Dear NAB Colleagues,

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to share a few progress updates as well as a bit of information about certain new initiatives. I intend to report to you at the close of each Quarter so that you are kept informed of North America Branch activity and opportunities to get involved.

YOUNG MEMBERS GROUP. The Institute has a global “YMG” Program for members under age 40, whether they are at the Associate, Member, or Fellow grade. We have now launched a YMG in the Branch and are delighted that M. Imad Khan of Hogan Lovells in Houston has agreed to serve as its inaugural chair. Each of our Chapters will be focusing in the next couple of months on recruiting YMG age-eligible new Associates and Members, registration of whom can in most cases easily be accomplished online without taking a CIArb course. We ask you to assist in that important recruiting effort by reaching out directly to colleagues in your firm or other circles.

WEBINAR SERIES. The Communications Committee will be launching this autumn a monthly thought-leader webinar series, which we intend to rotate among our Chapters each year. The series will provide opportunities for each Chapter to select a topic of particular interest in its region and to highlight our local members. The series and individual sessions will be promoted by the Branch, neighboring Branches, and London and will be archived and accessible to the public on our website.

SAMOA PROJECT. We successfully tested our new cross-cultural capacity sharing project in Samoa the first week of June. Comprising presentations and discussions of international and local ADR best practices, the concept proved viable as well as educational to both sides. Local participants were enthusiastic, and our delegation experienced a master-class in cross-cultural professional communication. The delegation also engaged with senior officials, including on key issues related to the New York and Washington Conventions. The delegation has recommended that the project be institutionalized as an annual program of the Branch, with a different project site every two years.

UPCOMING FELLOWSHIP COURSE IN SAN DIEGO. Planning is underway for an Accelerated Route to Fellowship course in San Diego in November. We will advise shortly of the precise dates. Please direct inquiries to our Vice Chair for Training Jim Reiman or to John Garman, the course director. Please consider recruiting attendees from among your colleagues and contacts, since this may be our final “ARF” of the year.

LAW STUDENT PROGRAM. As part of our leadership development, recruiting, and inclusiveness efforts, we are launching a student program in each of our Chapter areas. The Institute provides a full array of membership benefits to full-time students, at no cost. If you have time to be your Chapter’s student program coordinator, or you teach at a local law school, or you otherwise would like to become involved, please contact your Chapter chair. We have no fixed template for the program, and each Chapter is being encouraged to experiment with approaches that might work best in its locale(s) to engage our current members and add value to students.

NEW CHAPTER CHAIRS. Please join me in welcoming two new Chapter chairs, Marcio Vasconcellos in Los Angeles and Reynaldo Urtiaga in Mexico City. We are delighted that practitioners of their experience, gravitas, and energy have agreed to assume those important positions.

CHAPTER “TEMPLATE.” Intended to convene and benefit members, several of our Chapters are not functional in any meaningful way. The Branch is developing a basic Chapter template comprising a few annual requisites as well as a menu of electives for use by Chapter chairs. The initial template directs Chapters to (1) convene at least once each year, (2) form and manage a student member program, (3) present a webinar each year as part of the Branch thought-leader series, and (4) recruit Associate and Member-grade members on an ongoing basis. If you would like to get involved in Chapter activities or have ideas for the template, please contact your Chapter chair.

INCLUSIVENESS. The Board has achieved its immediate goal of increasing the number of female Directors from one out of 21 prior to the election to one-third of the Board now. We have also progressed from having a single Director under age 50 to having two Directors in their 30’s and three in their 40’s. We have appointed our first Chapter chair under age 40 (Marcio). The new folks are all among the most active and effective in our leadership already. We are focusing on other diversity axes as well. Our full-throttle YMG effort is intended to provide the necessary leadership development path to bring us to steady-state, full-spectrum inclusiveness sooner rather than later.

COMMITTEES. Three of the new committees discussed in my initial report have now been constituted and are operating. Unfortunate impediments to standing up the other two committees are in the process of being cleared.

SEATTLE & SAN DIEGO. We are exploring the possibility of standing up Chapters in Seattle and San Diego. Please send me an email if you are based in one of those great cities (and have not already connected with me) or if there are dynamic potential members in your firm’s office(s) there.

There are several other initiatives in formation, but this report is already longer than optimal. Do feel free to reach out directly if you have any questions or would like more information.

Thank you for your attention and for being part of the Chartered Institute community. I look forward to working with you over the coming year.

Best regards,
Amb. (r.) David Huebner, C.Arb