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Trustee Role Description - Congress Secretary 

Role title: Congress Secretary
Accountable to: Board of trustees
Term of office: Four years

Scope and purpose

The overall role of the Congress Secretary is to lead on the content development of the BSI’s scientific programme, in particular that of Congress.

General responsibilities for Trustees

All trustees serve for a four year term. They are responsible for ensuring that the society complies with its governing document, charity law, company law, and any other relevant legislation or regulation. They must ensure that the society applies its resources exclusively in pursuance of its objects.

All trustees should contribute actively to the board of trustees, giving strategic direction to the society and ensuring its effective and efficient administration. They should safeguard the good name and integrity of the society and ensure the proper investment of the charity’s funds and the protection of its property. They assist with the appointment of the Chief Executive and monitor her/his performance through an agreed process.

In addition to the above statutory duties, every trustee should use any specific skills, knowledge, or experience they have to help the board of trustees reach sound decisions. These may involve: 

  • Scrutinising board papers
  • Leading discussions
  • Focusing on key issues
  • Providing guidance on new initiatives
  • Other issues in which the trustee has special expertise.

Specific duties of the Congress Secretary

  • To chair the Programme Secretary in an effective and efficient manner
  • To lead on the development of the scientific content of the BSI Congress
  • To consider and assess the breadth, depth and impact of BSI organised and sponsored meetings (including Regional and Affinity Group meetings), liaising with the Groups Secretary and members of staff to identify ‘gaps’ and opportunities for further development of the scientific programme. 

Person specification

  • Excellent overview of key areas of and developments in immunology 
  • Detailed knowledge of the work of key research programmes and their leaders
  • Scientific Programme Committee experience
  • Very high level of credibility within the community
  • Willingness to make personal contact with potential speakers and contributors
  • Strong leadership skills
  • Commitment to the Society
  • Strategic vision
  • Good, independent judgement
  • Ability to think creatively
  • Open and transparent approach
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Nolan's seven principles of public life: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty, and leadership.


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