The Nominations and Governance Development Committee (NGDC) is one of SEAMO’s standing committees that reports back to the Governing Committee. Mr. John Sheridan has been Chair of this Committee and Vice-Chair of the Governing Committee for the past three years after being recruited by current Board Chair Mr. George Thomson. When Mr. Thomson steps down from his role at the end of June 2022, Mr. Sheridan will take over as Chair of the Governing Committee.
During his time as Chair of the NGDC, Mr. Sheridan has played an integral role in diversifying the membership of committees and supporting the creation of an implementation plan for SEAMO’s strategic priorities 2022-2027. According to Mr. Sheridan, the role of the NGDC can be thought of in three ways: “One is recruiting candidates to serve on the various committees and that has led us to people who haven’t been involved in SEAMO leadership roles before, thus providing a more balanced representation. Two is the committee’s role in recommending appointments to the standing committees to the Governing Committee for them to consider. Three is beyond recruitment and appointment – it is improving governance and that’s all about enhancing oversight and enhancing decision making, specifically the effectiveness, efficiency and transparency of decision making,” he explains. “Put simply, our focus on governance is on balanced representation on the committees, appropriate terms of reference for each committee and best practices in committee meetings and decision-making.”
In terms of balanced representation on the NGDC, Sheridan notes the committee was strengthened recently with the recruitment of two new members: Dr. Andrea Guerin from the Department of Pediatrics and Dr. Alenia Kysela from the Department of Family Medicine. “Both Andrea and Alenia are new to SEAMO leadership roles and will bring fresh perspectives and insights,” Mr. Sheridan says.
In his last task as Chair of the NGDC, Mr. Sheridan was responsible for finding his replacement and thus, also a new Vice-Chair to serve with him on the Governing Committee. “The Vice-Chair is an important role as it is one of only two independent governors at the Governing Committee. All the other governors are affiliated with one of the SEAMO signatories,” he says. “The Vice-Chair also chairs the NGDC which is important in and of itself, but also the Vice-Chair is the lead succession candidate to become Chair downstream.”
“In terms of the recruitment process, the NGDC first agreed on a candidate profile, i.e. what type of person we need, what background, what skillsets, etc. We then had a broad outreach to find individuals that met that candidate profile that were willing to be considered for the role. We ended up with six strongly qualified candidates, which I think is great and shows the importance of the organization and how strongly qualified individuals are interested in becoming engaged with SEAMO,” Mr. Sheridan explains. “We managed to narrow down the list of six to the top candidates and completed interviews, ranked the candidates and made a final recommendation.”
As Mr. Sheridan transitions from Chair of the NGDC and Vice-Chair of the Governing Committee, he says he is particularly excited about the parts of the strategic implementation plan for SEAMO that involve a governance review. “With our governance hat on, the Strategic Plan has indicated a two-phase governance review which the NGDC has a role in. The first phase is underway now, which is a series of interviews to determine areas where we can improve oversight and decision making. Out of those interviews, we will finalize recommendations for the governors to consider by September. The second phase will be in the next year or two and will be getting into the foundational agreement that led to the creation of SEAMO and how to update the mandates and policies to reflect how SEAMO is evolving with an expanded functional and geographical scope.”