Council elections - Open positions at the IIC

Note: This post is still in the process of being updated. 9th April 2022.

What is the IIC anyway?

The IIC is the International Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. It is an international society based in the United Kingdom and is registered there as a charity. Along with ICOM-CC and ICCROM, it is a large association with international members who, in one way or another, work towards the conservation of (tangible) cultural heritage.

The IIC is the publisher of a very important journal in the field of conservation, Studies in Conservation and it is also the host of some of the largest international conferences in our field. For example, the 2022 IIC Congress will be coming up this year between 5-9th September in Wellington, New Zealand.

Aside from the publications and events, the IIC also runs international training courses and mentoring programs designed to help heritage professionals with their Continuous Professional Development. There are also grants, prizes and awards available to encourage projects and individuals in their conservation journeys.

Did you know? You don't need to be a conservator to be a member of the IIC. Membership is open to anyone with a professional interest in conservation. This means you can be a scientist, architect, educator, student, art historian, archaeologist, curator, etc. Any person working to preserve cultural heritage is welcome!

In case you're interested, you can read more about becoming a member.

If you are a conservator, the above explanations are probably completely unnecessary for you. Chances are you have published or participated with the IIC in some way or another before. As mentioned before, the IIC is a charity, so most of the roles within the Institute are volunteer roles.

So why are we talking about the IIC?

Positions up for elections

Yes, it's that time of the year again! The IIC Council is made up of the people who manage the day-to-day issues of the IIC. During the Annual General Meeting (coming up this Thursday, 26th May 2022), the Council explains current management actions and projects to the general membership and also takes the opportunity to answer any questions members might have about what's going on, how funds are being used, what the plans are, etc. You know, just questions people ask to those running an organisation.

Apart from all this important communication stuff, the Annual General Meeting is also the time to elect or re-elect Council members for the different positions. Depending on what the rules say, some positions may be up for re-election, while others have to have new people come in (fresh blood!).

So what positions will be free for election this time around? You are, of course, welcome to check out the official instructions for nomination at the IIC website, but I am giving you the quick and dirty run-down if you'd rather that! Important Disclaimer: If you do decide to run for election, please follow the legitimate instructions on the official IIC website, and not mine! I'm just glossing over here for your amusement and encouragement. I warn you some may be dad-level jokes.

Please note that I have not been nor am I likely to be directly in charge of the following descriptions and requirements in the future. In other words, I did not make these myself. If you have any comments or issues regarding the position profiles, please feel free to reach out to the Talent and Participation Committee (TPC) so that we can bring up these important topics with the Council. There will be more info on the TPC at the end of this blog post.


Headshot of Morgan Freeman
Photo of Morgan Freeman by Georges Biard, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This is the big one, innit? Really, no one else will do except Morgan Freeman, especially when he plays God. The President will work with the Executive Director to determine the IIC's general strategy and direction. You will be in charge of promoting key strategic relationships (with Tim Robbins, Jim Carey, Kevin Costner, Imperial penguins, etc.). You shall also represent the IIC and raise its profile at external events. You will be the chair for Council and Annual General Meetings. Naturally, you will be fully committed to IIC's goals of sustainability, access and inclusion and make sure that the IIC delivers and stays true to its values. You will be besties with the Secretary General.

Disclaimer: I honestly can't tell you if Morgan Freeman really said some of these things, but the Google says he did, so let's flow with it.

"Did you just call me old? I really prefer the word 'experienced'."

Specific requirements

  • Leadership skills. You're gonna have to get Gandalf and Santa to follow you. (If this confuses you, keep reading.)
  • Well-respected international reputation. I mean... Morgan Freeman.
  • Ability to represent IIC and speak authorititavely on behalf of the professional body. Ideally, with a voice as smooth as butter.
  • A good understanding of the profession around the world.
  • Ability to promote coordination and good cheer between all Council members, committees, staff and volunteers. "Fatigue, discomfort, discouragement are merely symptoms of effort."
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion. "If you want to see a miracle, be the miracle."
  • Ability to ensure decisions are taken and are implemented in time.
  • Tact and diplomacy: "Is listening important? I can't think of a single walk of life where it wouldn't be."
  • 3-year commitment to the position and to chair Council meetings, have fortnightly contact with the IIC office, keep in touch with your buddy the Sec. Gen., participate in the annual Fellowship, Regional Group and Student meetings. As the big cookie, everyone will want to see you, so you really have to go to all key events such as the biennial Student Cand Emerging Conservator Conference and Congress.

If you feel too intimidated to apply for this role (you shouldn't!) because you don't have a deep narrator voice appropriate to talk about penguins and conservation procedures, don't worry too much. The incumbent President at the moment will be running for re-election and you can just vote for him. Still, here's a Morgan quote about that:

“I’m not intimidated by lead roles. I’m better in them. I don’t feel pressure. I feel released at times like that. That’s what I’m born to do.”

