What is the Council of Elders?

The Council of Elders (CoE) advises the RID Board of Directors to uphold the Board’s desire of ensuring that RID’s roots and history are embodied in all matters of the Board.


Board of Director Liaison:

Current Council Members (2018-2019):

Lewis Merkin
Leandra Williams
Janis Cole
Jan Nishimura
Eileen Forestal
Jo Linda Greenfield

What is the Scope of Work?’


  • ELEMENT #1: Work in collaboration with the board for the purpose of preserving and upholding the foundations of RID.
  • ELEMENT #2: Serve as a resource, to the Board for information sharing and recommendations.
  • ELEMENT #3: Under the direction of the National Board, serve as a resource, when requested, for RID committees, member sections, etc..
  • ELEMENT #4: To address additional items referred to the council by the board of directors.
  • ELEMENT #5: When requested, volunteer chair (or representative) be available to attend board meetings (including both video meetings and face-to-face meetings).

How is the council organized?

The council operates during the specified two-year term.  The council is lead by a chair, determined by the board of directors.  The chair and council members serve the two-year term with the support of the board liaison.  The board liaison is determined by the board.  The role of the board liaison is explained in the RID Volunteer Leadership Manual. The council members work to meet the assigned roles and responsibilities determined for the specified two-year term. Each council member is appointed for the two-year term and may be re-appointed for up to three consecutive terms. The council begins upon appointment and completes its work at the end of the national conference.

How often does the council meet?

The council meets as needed, determined by the council chair and council members.  Meetings are, generally, conducted, at minimum, quarterly via video conference with electronic communication between.  Additional meetings, including but not limited to, face-to-face meetings must be proposed by the council chair to the Board of Directors.  Proposed meetings must include an agenda of work to be accomplished and budgeting considerations.  The Board must approve proposed meetings prior to moving forward.

What are my responsibilities as a Volunteer Leader?

Volunteer Leaders are expected to attend all council meetings and assist in accomplishing the tasks set forth in the roles and responsibilities and, ultimately, support the implementation of RID’s Strategic Plan.  An agenda must be developed prior to each meeting with each agenda item pointing to a task within the and responsibilities.  (See Volunteer Leadership Manual for more information regarding position descriptions for each volunteer leader.)

The volunteer chair will review the roles and responsibilities and provide feedback related to the tasks, priorities, timelines, workflow, etc., to the board and at the beginning of the term.  Throughout the term, the chair will work with the council to provide a progress report to the board liaison prior to each scheduled board of directors meeting.  Should the council seek to address a project or issue outside of the originally assigned roles and responsibilities, a formal request for the work assignment would be made via the progress report.  Changes to the council’s roles and responsibilities must have prior approval from the board.

At the end of the term, the chair will submit a final progress report to the board indicating the outcomes of the council term, as well as make recommendations for future projects and initiatives for consideration by the board.


General Qualifications

  • Be a voting member in good standing (member of an affiliate chapter and a certified or associate member)
  • Be willing to attend conference calls and face-to-face meetings each year
  • Commit to attend the biennial national conference and pre-conference meetings of the Council
  • Work cooperatively with other Council members and liaisons
  • Be accessible to staff at RID Headquarters, the Board of Directors, and the Council chair
  • Have e-mail access and respond in a timely manner as the bulk of work is done via e-mail
  • Be willing to commit to serving a full two-year term

Additional Qualifications

  • Confirm 20 or more years of experience and service within the interpreting profession
  • Demonstrate allegiance and dedication to preserving the roots of RID
  • Affirm commitment to enhancing the future of RID
  • Exhibit proven leadership skills within RID and/or other professional organizations
  • Members seeking appointment are asked to submit a copy of their resume and a letter of interest.