SSURF Volunteer Committees

Roles, Responsibilities, and Activities for Committees

SSURF Volunteer Committees

Committees of the Society for Science at User Research Facilities Board of Directors are designed to provide SSURF members with volunteer opportunities to help with ideas and assistance to Board objectives as outlined in the SSURF Strategic Plan.

Each Committee has at least one member from the Board of Directors. The committees select a Chair to serve as the key contact with the SSURF Executive Director. Meeting schedules are organized as needed between the Chair and Executive Director.

Committees are open to all staff from SSURF member facilities and organizations as well as individual SSURF members. 

1. Government Affairs Committee

The Government Affairs Committee is responsible for developing and executing activities that build more awareness of the organization and its mission among Congressional offices and funding agencies. Specifically, it:

  • Advises the Board on legislation that may impact user facilities
  • Organizes outreach on Capitol Hill, including expos and user and user facility staff visits to Congressional offices
  • Arranges visits of Members of Congress and Congressional staff to user facilities
  • Engages in other activities to advocate for governmental support of user facilities, including writing letters to Congress and facilitating op-eds.


The Government Affairs Committee liaises with an external advisory committee comprising federal relations representatives from SSURF member facilities and their associated laboratories. It also works with the Communications  and Outreach to advertise and promote the organization and events.

2. Nominating Committee

The SSURF Nominating Committee is responsible for ensuring a diverse set of candidates for the Board of Directors is presented to the membership in accordance with the organization’s bylaws. The Committee finds:
  • New board members
  • Establishes board composition priorities
  • Meets with potential board members to explain the work of the organization
  • Identifies strengths and weakness in board candidates
The committee also:
  • Establishes the mechanism for elections
  • Works with the Communications Committee to advertise the election
  • Assists the Board of Directors in executing the elections

3. Annual Meeting Committee

The SSURF Annual Meeting Committee oversees the planning and execution of the annual meeting.  The committee may either hire and oversee a professional meeting planner or committee members may execute the aspects of planning meetings.  These aspects include:

  • Venue selection
  • Catering
  • Audiovisual
  • Entertainment
  • Programming, Agenda, Speakers
  • Equipment rental
  • Budgeting

Hiring of a professional meeting planner requires approval of the Board of Directors.  The committee provides updates to the Board and a subsequent report of the Annual Meeting within 60 days following the meeting.

4. Communications Committee

The SSURF Communications Committee handles all matters that relate to communicating with donors, stakeholders, members and others. The committee provides suggestions and priorities for:
  • Newsletters
  • Official communications
  • Social media platforms
  • website and online engagement with other organizations
  • Contact with the media
The committee works with other committees that are planning activities that may require promotion.

5. Outreach Committee

The SSURF Outreach Committee is responsible for developing ideas to attract new members; create strategies for retaining existing members; and, getting members involved in the mission of the organization. Common activities of the Outreach Committee include:
  • Organizing membership campaigns
  • Using direct mailings
  • Conducting membership surveys
  • Enhancing member benefits
In addition, the Outreach Committee develops and executes a plan to build more awareness of the organization, its mission, and its events. The Outreach Committee works with the Communications Committee to advertise and promote the organization and events.

6. User Facility Administrator Committee

The User Facility Administrator Committee is responsible for working with the User Facility Administrators from those facilities that are SSURF members, to address aspirational and more immediately functional activities and communications to support member facilities, such as:

  • To identify issues that a common approach to resolution would be beneficial to User Facilities and users
  • Sharing of best practices in user program administration
  • Development of federated systems across facilities
  • Facilitating opportunities for inter-facility collaboration
  • Benchmarking studies and communications on cross-facility issues

If interested contact Dan Powers at