This document is intended to assist interested CVMA members in understanding the process through which they may serve on the CVMA Board of Governors, House of Delegates, and the CVMA’s various committees. If you wish for further information concerning such service, please contact the CVMA’s Executive Director, Dan Baxter at email@example.com.
The CVMA’s chief governing body—the Board of Governors—consists of 15 Board members, 11 of whom are elected by their designated geographic association districts, and four of whom are “at-large” members selected by the CVMA’s Leadership Development Committee.1 Board members are expected to attend four Board meetings per year (in January, March, June, and October), and Board members are occasionally called upon to conduct business via email between those meetings. Board terms last for three years, and Board members are limited to no more than two consecutive terms in office. Persons interested in Board membership must submit nomination materials, including a form signed by ten CVMA members within their district, sufficiently in advance of the CVMA’s June Board meeting to allow for review and approval by the Board. Occasionally, there are contested races for a Board position; when that occurs, election ballots are sent to all CVMA members within the district at issue. CVMA members interested in service on the Board of Governors should contact their corresponding geographic Board member, VMA officer, or the CVMA’s Executive Director, Dan Baxter, at
The House of Delegates is an advisory body to the Board of Governors on matters of local and regional interest, and on matters of policy affecting the practice of veterinary medicine and its branches. Members of the House of Delegates are elected or appointed by the CVMA’s 33 constituent associations. There are 25 geographic constituent associations and eight nongeographic associations, with the latter consisting of Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs), Holistic Medicine Veterinarians, Food Animal Veterinarians, Lab Animal Veterinarians, Shelter Medicine Veterinarians, Western U Faculty, Western U Students, and UC Davis Students. (For a full list of the CVMA’s constituent associations, see here.) Constituent association representation in the House of Delegates is weighted such that each constituent association is represented by one Delegate and one Alternate Delegate for each 150 members of the constituent association. Each geographic constituent association delegate, in addition to being a member of the House of Delegates, also represents their constituent association as an advisor to the Board member(s) serving their geographic area.
The House of Delegates meets twice per year, in January and June. Delegates serve two-year terms, and unless a specific exception is granted, delegates may not serve for more than a total of three terms (whether or not consecutive). CVMA members interested in service on the House of Delegates should contact their constituent group liaison, or the CVMA’s HOD staff liaison, Grant Miller, DVM, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 For a map of the CVMA’s geographic districts, see here. Note that due to its large population, District II— consisting of Los Angeles and Orange Counties—is represented by three Board members.
Much of the CVMA’s business is done at the committee level, with the decisions and recommendations of those committees ultimately coming to the Board for review and ratification. The CVMA currently maintains twelve separate committees, most of which meet once or twice a year. (For a list of the CVMA’s committees, see here.)
Most of the CVMA’s committees are populated in May and June of each year. Committee terms, along with the Board and House terms, run on a July 1-June 30 calendar. Each May, the CVMA’s President-Elect and Executive Director review the committee rosters and attendance records, as well as information for potential new committee members, and decide whom to ask to serve as chair and members of each committee. The President-Elect (or CVMA staff) contacts each person to determine interest, and those willing to accept the charge are then directly appointed (or reappointed) by the President-Elect. Once the selection process is complete, final committee rosters are compiled and distributed to the Board of Governors and CVMA staff.
With a few exceptions, committee terms last for three years, with an option for an additional three-year term thereafter. After a committee member serves two consecutive terms, they are required to take a one-year break before serving again on the same committee. (Note that certain CVMA committees have different protocols from the above, with what is essentially a fixed membership. The best example of this is the CVMA’s Ways & Means Committee, which is populated by the last ten CVMA Board Presidents and last five House of Delegates Chairs. The CVMA’s Leadership Development Committee is another, similar, exception.)
CVMA members interested in committee service should contact the CVMA’s Executive Director, Dan Baxter at email@example.com.
The CVMA also makes efforts to populate relevant councils and committees of the American Veterinary Medical Association. A list of the AVMA’s councils and committees can be found here.
The CVMA’s proposed candidates for AVMA council and committee service are selected by the CVMA’s AVMA Advisory Committee, which meets each year in or around November. At that meeting, the Advisory Committee reviews the AVMA Committee and Council vacancies and determines what slots might be appropriate to fill with a CVMA-sponsored candidate. During that meeting and in the weeks that follow, Advisory Committee members find and propose candidates for service, and CVMA staff then determine eligibility for those selected. Once those candidates are selected—and confirm their interest—they are approved by the Board of Governors at the Board’s March meeting. Following that meeting, CVMA staff submits the nomination materials for the approved candidates to the AVMA, whose committee and council nomination deadlines are March 31 (committees) and May 1 (councils), respectively. Committee membership is determined at the AVMA’s April Board of Directors meeting, while Council positions are filled at the AVMA’s annual House of Delegates meeting in July.