American Academy Member Election Process
The American Academy elects members in thirty sections that are organized within five classes, including the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, and business. The election process starts with nominations and is rooted in a review process starting with the sections and then the entire membership.
Over 1,300 nominations are considered each year, and of this number, around 270 were elected in 2020.
The process consists of the following steps:
- Call for Nominations – Annually, Academy members receive a call for nominations. Each candidate for membership must have two nominators who are already members. The nominators must be from different institutions from each other, and at least one must be from the United States.
- Preliminary Evaluation Ballot – The first round of voting is the Preliminary Evaluation Ballot (PEB), which includes the names of all eligible nominees in a given section and is distributed to all voting members of that section. Section panels, comprised of usually 5-10 members, review the PEB results and select approximately 12 candidates (not including candidates for International Honorary Membership) in their sections to advance to the next round.
- Appraisal List – The second-round ballot, usually consisting of 350-400 names, is distributed to all voting members in the winter. Once again, on the basis of the ballot results, the Academy’s five class committees recommend approximately 6 candidates in each section for election plus suggestions for International Honorary Members.
- Election - The Academy’s Council and Board of Directors are responsible for reviewing and approving the slate of candidates recommended for election. Results are announced in mid-April.
The primary criteria for election are excellence in the field and a record of continued accomplishment. The section panels and class committees are also responsible for recommending a representative and diverse slate of candidates in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, institutions, geography, disciplines and balance of fields that includes both practitioners and scholars.
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