DHS Emerging Leaders – Bylaws and Charter

There is hereby established, in accordance with the following provisions, an association of employees of the United States Department of Homeland Security (the “Department”) to be known as DHS Emerging Leaders.


The general purpose of DHS Emerging Leaders shall be:

A. To identify and address career development and professional development issues that affect employees at the Department.

B. To foster professional development and professional, volunteer community service, and social networking among employees at the Department;

C. To support the Department in the development and implementation of effective policies and practices for becoming an employer of choice, improving employee engagement and retention; and

D. To serve as a liaison between employees and potential mentors within the Department.


DHS Emerging Leaders shall work on its own and, where possible, with the Department to:

A. Develop among employees a culture of pride, cooperation, and innovation in supporting the mission of the Department and fostering “Unity of Effort” at DHS.

B. Educate policymakers, managers and other employees about the needs and interests of employees at the Department, to include opportunities for career and professional development;

C. Serve as a source of information, council, and a means of communication between DHS Emerging Leaders, the Department (including policymakers, managers and other employees), and all other interested individuals or groups.


A. DHS Emerging Leaders interests and activities shall extend, to the extent practicable, to all Departmental components and offices;

B. DHS Emerging Leaders shall be a private, nonpartisan and not-for-profit employee association, and shall be supported by contributions from its members and, to the extent available and appropriate, by contributions or other funding from the Department or from other individuals or groups;

C. DHS Emerging Leaders shall not itself discriminate neither in membership nor any of its activities on the basis of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, age, marital status, political affiliation, disabling condition, or membership in a labor organization;

D. DHS Emerging Leaders will comply with federal ethics and DHS ethics policy;

E. DHS Emerging Leaders will prohibit members from engaging in the use of DHS franking privileges for US Mail;

F. DHS Emerging Leaders will organize and operate in a democratic fashion;

G. DHS Emerging Leaders shall exist to conduct activities of interest to its members, as determined through the democratic processes outlined in Sections IV and V below.


A. Voting membership in DHS Emerging Leaders is open to current Federal employees of DHS who are interested in the association’s activities and concerns.

B. Associate (non-voting) membership may be accorded by the Executive Board (or any association officer designated by the Board) to any individual not qualified for voting membership who shares the association’s interests and goals.

C. DHS Emerging Leaders members will not accept gratuities or any other benefits, directly or indirectly, from sellers of goods or services doing or soliciting business with the association.

D. DHS Emerging Leaders members shall not accept special discounts, unless those discounts are available (or the chance at receiving those discounts) to all members.

E. Membership dues for DHS Emerging Leaders will be assessed on an equal basis for all members if and when established.


A. DHS Emerging Leaders will elect from among the voting membership an Executive Board consisting of a President and Vice-President (elected as described below) and up to nine (9) Board Members. The Board shall provide counsel and assistance to the President and Vice-President, and shall make important decisions and set general policies for the association in matters not coming before the general membership for consideration and decision. It shall be a goal of the association to achieve diversity of representation on the Board.

B. The Board will be nominated and elected by a majority vote of members who vote electronically. Electronic voting will be disseminated to all eligible association members at least 7 days in advance. All Board members are elected for a term of two years or until the next general election meeting, whichever is shorter. All terms of office shall expire upon resignation, removal, or the election of successors in accordance with Section VI.

C. The Board shall organize itself and conduct its meetings as it shall see fit, except that:

1. The Board may take any contested action only by the vote of a majority of all Board members (including the President and Vice President) holding office at the time;

2. The Board shall keep minutes or other appropriate records of its meetings and actions, which shall be made available to any voting member on request, and shall report at each meeting of the general membership on any actions taken by the Board since the last such meeting; and

3. A member of the Board (including the President or Vice President) may be removed from office at any time with the concurrence of a majority of the voting members of DHS Emerging Leaders.

D. Vacancies occurring on the Board through resignation, removal or otherwise prior to the expiration of the former member’s term of office may be filled for the remainder of that term by special election from among the Board, from among applications submitted by voting members for positions on the Board, or at the next annual general election meeting, if the vacancy takes place within 2 months of the aforementioned meeting.


A. DHS Emerging Leaders shall hold an online election in January for the purpose of electing the President, Vice President and other board members. Candidates may be nominated by any voting member (including themselves). The election of the President and Vice President shall take place before the election of other members of the Board, Unsuccessful candidates for President or Vice President may thereafter run for election to the Board.

B. Members shall be entitled to vote for a number of candidates for election to the Board equal to the number of positions to be filled, but no member may cast more than one vote for any one candidate. Candidates shall be elected to vacant positions in the order determined by the number of votes that they receive. In the event that more candidates receive an equal number of votes than there are remaining vacant positions, the outcome shall be decided by run-off among those candidates.

C. Within two weeks after the election of new Board members, the Board shall select from among its members a Secretary and a Treasurer, and shall assign responsibilities for all required functions of the Board to members of the Board. Required functions may include, but are not limited to, program and event coordination, professional development, external relations, membership, communications, fundraising, bookkeeping, and recordkeeping.

D. No officer may serve more than four consecutive terms in the same position.  An officer may be removed from office with the concurrence of a majority of the members of the Board, but may not be removed as a Director other than by the membership in accordance with Section V(C)(3)

E. When any office becomes vacant before the end of a normal term through resignation, removal or otherwise, that office may be filled for the remainder of the term by the Board from among its remaining members or from among applications submitted by voting members for positions on the Board.

