The Executive Committee of the IRE Board of Directors sent the following letter to the full Board of Directors this afternoon:

Dear members of the IRE Board of Directors:

On Saturday, members of IRE elected one of the most diverse boards in its 45-year history. Seven members were elected to the board over the weekend, including three Black members, increasing representation to a total of four. In addition, women hold a board majority for the second consecutive year.

But the election for the executive committee – which resulted in an all-White committee – left us heartbroken and frustrated. This result contradicts IRE’s mission. Our Bylaws, which require an immediate vote, set up a rushed process that contributed to this outcome.

Since this disappointing result, we have been discussing ways to address this for this Board, and all future Boards. Therefore, all five executive committee members are resigning their positions to allow for a new election. In addition, we are taking the following actions:

  • The board president will call an emergency meeting of the Board of Directors as soon as the 13 members can gather.
  • All five members of the Executive Committee’s resignations will be effective at the start of the emergency meeting. That way, we do not have vacancies in those offices in the interim.
  • The emergency meeting will be live-streamed for any member who wants to attend, for full transparency.
  • During the emergency meeting, the executive director will moderate the new election of board officers. For the first time in recent history, any contested positions will be determined by a public roll call vote.
  • After the election of officers, the board will consider Governance Committee initiatives to review IRE’s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, and craft a reform package proposal.

We believe these changes can better express IRE’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.

Signed,

The members of IRE’s Executive Committee: Jodi Upton, Steven Rich, Brian Rosenthal, Bethany Barnes and Jennifer LaFleur