In the context of ASTC’s vision, purpose, and strategic direction, the Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Committee (the “Committee”) is an ad-hoc committee of the ASTC Board of Directors (the “Board”) providing input to ASTC’s efforts to champion public engagement in science. ASTC’s advocacy and stakeholder-engagement efforts focus on elevating the work of science and technology centers and museums and forging new collaborations across the broader science-engagement ecosystem. The Committee works with ASTC staff to advocate for policies, resources, partnerships, and other actions that advance the societal impact of science centers. The Committee collaborates with ASTC staff and members on engaging with stakeholders to increase support for science centers within government agencies at Federal, state, and local levels, as well as with other aligned partners and funders.
Structure and Membership
The Board Chair will have the power to appoint a Chair or Co-Chairs for the Committee from the staff of ASTC Science Center and Museum Members or Allied Members. At least one of the Committee Co-Chairs, or the Sole Chair, will be a Director serving on the Board. The members of the Committee shall be appointed by the Board Chair, and the Board Chair shall have the power at any time to fill vacancies of, change membership of, or discharge the membership of the Committee.
The Committee will comprise no fewer than five (5) members, including the two Co-Chairs, of which at least two Committee members will be Directors currently serving on the Board. Committee members will serve one-year terms. No person may be appointed to serve on the Committee for more than three (3) consecutive full terms without a break in service of at least two (2) years following the third full term. Committee members may serve on other ASTC Committees and task forces. The Chair will endeavor to ensure that the membership of the Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Committee membership reflects and represents the breadth of ASTC member institutions.
The Board Chair also will endeavor to ensure that at least one (1) member of the Global Trends Committee, and at least one (1) member of the Conference Program Planning Committee serve concurrently on this Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Committee, to act as liaisons between the four committees.
Focus and Responsibilities
The primary focus and responsibilities of the Advocacy and Stakeholder Engagement Committee include:
- Considering the full range of work ASTC members do to engage the public in science and technology—including supporting lifelong science learning, connecting science and society, engaging diverse audiences, and partnering to solve local and global challenges—and identifying the field-wide needs for, and supporting the work of, data collection, tool development, and capacity building that enable science centers to advocate for greater financial resources and other forms of support
- Working with ASTC staff to assemble concrete examples of how science and technology centers and museums are and advancing global, national, regional, and local priorities, and lifting up case studies and field-wide data that demonstrate ASTC members’ impact related to a wide variety of communities and stakeholders
- Offering input and ideas to inform ASTC’s messaging, public and stakeholder communications, and online presence, to support ASTC’s advocacy and stakeholder-engagement objectives
- Developing and, as needed, revising ASTC’s Public Policy Principles—to be approved by the ASTC Board of Directors—that guide the association’s priorities for working directly with government agencies and policymakers; supporting our members’ advocacy and community organizing efforts at the local, regional, state, and national levels; partnering with other organizations and associations on shared priorities; and collaborating with other networks on international advocacy efforts
- Ensuring that ASTC’s Public Policy Principles and other advocacy and stakeholder engagement reflect the association’s commitment to diversity, accessibility, equity, and inclusion and advance our members’ work to better support the priorities of the diverse communities they serve
- Providing guidance to ASTC staff in identifying and prioritizing opportunities to advance work aligned with ASTC’s Public Policy Principles
- Engaging in direct government advocacy on behalf of science and technology centers and museums, as well as the broader science-engagement and science-learning ecosystems, such as participating in Museums Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., supporting other ASTC- or partner-led advocacy campaigns and activities aligned with ASTC’s Public Policy Principles, and otherwise engaging Federal, state, and local lawmakers
- Supporting and informing ASTC’s collaboration, partnerships, and collective advocacy and case-making efforts with stakeholders and institutions across the broader science-engagement, science-learning, afterschool, science-communication, research, education, and museum ecosystems
Procedures and Administration
- Conduct Consistent with Bylaws. As an ad-hoc committee of the Board, the Committee will conduct its activities in a manner consistent with ASTC’s bylaws. The business of the Committee will be conducted as nearly as possible in the same manner as provided by the ASTC Bylaws for the Board, unless otherwise provided for by the Board in rules for the Committee’s business.
- Advisory Capacity with No Power to Bind. The Committee may advise the Board, any committee of the Board, or ASTC staff. The Committee shall have no power or authority to bind ASTC or the Board on any matter.
- Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest and Recusal. Committee members will disclose any conflicts of interest and be recused from any matters on which they have a conflict of interest, in accordance with ASTC’s conflict of interest policy.
- Meetings. The Committee will meet in person or via telephone or videoconference at the discretion of its Chair or Co-Chairs, or at the request of the Board Chair. A majority of the members of the Committee will constitute a quorum for the transaction of business, and the affirmative vote of a majority of those present shall be necessary for any action by the Committee. The Committee will keep such records of its meetings as its Chair or Co-Chairs shall deem appropriate.
- Commitment to Diversity, Accessibility, Equity, and Inclusion. The Committee and its members will conduct committee business in a manner consistent with ASTC’s diversity policy and stated commitment to diversity, accessibility, inclusion, and equity.
- Ad-Hoc Working Groups. The Committee Chair or Co-Chairs may form working groups (including those consisting of a single member), as it deems appropriate from time to time.
- Reports to Board. The Committee will report on an as-needed basis to the Board, including by providing an annual summary and evaluation of committee activities to the Board.
- Charter. At least annually, the Committee will review and reassess the adequacy of this Charter and recommend any proposed changes to the Board for approval.