Association Executives Committee
Political Advocacy Competencies Work Group
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Washington, DC

Meeting Summary

Work Group Purpose

To identify competencies that demonstrate proficiency in lobbying and other political advocacy skills, and explore the possibility of integrating these competencies into a professional designation or certification for GADs or an advocacy component of the existing RCE designation.


In exploring the proposal from the Government Affairs Directors to develop a certificate or certification/designation program for GADs, the work group planned to survey GADs and chief staff executives for their input.  The survey was sent via email to all chief staff executives and all GADs on Tuesday, April 29.  A total of 470 responses were received with 347 responses from chief staff executives, and 123 responses from GADs, for a response rate of 33%.

Meeting Activity

Sarah Stephenson from American Strategies reviewed the report and analysis of the GAD Designation Survey results.  According to the survey, both chief staff and GADs support the concept of developing a certification/designation for GADs, but there’s agreement that further input is needed to best determine the most appropriate format and the desired competencies and body of knowledge that such a certification/designation should address.  Focus groups will be conducted during the GAD Institute to gather further information in the following areas:

  • Address distinction between certificate course and certificate/designation program and identify preferences
  • Gauge level of involvement; time and effort GADs are willing to devote to pursue a certificate or certification/designation
  • Identify competencies that a GAD certificate or certificate/designation should address (review competencies revealed in survey results and updated competencies in the RCE Body of Knowledge)

Next Steps

  • Conduct focus groups at the GAD Institute.
  • Determine the appropriate model and format for a GAD designation.
  • Submit a recommendation for consideration by the GAD group and the AEC; if approved, recommendation would be submitted to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors with a budget proposal.
  • Identify competencies and a body of knowledge that the GAD designation would encompass.

Next Meeting

To be determined.

Work Group Members

Mike Theo, CAE, Chair
Doug Tomson, Vice Chair
Warren Andrich
Gavin Blair
Ruth King Briggs, RCE
Toni Cockerman, RCE
Cashion Drolet
Frankie Elliott
Amy Jo Fisher
Robert Hill, RCE
Belton Jennings, RCE
Sandy Narragon, RCE
Jeanette Newton, RCE
Julia Parenteau
Barbara Pitman, RCE
David Stark
Albert Suguitan, RCE
Denise Tatman, RCE
Cady Thomas


Sharon Keating

Staff Executives

Cindy Sampalis
Renee Holland
Krystal Allen
Kyle Lambert-London, RCE, CAE
Bill Malkasian

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