An Effective New Governance Structure for AALAS

An Effective New Governance Structure for AALAS
American Association for Laboratory Animal Science logo on a green background


Past leaders and some staff members at the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS), whose members are largely veterinarians, perceived opportunities to propel the organization by adjusting the governance model and how volunteers rise into leadership positions. Leaders advanced to the national level by demonstrating that they can get things done at the branch (or chapter) level, serving on a committee and through leadership at other organizations. As a result, their allegiances could be divided between branch/district, special interest, other groups and national.

AALAS retained McKinley to conduct analysis of its governance structure, culminating in recommendations to strengthen it. Our approach included forming and managing a Governance Task Force, conducting qualitative research with current and past leaders and benchmarking other, successful models. We then led the process to build and secure approval on a new governance model.


The resulting model offered enhancements to AALAS’ governance model through a new, hybrid structure and nominating process which now helps ensure the right professionals become leaders. The model, including a transition plan that would help the organization shift to the new structure, was approved by the AALAS Board, and plans are underway to move the organization to the new model.