Nominations | HI USA Board of Directors

Call for Nominations

HI USA Call For Class of 2023 Board-Elected Board Candidates

Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is seeking candidates to serve important leadership roles as members of the non-profit organization’s board of directors beginning in March 2020.

HI USA is a $50 million, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to advancing intercultural understanding through hostel stays and programming. It serves people of all ages, but its target audience is free and independent travelers who are 18 to 30-year olds. With nearly 600 employees, 28 owned and managed hostels, and 18 additional hostels throughout the US in the HI USA network, it is one of nearly 80 national members of Hostelling International, which has more than 3,500 hostels worldwide.

HI USA directors meet four times each year for 2-day weekend sessions in various locations around the country; the board also convenes by teleconference between quarterly meetings as required to address urgent or time sensitive issues. The board uses the policy governance model to conduct its business and to interact with the chief executive officer of HI USA, who directs staff. Standard term for board service is three years.

In HI USA’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, the organization aspires to be:

  • A leading hostel provider in the world;
  • A valued source of experiential learning;
  • A champion for intercultural understanding;
  • An advocate for youth travel; and
  • A vibrant presence in communities across the United States.

Applications for Board service are encouraged. All successful candidates are recommended by HI USA's Board Development Committee and elected by our full Board of Directors.

I. Nomination Criteria

Directors should possess high personal and professional ethical standards, and should demonstrate a passionate commitment to the mission of HI USA: To help all, especially the young, gain a greater understanding of the world and its people through hostelling.

Directors must be willing to devote time and resources to carry out their duties and responsibilities effectively. All directors are expected to:

  • Prepare for and attend four or more multi-day board meetings each year (generally, these are 1.5 day meetings that are scheduled quarterly on weekends);
  • Prepare to participate in occasional teleconferences;
  • Dedicate sufficient time for learning about issues before the board;
  • Make philanthropic commitments significant to themselves (Note: There is no minimum amount for philanthropic contributions. Contributions raised from other individuals by board members can be counted toward this commitment.);
  • Use their personal networks to benefit the mission and programs of HI USA; and
  • Serve as ambassadors for the organization.
  • A. Eligibility requirements for board service

    HI USA has established the following minimum eligibility requirements:

    1. Directors must be residents of the United States and 18 years of age or older.
    2. Directors must be paid life or annual members in good standing at the time of application. (Note: HI USA annual memberships are $18 for adults and are free for individuals under 18.)
    3. Directors must have a passion for hostelling and the transformative impact of hostelling, and a willingness to support the HI USA mission.
    4. Directors may not be employees, agents, or representatives of HI USA or of any of its affiliated hostels.

    B. Board candidate criteria

    Qualified candidates will have skills, abilities and experience in many of the areas listed below.

    1. Candidate attributes include the following:
      • Demonstrated leadership skills
      • Future focused orientation
      • Connections with communities to help further the mission
      • Ability to think strategically and creatively
      • Openness to diverse perspectives
      • Adaptability to change, and flexibility in light of new information
      • Willingness to take prudent risk
      • Good communication skills
      • Commitment to collegiality and the ability to be a team player
      • Strong travel experience
    2. Professional experience in one or more of the following areas:
      • Real estate development and operations
      • Hospitality and travel
      • Intercultural exchange and experiential education
      • Financial oversight and audit
      • Fund raising and resource development
      • Law
      • Program development with 18-30-year-olds
      • Marketing and social media
      • Human resources and/or organizational development
      • Technology
      • Community organizing
    3. Previous experience and proven effectiveness as a board member, including the following:
      • Proven experience on a nonprofit or for-profit business board
      • Proven experience in contributing to organizational vision and innovation
      • Demonstrated commitment to collegiality and ability to be a team player
    4. Candidate attributes that reflect HI USA’s commitment to diversity: HI USA’s board of directors should reflect a diversity of backgrounds. We promote hostel travel in a world whose people reflect various human qualities, including their race and ethnicity, culture, political and social worldviews, religious and spiritual understandings, language and geographic characteristics, gender, gender identities and sexual orientations, learning and physical abilities, age, and socio-economic groups. The ability to convey the perspectives of 18-30 year olds is a priority, and those with requisite experience are strongly encouraged to pursue nomination.

    II. Application Process

    The application consists of two parts. Part I of the application form establishes your eligibility to serve on the HI USA board of directors. Part II asks for information that will appear as part of your candidate profile once your eligibility is confirmed: a personal statement (Section A), a personal resume (Section B), a photograph (Section C), and a statement of support from a professional or volunteer colleague who has observed you in a leadership role (Section D).

    Completed applications must be submitted by October 30, 2019.

    Candidate materials may be submitted alternatively by email to Questions may be emailed to Board Development Chair Ane Powers at the same email address.