Updated: May 24
NATSA president is an elected position to lead the organization in promoting Taiwan Studies as an academic field. Leading NATSA, the biggest academic organization in North America dedicated to Taiwan Studies, the president takes on multiple roles outlined below.
Forming a strong conference team
A leader needs a professional and passionate team. The president invites, leads, and works with enthusiastic junior scholars and graduate students from different academic backgrounds to form a conference team. They plan for the next annual meeting, which includes inviting distinguished scholars to give keynote talks, structuring and moderating panels, and assisting in proposal review, to name a few. This is an invaluable opportunity for a group of promising young people to work, grow, and succeed together. The conference is a platform for intellectual dialogues and professional networking. The team members (usually around 10 every year) are potential candidates for future presidency and board membership.
Carrying out projects to facilitate Taiwan studies and support members
Since 2016, the NATSA’s leadership has carried out a professionalization program to reform the organization. The president collaborates with board members, who are university faculty members with NATSA’s voluntary experiences or the former presidents, to allocate funds to projects. They include professional development webinars, a Taiwan syllabus project, professional network management, a listserv for global Taiwan studies, an undergraduate paper competition, a Taiwan expert list, a Taiwan Studies Fund, etc.
The president does not run all these projects alone. However, the president orchestrates collaborations among the members and people who are interested in Taiwan studies. With the assistance of our secretary, the president can explore new opportunities to strengthen Taiwan Studies.
The president plays the key role to raise funds to support the organization’s operations, its annual meetings, and its further development. Noticeably, the past presidents have put tremendous efforts of stabilizing NATSA’s financial situation by diversifying the funding sources. The future presidents should be able to spend more time on the further development of the organization.
All in all, the NATSA president takes on many professional development opportunities that junior scholars would treasure. Contributing to Taiwan Studies in this position, the president is connected to all communities dedicated to Taiwan Studies over the world, both on an organizational level and a personal level. The experiences in NATSA’s leadership will be helpful to their career development in all areas. More importantly, the president can find people who are passionate and supportive to be their professional partners and friends.