Epidemiology Section Membership and Leadership Guide

General: Membership in the Epidemiology Section is granted to APHA members who choose the Epidemiology Section as their primary or secondary Section. It is renewed annually through the APHA office. The Section Membership Representative is appointed by the Section Chair and receives updated membership information from the APHA Membership Department.

Leadership: The Epidemiology Leadership consists of elected and non-elected positions. The positions elected by an annual majority vote of all primary members of the Section include:

  • Chairperson
  • Chairperson-Elect
  • Immediate Past Chair
  • Secretary/Treasurer
  • Section Councilors (two elected each year)
  • Governing Councilors (number based on current section primary membership size)
    One senior Governing Councilor shall serve as the Whip for the Section GC and a first-year Governing Councilor shall serve as Whip-Elect, as selected by the Section during a business meeting at the APHA annual meeting.

The person elected as Chair-person elect serves two years in that position, two years as Chairperson, and two years as Immediate Past Chair. Section Councilors and the Secretary/ Treasurer serve three year terms. All other positions are elected every two years. The roles and responsibilities of the elected position are assumed immediately after the APHA annual meeting held in the year of the election, though participation in the annual meeting of the year of election is encouraged.

In addition to elected leaders, the Section has the tradition of appointing additional qualified leaders to the following positions considered to be part of section leadership:

Membership on APHA Councils, Boards, Committees, Caucuses, or Task Forces

  • Action Board Representative
  • Task Force on Aging
  • Continuing Education (liaison to APHA Education Board)
  • Membership Representative (part of APHA Committee on Membership)
  • Program Planning Committee Representative (Program Chair and Program Chair-Elect)
  • Public Health and Managed Care Caucus
  • Science Board Representative
  • Student Caucus

Participation in Epidemiology Societies and Capacity Building

  • Chronic Disease Epidemiology Capacity Building Workgroup
  • Liaison to the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE)
  • Liaison to the Epidemiology Congress

Section Infrastructure

  • Development Director
  • Diversity Coordinator
  • Web-master and listserve coordinator

The Immediate Past Chair serves as the Nominations Chair and the Chair-Elect serves as the Awards Committee Chair. The Finance Committee is comprised of the Chair, the Chair-Elect, the Secretary/Treasurer, the Development Director and one additional section leader, as selected by a simple majority of the leadership at the annual meeting.

As needed, additional epidemiology leaders are needed for Ad-Hoc Committee, Task Force, or Workgroup service for APHA.

Appointments are made by the Chairperson with majority approval by the section leadership.

Responsibilities of Section Leadership Positions Whether holding an elected or appointed position in the Epidemiology Section Leadership, it is the responsibility of the leader to:

  • Maintain APHA membership with Epidemiology as the chosen primary section,
  • Participate in a minimum of 1/2 of monthly section leadership conference calls (time estimation: 8-12 hours/year),
  • Attend the APHA annual meeting and participate in section business meetings.

If these duties cannot be met, it is the responsibility of the leader to (a) notify the Section Secretary of the reasons why the responsibility cannot be met and (b) when appropriate, identify a substitute during the time frame responsibilities cannot be met.

Job Descriptions


Term of office: two years

Duties include:

  1. Coordinate Section activities in accordance with APHA Section Chairs Manual
  2. Oversee and organize efforts of Section leadership
  3. Identify and orient Committee chairs/appointed positions in Leadership
  4. Review Section newsletter
  5. Respond to incoming correspondence
  6. Lead section business meetings at the annual meeting and monthly conference calls
  7. Review and comment upon all position papers and resolutions
  8. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association
  9. Serve on APHA Intersectional Council (ISC) and participate in ISC business
  10. Approve Section purchases and expenditures
  11. Maintain up-to-date strategic plan for the Section
  12. Coordinate Section Social at Annual Meeting in conjunction with Program Planner
  13. Represent Section in dealings with other epidemiology associations and societies


Term of office: two years

  1. Participate in section business meetings and monthly conference calls
  2. Orient to role of chairperson
  3. Participate in APHA Chair-Elect training
  4. Serve on the Intersectional Council (ISC)
  5. Serve as Section Awards Committee Chair
  6. Serve on Section Finance Committee with Chair and Secretary/Treasurer
  7. Coordinate annual Section leadership dinner with award winners
  8. Review and comment upon all position papers and resolutions
  9. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association
  10. Provide support to chairperson as requested

