8 July 2021

Special Election: US National Committee for the International Astronomical Union

Alice Monet

Alice Monet US Naval Obs. (retired); AAS Secretary

Special elections are rare events for the AAS, but one is coming up in just a few days, and we hope that all our members will take the time to vote.

IAU LogoThe National Academy of Sciences is the US adhering body of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and maintains its relationship with the union through the US National Committee (USNC/IAU). This committee represents the IAU at the national level and includes AAS members in several categories of membership (there are other categories not listed here):

Category I: Up to three elected members of the AAS, representing the AAS membership.

Category II: Three appointed members of the AAS Board of Trustees, responsible for communications between the USNC/IAU and the AAS.

Category IV: Three ex officio AAS officers: the President, Secretary, and Executive Officer.

The three elected (Category I) members each serve for three years. Their terms are staggered so that one new member is elected annually. Normally, a new representative would be elected during the regular AAS election each January, when other AAS officers and Board members are elected. But this pattern was not followed in 2019 or 2020. The lapse in electing representatives may have been due to changes in the responsible officers and a failure to inform the incoming officers of the need to include USNC/IAU nominees on the ballot.

To restore the proper number of representatives to this committee, the Board decided to hold a special election this summer to elect one representative, which will fill the existing vacancy. In next year's regular election, two more representatives will be elected.

The special election will be held from 12 July to 3 August. Watch the AAS website and your email in-box for candidate statements and voting instructions. We hope that all voting AAS members will help us elect a new representative to the US National Committee for the IAU.