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Director's Dispatch: ISD Board Elections

Election Overview

The ISD Board of Directors election begins today. There are eight candidates running for six seats. The election is an important decision for ISD parents as it will impact the education their children receive. The International School of Dakar is governed by a Board comprised of nine elected trustees. The trustees are elected by the parents and guardians of the ISD students and the ISD teachers. Board members are volunteers and do not receive any compensation.

Board Governance

Best practices in the governance of a non-profit organization are different than the governance of a for-profit company. A non-profit Board is responsible for the future stability and viability of the school. The main areas of responsibility are broken down into four areas:

  • Long-term strategic planning

  • Hiring, retention, and support of the school’s Director

  • Financial including approving long-term financial plans, annual budgets, tuition, and staff compensation

  • School policy

The bulk of the work of the Board is done in committee. The Board currently has five committees:

  • Buildings and Grounds

  • Diversity and Inclusion

  • Finance

  • Governance and Development

  • Policy

The committee researches and discusses topics and forwards them to the full Board for further discussion and eventual vote.

ISD has a history of strong governance. Over the years, the Board has committed to learning best practices in Board governance through orientation of new members, annual three-day retreats with an expert in Board governance, and regular self-appraisal of their performance against international standards. This work earned high marks in our last Council of International Schools accreditation report, the Board earned “exceed expectations” in all five criteria of governance.

Election Details

This afternoon you will receive instruction on how to vote in an email from ElectionBuddy. If you do not receive a ballot, please email

Having a strong Board is essential to have a good school. Take some time to review the candidates and then make your selection.

You can review the candidate’s background here.

Proposed Bylaw Change

The Board is requesting the Association make an amendment to the ISD Articles of Association to add the position of Honorary Board Member. An Honorary Board Member would be appointed by the nine elected members in the event the Board determined there was a need for a specific skill set, for example, financial, construction, or legal. The school is a complex organization with an annual budget of about $17 million USD. As Board members are all elected, there is always a chance that the Board could be left without the needed skills to oversee the school.

The Honorary Board Members would not need to be an ISD parent and they would not have voting rights. The elected Board members would have the option of adding Honorary Board Members, but would not be required to appoint any if there is not a need. Up to two Honorary Board Members can be appointed at any time and will serve a two-year term.

Two-thirds of the Association members who vote will need to vote yes in order for the amendment to pass.

Click here to learn more about the proposed amendment.

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