Regional Boards may apply for the respective Regional Board Chair positions, and similarly all current and past members of the Commissions may apply for the respective Commission Chair positions.

On a regional level, the four AOVET Regional Boards (Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America) are responsible for overseeing and planning the full range of activities in the field of education. Moreover, they provide regional input to the respective global Commissions for Community Development and Research & Development. As mentioned, elections will be held this year for the Asia Pacific and European Board Chair positions. Additionally, the following regional positions are up for election: two European Board members, three North American Board members, four Asia Pacific Board members, and one Latin America Board member. The regional board member elections will occur between April and June 2018. All active AOVET faculty are eligible to apply for regional board member positions. 

The three AOVET Commissions are responsible for establishing standards, coordinating and leveraging ideas, and ensuring best practice transfer between the regions in the fields of education, community development, and research and development. As noted above, all three Commission Chair positions are up for election. In addition to the Chair positions, three Education Commission member positions, four Community Development Commission member positions, and three R&D Commission member positions are up for election. These elections will all take place in parallel to the elections of Regional Board members between April and June 2018. The Commission members are nominated from the regional board members, taking into account each one's area of expertise and allowing for regional representation in each Commission.

The voting is conducted by anonymous e-voting and may contain multiple rounds. With each round, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated until, in any round, one candidate receives an absolute majority of votes. When this occurs, he/she is elected and the voting process is concluded. The electorate for the upcoming elections consists of eligible AOVET officers (i.e. voting members of the AOVET governance bodies such as the International Board, Regional Boards, International Commissions, etc.). The respective electorate will be notified in advance by email about the e-voting process and information about the candidates such as CV and letter of intent will be provided.

The fundamental aims of the AOVET elections are to provide opportunities for new and appropriately qualified individuals to attain officer positions. At the same time, the process must ensure stability and continuity within the organization, especially now as AOVET implements an entirely new business model and several other major global initiatives. Accordingly, the governance principles applied for AOVET elections follow the well-tested guidelines of the AO Foundation. Furthermore, an AOVET officer can hold one governance position for a maximum of only two terms with no re-election possible into the same position thereafter. However, an upward move is always possible. Lastly, to ensure a smooth transition of leadership, AOVET requires the chair-elect to align with the current chair for six months preceding the transition. The philosophy behind the AOVET election process strives to keep AOVET relevant, best in class and current in our continually changing profession by allowing fresh, innovative perspectives to integrate with lessons learned by our mavericks.

In the weeks ahead, the different calls for applications will be posted on our website. AOVET looks forward to welcoming new and old officers and encourages the next generation of veterinary surgeons to utilize this opportunity to become more involved in AOVET's mission of improving patient care.

If you have questions or want more information about the electoral process, please contact