You tell it like it is, Morgan Freeman.

Secretary General

Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg
Alyson Hannigan as Willow Rosenberg, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Property of Warner Brothers. Image from Wikipedia.

As Secretary General, you will be the Garth to our Wayne, the Garfunkel to our Simon, the Piglet to our Winnie, the Willow to our Buffy. Your role will involve working closely with the IIC Executive Director and Council President. You will be the magic link between the IIC's strategic ambitions and operational capacities. This means that you check that we have all the potion ingredients to pull off what we need to do. You should be comfortable with being the person we can all trust to make sure the IIC is an inspirational group with a distinctive, dynamic and well-managed organisation. The Secretary General is responsible for organising and promoting cooperation and coordination between Council members, committees, and the Executive Director. I trust that Willow's experience of being a sweet, shy witch and a short-lived power villain will give you the breadth of expertise required to fulfill this position.

Other duties include being the Chair of the Talent and Participation Committee and the Chair of the Complaints Committee should it become necessary to have one. You will also coordinate the Annual Review and assist the Executive Director. The Secretary General is expected to lead Human Resources matters including pension administration. You will also have to prepare Council Meetings and oversee the administration of ballots.

Finally, this one is a big adulting one: The Secretary General will be the bank signatory and co-administrator (together withe the IIC Treasurer) of IIC's investment funds, reserve accounts and deposit accounts. This means you will have your hands on our dough and will be expected to take responsibility for all cakes. As the lead magical person in the Council, you will be expected to work closely with all the Chairs of different areas.

Specific requirements

  • According to charity laws, the Secretary General must be a UK resident.
  • Be an IIC Fellow in good standing. IIC will not take Dark Willow, just nice Willow.
  • Be fully engaged with IIC's purpose, core activities, operations and functions. In other words, you can't just let Buffy and Xander go off on their own. You have to be there too. "It's a good fight, Buffy, and I want in."
  • Excellent organisational, leadership and communication skills. I mean, I am giving you Gandalf, Santa, Yoda, Hermione, Matilda/Miss Honey and Morgan Freeman, so yes... Communication!
  • Have a a well-respected international reputation in the profession.
  • Ability to promote cooperation and coordination between members of the Council coven. Your soft skills will be highly valued.
  • Commitment to delivering on IIC's sustainability, access, and inclusion agenda.
  • Ability to ensure decisions are taken in a timely manner and are implemented. You don't want to upset Morgan's penguins. It's all about timing for them, you know?
  • Tact and diplomacy. You can't tell people that they're "going Dumbledore" on you.
  • 3-year commitment to the position and to chair Council meetings as well as the big list of meetings and events as you saw them for the position of President above.

Again, you are very welcome to run for this, but if it feels too much, again no worries, because the incumbent will be running for re-election.

Director, Chair of Fellowships Committee

Lego Gandalf
Will you lead the Fellowship?

As the Chair of Fellowships Committee, you will work towards making the Fellowship a strong, inclusive, international network. I wish you got a Gandalf hat to go with this. (Get ready for all the LOTR references coming up). The Chair of Fellowships will help determine the objectives of the Fellowship growth initiatives and attempt to extend Fellowships to under-represented regions of the world (like Gandalf bringing in the hobbits). The Chair will also lead the reviews for Fellow nominations and present them to the Council, as well as supervise the ballot and voting.

Specific requirements

  • Be an IIC Fellow in good standing. (No Sarumans need apply.)
  • Be aware of IIC's purpose, core activities, operations and functions.
  • Leadership skills (Naturally, if you are to lead the Fellowship).
  • Have a a well-respected international reputation in the profession. Brownie points if your surname is "The Grey" or equivalent in other languages.
  • Teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion.
  • Be good at following up and through on decisions and projects. (People will await your coming at the third dawn and things like that.)
  • Tact and diplomacy. You can't go around banging people on the head with your staff or saying things like "Save me from the stubbornness of dwarves."
  • 3-year commitment to the position and to attend Council of Elrond things.

Director, Chair of Awards and Grants Committee

Close-up of Santa Claus white gloved hands over a red suit and black belt with a stag motif on the brass belt buckle
You will not be required to fit in a chimney.

The Chair of the Awards and Grants Committee is like... an IIC Santa Claus. You will oversee the administration of the IIC's international awards and grants, as well as being responsible for generating and asking for nominations for specific awards, prizes and Honorary Fellowship status. In other words, you may be making lists and checking them twice. You will want everyone around the world, even the silent mice, to know about IIC awards in order to encourage sustainability and innovation at a global scale. In this case, you will not be allowed to give out any coals.

