The National Council is a key leadership body comprised of volunteers and staff who collaborate to advance the organizational priorities of AFS-USA and reports to the AFS-USA President. This volunteer/staff partnership, serving at the national level, is committed to infusing the voice of the volunteers into programs and policy implementation and advising the President and executive staff.
The National Council is comprised of representatives of the different advisory and work groups that contribute to the staff and volunteer partnership in a variety of areas throughout the organization. The National Council, led by a Steering Committee, is tasked with ensuring that there is a high level of coordination among the various advisory and work groups and that as new needs arise in the organization, advisory and work groups are formed or retired as appropriate. The National Council serves to inform and collaborate with senior staff to ensure that organizational priorities are in focus.
The National Council sets the agenda of the annual AFS Summit based on the priorities of the organization.
How can I get involved?
National Council membership appointments are made through a competency-based (skill-based) selection process. Each member meets key criteria that supports the work of the Steering Committee.
To indicate interest in serving as a volunteer on the national level, please complete the National Council Committee and Advisory Group interest form here.
National Council Members:
The National Council is chaired by a volunteer leader and co-chaired by a staff member appointed by the President.
|Suzanne Baker||Chair; Travel Advisory Group||Alaska|
|Mary Jo Brock||Co-Chair; National Council Nominations and Selection Committee*||Staff|
|Debra Bryda||Secretary; National Council*||Northeast Ohio|
|Rebecca Cartier||Chair; National Council Communications Committee*||Dallas|
|Keri Dooley||Co-Chair; National Council*||Staff|
|Dona Goede||Chair; Orientations Advisory Group||World Flags (WI)|
|Melvin Harmon||Co-Chair; National Council Communications Committee*||Staff|
|Tara Hofmann||Ex-officio Member; National Council Steering Committee*||Staff|
|Gayle Jordan||Co-Chair; Support Advisory Group||Western Iowa and Nebraska|
|Traci Larson-Lee||Co-Chair; Hosting Advisory Group||Staff|
|Ian Loumos||Co-Chair, Support Advisory Group||Staff|
|Debra Maly||Chair; National Council Nominations and Selection Committee*||Milwaukee (WI)|
|April Murphy||Chair; Volunteer Engagement Advisory Group||Arizona|
|Abbey Nitzke||Co-Chair; Volunteer Recognition Committee||Staff|
|Sylvia Pertzborn||Co-Chair; Sponsored Programs Advisory Group||Staff|
|Jessica Robinson||Chair; Study Abroad Advisory Group||Dallas|
|Patti Rounsevell||Chair; Compliance Advisory Group||Capital|
|Caitlin Schneider||Co-Chair; Study Abroad Advisory Group||Staff|
|Linne Shields||Co-Chair; Support Advisory Group||Dallas|
|Nancy Studwell||Chair; Sponsored Programs Advisory Group||Greater Puget Sound (WA)|
|Steve Sweet||Chair; National Council Volunteer Recognition Committee*||Western NY|
|Ann Sweet||Vice-Chair; National Council*||Western NY|
|Ryan Tallman||Co-Chair; Travel Advisory Group||Staff|
|Steve Thrush||Co-Chair; Hosting Advisory Group||Staff|
|Jim Walker||Chair; National Council*||Capital|
|Robin Weber||Co-Chair; Orientation Advisory Group, Compliance Advisory Group||Staff|
* Denotes National Council Steering Committee members (NC Chair and Committee Chairs), who serve a maximum of two three-year terms.
2021 AFS Summit session: “Representing the Volunteer Voice at the National Level.”
This presentation focuses on the work of the National Council as they partner with staff to engage volunteers while focusing on organizational priorities. We discuss the organization of the National council and the desired characteristics of National level volunteers.