The Carpentries Executive Council Officer Positions

General tasks for each officer position are described in the bylaws. This document describes their tasks in more detail.


The Chair’s primary role is to organise and facilitate the activities of the Council. General tasks are described in the bylaws.

The Chair’s responsibilities are to:

  • Organise official meetings, including regularly occurring monthly meetings and additional special meetings as necessary.

    • Set meeting times and make sure these are properly adjusted with respect to daylight savings (which does not change for all members at the same time)

    • Send out reminder email 7-10 days before each monthly meeting (more details in the monthly minutes document)

    • Plan dates, location, and agenda for the annual in-person meeting with input from the rest of the EC

  • Set the agenda and ensure that it is circulated in a timely fashion to allow EC members to prepare for the meeting.

    • Review submissions to the agenda form and add these to the agenda for the meeting

    • Invite non-members to the EC meeting as needed for specific discussions, such as staff, Community Initiatives (CI) representatives

  • Ensure meetings are led fairly and transparently.

    • Make sure the Secretary is posting minutes for approval, voted on by EC members, and published in the public repository all in a timely fashion.

    • Make sure that motions are voted on in a timely fashion (send out a notice when they are ready for voting and reminders as necessary to the group or individuals).

  • Facilitate the formation of necessary Committees and appointments of EC liaisons.

    • Make sure that committees and task forces report back to the EC on their work at monthly meetings, either verbally or in non-verbal updates.

  • Act as the primary liaison between the Executive Director and the Executive Council.

    • This typically involves a monthly meeting with the Executive Director (ED) to discuss current issues and possible agenda items for the next monthly meeting and is typically two weeks offset from the monthly Executive Council (EC) meeting.

  • Coordinate the Executive Director’s annual performance evaluation (November)

  • Oversee the search for a new Executive Director when necessary.

  • Ensure that EC members are aware of their duties and responsibilities.

  • The EC member who holds the position of Chair has ideally served on the EC for at least one year prior to accepting the office and is willing to remain accessible to the Chair who accepts the position following their departure from office.

  • The following additional tasks also fall to the Chair:

    • Make sure Code of Conduct Transparency Reports are completed in a timely fashion and published in the public repository.

    • Close GitHub issues in the EC repositories as needed

    • Onboard new members (with the Vice Chair)

    • Generally track goals of the EC to ensure that the EC is focusing on the right tasks and that tasks are completed in a timely fashion.

Vice Chair

The Vice-Chair’s primary roles are to perform the tasks of the Chair in the event of their absence and to ensure communication of Executive Council activities to the Carpentries community. General tasks are described in the bylaws.

The Vice Chair’s responsibilities are to:

  • Understand the responsibilities of the Executive Council Chair and be able to perform these duties in the chair’s absence

  • Ensure the circulation of agendas, minutes, and other communications to the Executive Council

  • Ensure that any Executive Council members who have been given tasks know what it is they have been asked to do

  • Check that action has been taken following decisions at previous meetings

  • Serve as the primary liaison for communication between the community and the Executive Council. Primary tasks include reporting from EC meetings for the newsletter, as well as monitoring GitHub issues and private email.

More specifically, the Vice Chair should:

  • Monitor activities of the EC:

    • Ensure all obligations of members of the Executive Council are being fulfilled, particularly those of the Chair

    • Track all items in the yearly EC timeline

    • Check that the meeting minutes are approved (via GitHub vote in a private repo) and published (in the public EC repo) within two weeks of the meeting occurring

    • Watch issues/PRs in all GitHub repositories and taking appropriate action as necessary: adding to agendas, noting in nonverbal updates for meetings, etc.

  • Elections: so far the Vice Chair has been point of contact for the elections. The complete process is documented in a Google Doc* (Folder Elections –> EC Election Process.gdoc). At the very least, the Vice Chair should ensure each part of the election process is delegated to someone.

  • Communications

    • Send newsletter updates to the appropriate Carpentries core team member to be published. The newsletter is published every other Wednesday, and updates should be sent the prior Friday. These updates are important to help the community know what the Executive Council does and to encourage feedback and communication about our activities

    • Monitor communication from the community. As described elsewhere, community members may use a Google Form, an email address or GitHub issues to communicate with the EC


The Secretary maintains records for the Executive Council that are not related to either finances or the Core Team. General tasks are described in the bylaws.

The Secretary’s responsibilities are to:

  • Ensure that someone is assigned to and takes minutes during all official Executive Council meetings

  • Revise minutes of regularly occurring meetings to report decisions, policy, and passage of formal motions prior to circulation among the Executive Council for approval.

  • Publish meeting minutes and policy decisions

    • publicly for the community, as described in the Meeting conduct document* (folder Agendas_Minutes –> Meeting conduct.gdoc) under the section “Preparing the minutes for release”

    • or, if necessary, in secure locations only accessible to the Executive Council or Executive Council/Executive Director.


The Treasurer organizes and maintains financial records for Executive Council oversight of The Carpentries operations. General tasks are described in the bylaws.

The Treasurer’s responsibilities are to:

  • Assist the Executive Director in preparing financial reports for both the Executive Council and the community at large

  • Assist the Executive Director in preparing the annual budget and presenting the budget to the Executive Council for approval

  • Ensure that an up-to-date report on the status of accounts can be given at each Council meeting.

  • Maintain open lines of communication with the Executive Director and the fiscal sponsor.

Practical information for the Treasurer role can be found in a Google Doc* (folder Finance –> Treasurer: practical information.gdoc).

*Access to this information is restricted to Executive Council members.