Specific requirements

  • Be an IIC Fellow in good standing.
  • Leadership skills (Or the reindeer just won't listen to you.)
  • Teamwork, communication and interpersonal skills. (You're not getting an elf workshop, but this is still key.)
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion.
  • Be good at following up and through on decisions and projects. (Nobody likes missing prizes.)
  • Tact and diplomacy. (Don't need to be a full jolly, happy soul, but you know what is meant.)
  • 3-year commitment to the position and to attend Council of Elrond things (where you will meet and work with Gandalf.)

Director, Chair of Professional Development and Standards Committee

Lego Yoda from Star Wars
“When nine hundred years old you reach, look as good you will not.” To become a Chair, forever must you not wait.

The Chair of Professional Development and Standards Committee.... let's say they will be like Yoda. Since IIC's core objectives are to advance knowledge and continuously improve professional practice and standards, the Chair of this Commitee will work with national associations and professional bodies around the world building international networks that strive for accreditation, excellence and educational opportunities for all. Yoda quotes ahead.

Specific requirements

  • IIC Fellow in good standing, you must be.
  • Recognised interstellar reputation, you must have.
  • Teamwork and communication, key are.
  • Commitment to nurture innovative approaches to training and skill development. “Always pass on what you have learned.”
  • Professional guidance, you will extend. Avoided, the Dark Side of conservation must be. Extra points if you can find opportunities to say: "Much to learn you still have... my old padawan this is just the beginning!"
  • Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills. Brownie points if you speak Shyriiwook, droidspeak, Ewokese, Huttese or any other intergalactic languages.
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion.
  • 3-year commitment to the position and attendance to the Jedi Councils.

Director, Chair of Emerging Professionals Committee

Poster of Matilda Musical over Cambridge Theatre in London Image by Philafrenzy, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons. “She believed she could so she did.”

The Chair of Emerging Professionals Committee makes me think a bit of a strong female lead, so I am picking Miss Honey and Matilda, from the Roald Dahl book. This Chair's responsibilities have to do with nurturing the next generation of professionals, helping them strengthen their personal and professional skills as well as aiding them in finding their networks. You want to be everyone's Miss Honey. You should know that you will not be expected to spend a lot of time looking at people thoughtfully over the rim of your glasses. Matilda quotes coming up for your diversion!

Specific requirements

  • You don't need to be an IIC Fellow for this one.
  • We will like it even better if you're fresh and full of cool ideas!

“There aren’t many funny bits in Mr Tolkien either,’ Matilda said. ‘Do you think that all children’s books ought to have funny bits in them?’ Miss Honey asked. ‘I do,’ Matilda said. ‘Children are not so serious as grown-ups and love to laugh.”

  • Leadership skills and a well-recognised reputation in the profession is important, as your personal journey to success will be an aid and perhaps even inspiration to the next generations. “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable.”
  • Teamwork and communication, as always, are expected. It will probably be even better if you promise everyone big, gooey chocolate cakes. You got my vote if you promise cake.
  • Commitment to nurturing the talent of new professionals through innovation for training and skills development. “What she needed was just one person, one wise and sympathetic grown-up who could help her.”
  • Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills. Extra languages welcome. Be able to avoid telling Gandalf that his book doesn't have many funny bits.
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion.
  • 3-year commitment to the position and attendance to the Jedi Council and Council of Elrond meetings. Cakes welcome here too.

Super cute note: For the 30th anniversary of writing Matilda, the amazing Quentin Blake illustrated a few imaginary jobs that she could be doing today. And guess WHAT? One of them is "chief executive" of the British Library. Check out the link to see the adorable cartoons!

Director, Ordinary Member of Council

Fan art of Hermione Granger, from Harry Potter holding her wand and leaning forward
Image by Reilly Brown - reillybrownart - reillybrown.deviantart -, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

The position for Director, Ordinary Member of Council makes me think of someone who cares for the rules, but also for the people, so I have chosen Hermione, the girl from Harry Potter - not the girl from the Iliad, in case the picture with the wand got you confused. The way I understand it, an Ordinary Council Member is there to ensure the IIC is carrying out its purposes as a charity and for the public benefit for which it was conceived. This means, for example, that the money should not be used for... say... fighting for the rights of guinea pigs or campaigning for crunchy over smooth peanut butter, etc. - all lofty goals regardless - just not IIC ones. An Ordinary Council Member, like Hermione, is supposed to be like that caring friend who just wants you to do things the way you ought to, but will still be nice about it.

Since Hermione, as far as we know, never got to finish Hogwarts properly? we'll assume that all the fanfiction is correct, and she did indeed become Head Girl in a parallel universe. As such, a Head Girl will aim to support volunteers, employees, staff, and students as well as acknowledge their contributions. She will also protect Council Members (Prefects?) from overextending themselves and stop them from accidentally supporting actions which are not in line with IIC purposes. You will also ensure that people and committees are accountable to the Council, and that the Council, in turn, is accountable to all Members. If it were up to me, you'd get a wand and a robe - just like Gandalf.

