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HI USA Call for Class of 2025 Board Candidates

Hostelling International USA (HI USA) is seeking dynamic candidates to serve important leadership roles as members of the non-profit organization’s Board of Directors beginning in March 2022.

HI USA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to advancing intercultural understanding through hostel stays and educational programming. It serves people of all ages, but its target audience is 18-30-year-old, free and independent travelers. With nearly 200 employees, 18 owned and managed hostels, and 12 additional hostels throughout the US, HI USA is one of more than 60 member countries of Hostelling International, the international federation of hostelling organizations with over 3 million members and nearly 3,000 hostels worldwide.

HI USA Directors meet four weekends each year, currently three virtually and one in-person in various locations around the country. The Board also convenes virtually between quarterly meetings, as required to address urgent or time sensitive issues. The Board uses the Policy GovernanceTM model to conduct its business and to interact with the HI USA chief executive officer, who directs staff. Directors are elected for a three-year term.

This is an exciting time to join the Board as it envisions and creates the HI USA for the future. Critical to success is a Board of Directors representing diverse perspectives and leadership styles, drawing on a variety of backgrounds, and committed to the power of travel in influencing inclusive and culturally-aware worldviews.

Applications for Board service are encouraged. HI USA’s Board Development Committee screens candidates and recommends a slate to the full Board. Directors are elected by the full Board of Directors.

1. 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, 1.5-day meetings, scheduled on weekends)
  • Prepare to participate in occasional virtual meetings between quarterly meetings
  • Dedicate sufficient time for learning about issues before the Board
  • Make a philanthropic commitment significant to themselves (There is no minimum amount for philanthropic contributions. Contributions raised from other individuals apply to this commitment.)
  • Use their personal networks to benefit the mission and programs of HI USA
  • Serve as ambassadors for the organization

A. Eligibility Requirements for Board Service

All candidates must meet minimum eligibility requirements:

  • Directors must be residents of the United States and 18 years of age or older.
  • Directors must be paid life or annual members in good standing at the time of application. (HI USA annual membership is $18.)
  • Directors must have a passion for hostelling and the transformative impact of hostelling, and a willingness to support the HI USA mission.
  • 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.

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

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

Demonstrated effectiveness in a governance role, including the following:

  • Experience on a nonprofit or for-profit board, or demonstrated experience in another non-staff capacity providing oversight, accountability, and leadership.
  • Proven experience contributing to organizational vision and innovation
  • Demonstrated commitment to collegiality and teamwork

HI USA promotes hostel travel in a world whose people reflect various human qualities, including 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. HI USA seeks to employ a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints. Ability to convey the perspectives of HI USA’s target group, 18-30-year-olds, is a priority. 

2. Application Process

The application consists of two parts. Part I helps the Board Development Committee gain an understanding of the background and capabilities you would bring to a governance role. Part II asks for information that will appear as part of your candidate profile (Section A), a personal résumé (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 November 5, 2021.

Candidates may apply using our online form, or may submit materials by email to Questions may be emailed to the same email address.