The commitment of a person elected Chair-elect is for six years; two years each as Chair-elect, Chair, and Immediate Past Chair

Immediate Past Chair

Term of office: two years

  1. Serve as chairperson of section nominations committee
  2. Provide guidance to Chair and Chair-elect as requested
  3. Serve on the Intersectional Council (ISC)
  4. Participate in section business meetings and monthly conference calls
  5. Review and comment upon all position papers and resolutions
  6. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association


Term of office: two years

  1. Publish section on-line newsletters
  2. Conduct roll call and record minutes of meetings and monthly conference calls
  3. Maintain the section leadership roster, submitting updates regularly to the web-master
  4. With the Chairperson, develop an annual section budget for approval by a simple majority of the section leadership.
  5. Monitor Section expenditures on an ongoing basis with APHA staff support
  6. Report Section finance status to leadership during monthly conference calls and at the annual meeting
  7. Interact with the APHA to facilitate the solicitation of information regarding section financial matters and helps the leadership in obtaining appropriate reimbursements.
  8. Advise the section on the availability of outside or additional APHA funds for specific activities (e.g., CE courses, social events), and on the mechanisms to obtain them.
  9. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association

Minutes of the business meetings and scientific sessions are submitted to the Executive Director of the Association by the Secretary or substitute after the close of the Annual Meeting. The purpose of the newsletter is to inform the section members regarding current section activities, future meetings, and other issues of epidemiologic and public health interest, and to solicit their participation.

Section Councilors

Term of office: three years
Number of Councilors: six; two elected each year

  1. Review and comment upon all position papers and resolutions
  2. Participate in section business meetings and monthly conference calls
  3. Serve on ad-hoc committees, workgroups, and task forces for the section at the request of the Chair
  4. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association

Governing Councilors (number based on current section primary membership size)

Term of office: two years

The Governing Council establishes polices for the Association and for guidance of the Executive Board and the officers. The Council also elects the Executive Board, the officers of the Association and Honorary Members.

Duties of Epidemiology Section Governing Councilors:

  1. Review and comment upon all position papers and resolutions
  2. Represent the Section at all meetings of the Governing Council (GC), which typically holds business and policy meeting on Sunday afternoon and all day Tuesday during the annual meeting (submits a proxy to GC Whip for each session unable to attend)
  3. Represent the Section at policy hearings during the annual meeting
  4. Vote on resolutions and positions papers and APHA officers as directed by the Section Council
  5. Negotiates with other Sections and Affiliates on behalf of the Section in a manner that builds bridges between the Epidemiology Section and other entities within APHA
  6. Participate in the annual meeting of the Association

All Section Officers are elected by the full Section membership to a term of office that begins at the end of the annual meeting following election. Persons may be considered for reelection to the same or different positions.

Governing Councilor Whip

Term of office: two years (one as "Whip in training")

Duties: Coordinate governing councilors. Arrange for training of new councilors at the APHA meeting prior to the beginning of their term. Ensure all councilors are either present at the council meeting or that an appropriate proxy is given. Assign to groups to review resolutions and sit in the hearings. Make sure councilors are appraised of how to vote as directed by the section council. Responsible for ensuring changes to approved late-breaker resolutions are updated and sent to the APHA staffers by January 1 of the following year. Chair of resolutions committee.

Section Committees

Program Committee

This Committee is comprised of a Chairperson, Chair-Elect, and at least two additional Section leaders, with assistance in abstract review by a broader expertise-driven group of epidemiology section members.