Specific requirements

  • You don't need to be an IIC Fellow for this one either. Woot!
  • As with all the other positions, it will be important to be a recognised member of the community in one way or another.
  • Attention to detail. The Ordinary Council Member must examine IIC activities consciously to make sure that charity rules are being followed. “Actually I’m highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook.”
  • Teamwork, again, key. Nothing surprising there. With all the Wonder Trio experience under your belt, we know you can do this.
  • Highly developed communication and interpersonal skills. This means no telling anyone that they have the emotional range of a teaspoon.
  • Commitment to deliver on IIC's agenda for sustainability, access and inclusion. “I’m hoping to do some good in the world!”
  • 3-year commitment to the position as Head Girl and attendance to important meetings with Hogwarts School Board, Ministry of Magic, Jedi Councils, etc.

And since no Hermione Granger profile would be complete without a book or homework of some sort, you should know that all Council Members are expected to have read the Guidance from the Charities Commission, as it contains the obligations of all charity trustees.

Mistaken Requirements

Things you may think you need to be or have in order to run for these positions:

  • Over 60yrs old
  • Show 10+ indexed publications
  • Won 3+ conservation awards
  • Prove that you have used at least 50lbs of Paraloid/BEVA/swabs in your career

You don't need to be/do any of these!

REAL General Requirements

  • Declare that you are eligible to be a Trustee and Director to a Company registered as a charity in England and Wales. As far as I understand it, this does not mean you need to be located in the UK, nor does it mean you need to be a citizen of any country in particular. It looks like just a regular "I'm not a horrible human being, I promise." type of form to me.
  • The only position for which you do need to be a UK resident is Secretary General. This has to do with rules governing charities.
  • You do need to be a member of the IIC - but you don't need to have Fellow status for two of the positions. Why would you be on the board of an institution you're not even a member of, eh? Hardly an ask.

My recommended general requirements

  • Be a lovely individual looking to help and support the IIC community through your great ideas and leading qualities.
  • Be comfortable communicating ideas and working in a team.
  • Be willing to write up a couple basic things to stand up for election.

I'm ready. I want to direct things. I can do this!

First of all, if you want to run for elections, you are an amazing cookie. Congratulations from me already! So what do you need? Not much, actually! There isn't even a form! You need the following three things:

  • 250-word manifesto of why you want to fulfil the role. (Members will probably read this when deciding who to vote for so make it snazzy!)
  • CV (Resume). You probably have this one already. Unless you haven't applied for anything in years, in which case it's probably a good idea to update, right?
  • Reference or statement of support from someone who thinks you will do a smashing job.

Send these three things to [email protected] and address it to Jane Henderson, Secretary General, Chair of the Talent and Participation Committee -- unless, of course, you're applying for Jane's posision (that wouldn't be awkward at all), in which case you can address your email to Diane Gwilt, Vice Chair of the Talent and Participation Commitee. Be sure to mind the deadline, which is 18th April 2022 at noon (British Standard Time). If you are easily confused by timezones, like I am, here's a useful link to help you figure out the deadline in your timezone.

The brand new Talent and Participation Committee (TPC)

Why did I even write this? I have recently joined the IIC Talent and Participation Committee!! What will we be doing? What is the TPC all about?

The main goals of the TPC are to:

  • Help bring in a broader pool of participants and talents from around the world to contribute to the Council and committees
  • Expand the reach and diversity of IIC.

We will also be happy to take comments and suggestions regarding barriers to participation so that we can address them with the Council.

One thing we definitely do not do:

  • Pick and choose our friends to fulfill positions. We don't have that kind of power. We can only invite and encourage. It is the role of IIC members to vote for people to fill positions. Naturally, should there ever be a conflict of interests in anything relating to this, TPC members will step away from the process.

If you are interested and want to learn more about the TPC, reach out to me or any of our other lovely members, and we will be happy to talk to you. Based on our current committee members, I think we can talk to you in a variety of languages as well, so don't feel put out by all the English.

I think I want to stand for election... but I have questions!

If you have questions before deciding to stand for election - please email Ellie Sweetnam, [email protected] and Ellie will find the right person to answer your question.

And just to be on the safe side, let me write down this disclaimer again: Important Disclaimer: If you do decide to run for election, please follow the legitimate instructions and information on the official IIC website, and not mine!

Second disclaimer, just to be on the safe side, I do not, of course, own any Harry Potter, Star Wars, Roald Dahl or Santa-related anything at all. No one is paying me to advertise them - as if they needed me for that! I am not making any money from mentioning them either. I am not selling anything. Etc., etc., etc. I make no claims whatsoever over any copyrighted content.

If you'd like to read more articles on various other conservation-related topics, please feel free to browse the blog!

If you'd like to continue this conversation, follow me on Twitter where I'll be happy to talk about it some more.

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