NDSA’s Evolutionary Leadership

Echoing the sentiments of other colleagues, digital preservation is not a state that is achieved; rather it is a comprehensive set of managed activities that are necessary to provide continued access to digital objects, beyond the limits of media failure or technological change. Similarly, leadership within an organization, especially one that is 100% volunteer driven, is not a state that is achieved, but one that is, or should, be constantly evolving. The continuous evolution of leadership can be attained through sound organizational governance.

To avoid getting caught in the traps of “cult of personality” leadership, or let’s just re-elect so-and-so, NDSA instituted term limits and staggered terms for its elected Coordinating Committee (CC) members. More recently it has established a form of Chair and Vice Chair leadership for the CC. A Vice Chair is elected from the CC and serves for one year in that role, shadowing the current Chair. The following year they succeed as the next Chair; as such they must have at least two years left in their current term when elected as Vice Chair. 

In 2021, I became the first Vice Chair to become Chair. This year, Nathan Tallman, Digital Preservation Librarian for Penn State University, and my former Vice Chair has become the CC’s new Chair. We have elected Hannah Wang, Educopia’s Community Facilitator for the MetaArchive Cooperative, as the 2022 Vice Chair. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming our new leaders!

~ Dan Noonan, Past Chair

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