  1. Plan scientific program for the annual meeting
  2. Review, along with a review committee, submitted abstracts
  3. Select abstracts for presentation at the Annual Meeting
  4. Submit student abstracts to Awards Committee for review for Student Awards
  5. Plan special sessions
  6. Work to obtain joint Section and, when appropriate, Affiliate, support of scientific sessions

Membership Committee

  1. attract and retain members of the section
  2. oversee development and staffing of section booth at the APHA annual meeting
  3. attend APHA Committee of Membership, which meets on Wednesday at 8:30 at the annual meeting
  4. Rosters: the Nominating Committee and current Section Chair hold hard-copy rosters of all section members
  5. Section Chair receives monthly reports of new member names

Awards Committee

The Awards Committee is designated by the Chair of the Epidemiology Section of the American Public Health Association. The Committee is made up of the Committee Chair and at least 3 other active members of the Epidemiology Section, all of whom are familiar with the field of epidemiology, the current status of its practice, research, and teaching, and those who are, or have recently been, active contributors to the field.

Duties: select award recipients, ensuring respect for diversity in career venue, geographic representativeness, gender, physical ability, and areas of epidemiologic expertise. Invite award recipients to meeting, and to join section leadership for dinner following the awards ceremony. Host awardees at the APHA meeting. Write a short synopsis of why each awardee's qualifications and why selected for inclusion in the fall newsletter and for awards ceremony brochure at the annual meeting. Provide title of Wade Hampton Frost lecture and pictures of awardees in time to be included in the APHA program. Make dinner reservations for dinner with section leadership.

Nominations Committee


  1. Identify candidates for section officers and councilors
  2. Chaired by Immediate Past-President
  3. Identification of potential candidates: all section members are eligible for office.

Development Committee

Duties: Raise funds for section awards and other section business

Booth Committee

  1. Submit application for annual Epidemiology Section booth to APHA Convention staff
  2. Update Section tri-fold display, as necessary
  3. Recruit section members to man the booth, covering all hours the Exhibit Hall is open
  4. Coordinate booth donations, flyers, give-aways, raffles, and other handouts
  5. Ensure the proper storage of booth materials between annual meetings
  6. Support Affiliate use of Section tri-fold at Affiliate meetings external to the APHA annual meeting, coordinating with epidemiology section members who are also members of the Affiliate.

Finance Committee

  1. Develop, present, and obtain leadership approval for the annual budget for Section
  2. Work with the APHA staff to ensure Section funds are appropriately used

Diversity Committee

  1. Review Section functions and protocols to enhance diversity in leadership, training opportunities, scientific session presentations, awards, and scholarships
  2. Represent the Section in APHA diversity efforts.

Epidemiology Section Committees are created or dissolved by a 2/3 rd vote of the section leadership.

APHA Boards and Committees (modified from the APHA Membership Policy Manual)

The work of the Association is conducted through a set of standing Boards and Committees. The boards oversee development and implementation of APHA policy (e.g., Science and Action Boards) as well as work to develop and expand educational opportunities for the membership.

Action Board -- This board is charged with the formulation, planning, organization and implementation of APHA policies and positions. The board also proposes an annual legislative program. Each Section has a representative on the Action Board. Approximately one-third of the Sections representatives’ terms on the board expire each year. Each Section is required to submit three nominees for deployment to the Action Board. The Executive Board designates the Action Board chair and vice chair. The board generally meets once during the year at APHA headquarters and once during the Annual Meeting. Annual Meeting expenses are not reimbursed. The term of appointment to the Action Board is three years.

Science Board – The Science Board has the role of stimulating and coordinating the development of the scientific basis for the Association’s professional and public policy programs. The 15 members of the Science Board represent the core areas of public health: behavioral and social sciences; biomedical sciences and clinical practice; environmental and occupational health; epidemiology and statistics; and health management and social policy. The Science Board meets during the spring and during the Annual Meeting. Expenses for the Annual Meeting are not reimbursed. Members of the Science Board are appointed through the membership deployment process, and each serves a three-year term. The Epidemiology Section attempts to keep a member of the Section on the Science Board at all times.

Committee on Membership – The COM is a standing committee of APHA that serves to assist and advise the Membership Department in membership retention and recruitment efforts. The group works to promote and retain Section and SPIG membership, as well as promoting membership in state Affiliates. Membership updates (new, renewing and non-renewing memberships) are provided by the APHA Membership Department to the Section Chair and Membership Representative at least twice a year.


The Epidemiology Section Policy and Procedures Manual may be amended by a simple majority of the Section Leadership. The vote may be conducted at a business meeting, during a conference call, by mail (postal or e-mail), or fax.