American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Responsibilities of the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy

Description of Office 

The Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy is charged with: 

  • Initiating appropriate recommendations for legislative, regulatory, and other public policy activities and initiatives concerning the welfare of audiologists and speech-language pathologists and individuals with communication and related disorders;
  • Serving as Board liaison for activities of and-where appropriate-engaging in cooperative efforts with nongovernmental agencies concerned with the welfare of persons with disabilities, including individuals with communication and related disorders;
  • Promoting education, understanding, and support among the public, governmental, and nongovernmental bodies, and among members of other professions regarding the needs and rights of individuals with communication disorders;
  • Serving as the Board liaison and facilitating the activities of the Government Relations and Public Policy Board, which is charged with developing the Association's public policy agenda for adoption by the Board of Directors;
  • Serving as the Board liaison and facilitating the activities of the Political Action Committee, which is charged with raising funds to influence the nomination or election of individuals to national office who will promote the interests and needs of the speech-language pathology and audiology professions and those of persons with disabilities;
  • Serving as the Board liaison and facilitating the activities of the Health Care Economics Committee, which is charged with ensuring equitable coverage and reimbursement for audiology and speech-language pathology services;
  • Serving as the Board liaison for activities of the Joint Committee on State-National Association Relationships, which is charged with recommending actions and policies designed to improve and maintain optimum state-national association relationships. and
  • Serving as the Board liaison and facilitating the activities of the School Finance Committee, which is charged with monitoring reimbursement in the schools and providing information about school finance issues to ASHA members. 
  • Serving as the Board liaison and facilitating the activities of the Committee on Medicaid, which is charged developing strategies for improving the availability of reasonable and necessary speech-language and audiology services to children under the state Medicaid programs.

Term 

Three years. 

Desired Personal and Professional Characteristics 

  • Ability to listen, analyze, think strategically and creatively, and work well with people individually and in a group.
  • Ability to consider multiple viewpoints about controversial issues and to communicate ASHA's perspective effectively with members and stakeholders.
  • Ability to prepare for, attend, and participate in board and committee meetings (including conference calls), ask questions, take responsibility, follow through on a given assignment, and evaluate oneself.
  • Willingness to develop certain skills if one does not possess them, such as understanding financial statements and learning more about the substantive program areas of the Association.
  • Honesty; sensitivity to and tolerance of differing views; a friendly, responsive, and patient approach; community-building skills; personal integrity; a developed sense of values; and concern for the Association's development.
  • Familiarity and experience with legislative, regulatory, reimbursement, or grassroots advocacy processes. 

Primary Responsibilities 

  • Attend and participate in all meetings of the Board of Directors.
  • Be informed about the association's mission, services, policies, and programs.
  • Assist the Board of Directors in carrying out its fiduciary responsibilities.
  • Review agenda and supporting materials prior to board and committee meetings and conference calls.
  • Represent ASHA on behalf of the President as needed.
  • Remain updated and informed regarding current legislative issues.
  • Communicate regularly with ASHA staff regarding governmental and public policy updates and issues.
  • Attend the annual ASHA Convention.
  • Annually review and vote on the Association's budget.
  • Attend the annual meetings of both the Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology Advisory Councils.
  • Represent viewpoints of audiologists, speech-language pathologists, and speech, language, and hearing scientists across work settings when presenting and/or discussing governmental and public policy issues.
  • Contribute to a review of the Chief Executive Officer.
  • Serving as the Board liaison for activities of assigned boards, committees, and councils; serve as liaison between assigned boards, committees, and councils, and the Board of Directors.
  • Appoint a Coordinating Committee to consult on government relations and public policy topics as needed.
  • Testify at legislative hearings, if requested and feasible.
  • Participate in the program development and presentation of the annual ASHA State Policy Workshop.
  • Participate in the program planning and presentation of legislative advocacy activities to selected ASHA committees and boards prior to their annual Capitol Hill visits. 
  • Prepare and present information at meetings on behalf of the Association as needed. 

Time Commitment 

Approximately 16 hours per week (excluding travel). 

Financial Support 

The Association provides the Vice President for Government Relations and Public Policy with support in a number of ways: financial support for required functions of the office; assistance with office expenses, including some limited personnel support; and an equipment budget.  

A stipend is provided to the Vice President's institution.

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