F. Politically appointed Federal employees may not serve as DHS Emerging

Leaders association officials.

G. Elected officials within DHS Emerging Leaders shall be prohibited from

accepting compensation for their service to the association.


A. President and Vice President, with the guidance of the Board and the help of the other officers and of such other members or committees as he or she may designate, shall:

1. Develop or maintain a statement of organizational goals and strategies;

2. Develop or maintain a statement of specific annual objectives and the methods to be used in pursuing them;

3. Organize and direct all DHS Emerging Leaders activities to meet the goals and objectives so defined;

4. Report annually to the Board and the membership on the continuing appropriateness of the organization’s goals and objectives and the progress made in reaching them, and take or suggest to the Board and the membership actions necessary to redress identified problems or deficiencies;

5. Develop the agenda and preside at all meetings of the officers or of the general membership;

6. Serve as or designate the official representative and spokesperson for DHS Emerging Leaders, including for purposes of signing agreements, commitments, or obligations on behalf of the association;

7. Appoint such standing or ad hoc committees as he or she shall deem necessary, or as the Board or a majority of the voting members present (or voting electronically as described in Section V(B)) at any general meeting shall direct; provide rules as necessary for their organization, operation and termination, including in his or her discretion appointing a committee Chair; and oversee their operations; and

8. Perform such other duties as the Board may specify from time to time.

9. The Vice President will perform the functions of President in the case of the-President’s absence or incapacity, and assume Presidency in case of the President’s resignation or removal.

B. The Secretary shall:

1. Keep minutes of all general meetings;

2. Maintain all official organization records, including the membership, records described in Section IV(C);

3. Notify members and, to the extent possible, other interested individuals of all meetings and activities, and circulate minutes, agendas, and other pertinent documents as appropriate and practicable; and

4. Perform such other duties as the President may specify from time to time.

C. The Treasurer shall:

1. Receive and disburse all funds payable to or by DHS Emerging Leaders, issuing or requiring a receipt for such funds when appropriate;

2. Keep clear and accurate records of all receipts and disbursements of funds;

3. Maintain such bank or other financial accounts as may be necessary or desirable for the orderly transaction of the organization’s financial affairs; and

4. Report periodically and as otherwise requested to the President and the Board, and at least annually to the general membership, on the financial status of association or the financial results of any of its particular activities.


A. DHS Emerging Leaders shall seek such official or de facto recognition by the Department as may be available and seem desirable in the view of the Board in consultation with the general membership. Such recognition might include the designation by the Department of an appropriate official of suitable rank and function to act as an official liaison between DHS Emerging Leaders and the Department. DHS Emerging Leaders shall in all events make itself available for consultation regarding participation in Department affairs as may prove useful to the Department in pursuing effective policies of non-discrimination and other common goals.

1. DHS Emerging Leaders will not serve as a labor organization as defined in

5 U.C.S. § 7103(a) (4), and will not support or present grievances or other individual personnel matters.


A. Regular meetings shall be held twice every month, or as otherwise directed by the Board, and shall be open to any person eligible for membership (whether or not a member). Special meetings may be held as necessary at the call of the President or the Board, and shall be called by the Secretary at the written request of any 5 voting members. All meetings shall be conducted, when necessary, under Robert’s Rules of Order (most recently revised version).

B. Officers and committees may meet from time to time as necessary to conduct their business, but shall report at each general meeting on their proceedings or other actions taken since the last such meeting.


A. At any meeting of the Board, the presence of half of the Board members shall constitute a quorum for the purpose of transacting any normal business, and action may be taken by a majority vote of those present (in person or by proxy) at the meeting.

B. Any action involving significant change to the structure or ongoing operation of DHS Emerging Leaders, as determined by the Board (but in any event including all elections and any amendment of this Charter), may be taken only:

1. After no less than 7 days’ notice to all voting members listed on the official membership list maintained by the Secretary in accordance with Section VII(C)(2 ) of the general nature of the proposed action and the time and place of the meeting at which it is to be considered;

2. By a meeting at which two-thirds of the members present (in person or by proxy, or voting electronically as described in Section V(B)) vote in favor of the proposed change.

C. At any meeting, a voting member may attend and vote either in person, by proxy, or electronically as described in Section V (B). Any such proxy shall be in writing, shall be limited in time and purpose to a specific meeting of the membership (or any postponement, continuation or adjournment thereof), and shall specify in reasonable detail the particular matters on which the individual granted the proxy shall be entitled to cast the absent member’s vote.


A. With the approval of the Board (or by vote of the general membership in accordance with Section X(A)(2)), local groups of individuals eligible to membership may establish Chapters of DHS Emerging Leaders at locations other than the Washington Metropolitan Area.

B. Each Chapter may develop its own local rules of organization and operation, provided that any Chapter wishing or purporting to remain affiliated with DHS Emerging Leaders or to use that name in any of its activities must:

1. Share the general interests and goals reflected herein and adopted from time to time by DHS Emerging Leaders itself;

2. Submit any organizational documents, and amendments thereto, to the Executive Board for review and acquiescence; and

3. Maintain active communication and cooperation with DHS Emerging Leaders, through its officers and Board, to ensure a continuing community of interest and coherence of goals and actions in pursuing common aims.



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