Job Descriptions for SCOR Executive Committee Members

The SCOR Executive Committee is responsible to act on behalf of national SCOR committees to oversee SCOR activities between annual meetings. The Executive Committee is comprised of the following types of members:

  • 1 President (four-year term, non-renewable) – elected by national SCOR committees
  • 1 Past President (four-year term) – elected as President by national SCOR committees, then automatically becomes Past President at end of term as President
  • 1 Secretary (four-year term, non-renewable) – elected by national SCOR committees
  • 3 Vice-Presidents (two-year terms, renewable once) – elected by national SCOR committees
  • 3 Ex-officio Members, the presidents (or their designees) from three related organizations of the International Science Council (ISC): the International Association for Biological Oceanography, the International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Oceans, and the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences. Neither the national SCOR Committees nor the SCOR Executive Committee select these members.
  • Up to 2 Co-opted Members, who are selected by the SCOR Executive Committee to improve the expertise, geographic, age/career stage, and/or gender balance of the Executive Committee. Co-opted Members can also be appointed for special duties that the Executive Committee want to be linked closely to the Executive Committee.

The list of current SCOR Executive Committee members can be found at

The Executive Committee functions as the SCOR board of directors and, in this capacity, has the following responsibilities:

1. Oversight of SCOR finances. In addition to considering recommendations of the independent Finance Committee at annual meetings, the Executive Committee conducts its financial oversight by reviewing quarterly reports provided by the SCOR Executive Director. The quarterly report includes a balance sheet for the end of the most recent quarter, a profit and loss statement for the year to date (against budget), the status of dues payments, a list of staff travel costs, a list of payments to outside contractors, and recent and planned activities on proposals and grants. Financial Terms of Reference for SCOR Executive Committee

2. Oversight of the scientific activities of the organization. As an international scientific organization, it is crucial that SCOR be focused on the most important, cutting-edge ocean science. The Executive Committee tracks all SCOR scientific activities through communications with the SCOR Secretariat and has two specific responsibilities in relation to scientific issues:

a. Service as Reporters for activities undertaken by SCOR. SCOR supports the international scientific steering committees for research projects, working groups, and various other committees. Each SCOR activity is assigned a SCOR Executive Committee member to oversee the group and report on its activities at annual SCOR meetings.

b. Service as Monitors for proposals for new working groups at annual SCOR meetings. SCOR considers proposals for new working groups at each annual SCOR meeting. Each proposal is assigned one Executive Committee member to present the proposal at the meeting, summarize comments received about the proposals, and communicate with the proponents after the meeting regarding the results of the discussions.

3. Oversight of management and procedures of the organization. The Executive Director consults regularly with the Executive Committee on matters of organization activities, strategies, documents, liaisons with other organizations, etc. All written policies of SCOR are considered and approved by the Executive Committee.

4. Hiring, periodic review, and determination of the salary of the SCOR Executive Director. Also determines that salary of the Financial Assistant. Rates of contractors must be approved by the Executive Committee before agreements are approved.

5. Representation at meetings of cooperating organizations. The SCOR President is the main representative from the Executive Committee to other organizations, but other members may be requested to serve in this role from time to time.

It is expected that SCOR Executive Committee members will normally attend annual SCOR meetings during their terms and will respond to emails from the SCOR Executive Director in a timely way. Many decisions of the Executive Committee are made by email, and decisions are usually not taken unless a majority of members respond to the requests for approval/advice.

In addition to these general responsibilities, the Executive Committee members have the following specific responsibilities:

President—The SCOR President bears primary responsibility of working with the SCOR Executive Director on a day-to-day basis in relation to the regular activities of SCOR. The President serves as the liaison between the SCOR Executive Committee and and the Future Earth and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. The President reviews the SCOR Newsletter before it is distributed.

Past-President—The SCOR Past-President is responsible for chairing the Nominating Committee for election of SCOR officers in even-numbered years. He/she is also responsible for managing the periodic review of the SCOR Executive Director.

Secretary—The SCOR Secretary is responsible for taking notes during closed and open annual meetings of SCOR.

On occasion, the SCOR Executive Director seeks advice from the President, Past-President, and Secretary when he desires quick advice from beyond the President.

Vice-Presidents—The SCOR Vice Presidents have no specific duties beyond the general duties for an Executive Committee member described above.

Ex-officio Members—Ex-officio members of the SCOR Executive Committee are responsible to serve as liaisons between their organizations and the SCOR Executive Committee, including providing an annual report to SCOR from their organizations. These members should also provide information about SCOR to their organizations and any advice/requests from their organizations to SCOR.

Co-opted Members—Co-opted Members to the SCOR Executive Committee have no specific duties beyond the general duties for an Executive Committee member described above. However, they are sometime appointed to the Executive Committee based on other SCOR responsibilities, such as chairing the SCOR Committee on Capacity Building, serving as the convener of special SCOR events, etc.