A paper prepared for the Global Fund Board meeting on 14-15 November in Geneva outlines options regarding a future process to select the Board chair and vice-chair. The current Board leadership was selected in May 2017. Because the terms of the chair and vice-chair are for two years, the next Board leadership renewal is scheduled to happen in May 2019.
Board members have expressed some dissatisfaction with the current process. Discussion of the options in the paper will help inform a recommendation by the Ethics and Governance Committee (EGC) to revise the Board leadership selection process for consideration by the Board in May 2018.
The current process calls for the two voting groups, donor and implementer, to separately identify nominations for either the chair or the vice-chair, based on a two-year rotation principle. (In May 2017, the chair was nominated by the implementer group, and the vice-chair was nominated by the donor group. In May 2019, if the same process and the rotation principle were retained, the chair would be someone nominated by the donor group and the vice-chair someone nominated by the implementer group.)
Under the currently process, if more than one candidate is nominated for one or both positions, an election for the relevant position(s) is called involving the full Board. We do not believe this have ever occurred in practice.
The paper puts forward three options:
- Maintain the existing process with some enhancements.
- Adopt a hybrid process.
- Adopt a unified process.
The options are described below.
Existing process with enhancements
Under this process:
- the two voting groups separately identify nominations based on the two-year rotation principle (as at present);
- both voting groups could be requested to codify their respective selection processes, voting procedures and contingency measures (new);
- the Ethics Officer conducts due diligence on leading candidates nominated by the two groups with the assistance of an executive search firm (new); and
- if more than one candidate is nominated for one or both positions, an election for the relevant position(s) is called involving the full Board (as at present).
Under this process:
- the two voting groups separately nominate candidates based on the two-year rotation principle – each group identifies three nominees for either chair or vice-chair;
- if a group does not nominate three candidates, an executive search firm may put forth names to the group for its endorsement to reach the required number of nominees;
- the EGC or the nomination committee reviews credentials of the six nominated candidates and conducts enhanced due diligence;
- with support of the Ethics Officer, the EGC or the nomination committee presents a final slate of two candidates based on pre-defined criteria – such as governance and leadership experience, involvement with multi-stakeholder initiatives, diversity and gender balance, and complementarity; and
- the Board votes to appoint the final slate of nominated candidates.
Under this process:
- A single ad hoc nomination committee is established to identify, review and vet top candidates for chair and vice-chair (with the assistance of an executive search firm);
- the nomination committee seeks to ensure rotation between both voting groups for the positions of chair and vice-chair;
- the nomination committee, the Ethics Officer and an executive search firm undertake enhanced due diligence on the final roster of candidates;
- the nomination committee presents a final slate of Board chair and vice-chair candidates to the Board for appointment.
Board members had an opportunity to comment on the options at a session during the pre-day portion of the Board meeting on 13 November. The next steps are as follows:
December 2017-January 2018: consultations and analysis of the implications of the proposed options, allowing opportunity for additional constituency input and guidance as the options are refined.
March 2018: The EGC prepared a final proposal for recommendation to the Board.
May 2018: Board decision to implement changes (if a decision is required), at the 39th Board Meeting.
November 2018: Call for nominations for positions of chair and vice-chair launched at the 40th Board meeting.
May 2019: Appointment of the next chair and vice-chair at the 41st Board meeting.
Board Document GF-B38-22 (Strengthening the Board Leadership Selection Process) should be available shortly at www.theglobalfund.org/en/board/meetings/38.