Elections of the Board of Directors

Page created on February 20, 2014 | Last modified on November 15, 2023

The board of directors is the ultimate authority responsible for the Open Source Initiative as a California public benefit corporation, with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status. Most of the directors are elected by OSI’s members. Each year the individual members and the Affiliate members elect directors in two elections running at the same time.

The ten person OSI board is composed of:

  • Four directors elected by OSI Individual Members for two-years terms.
  • Four directors elected by OSI Affiliate Members for three-years terms.
  • Two directors appointed for two-years terms by the board itself.

Directors who have served for five or more years may not run for the Board, until they have been off of the board for one year or more.

The results of elections for both Individual and Affiliate member board seats are advisory with the OSI Board making the formal appointments to open seats based on the community’s votes.

General Election Information

All elections are conducted online using secret ballot. OSI uses a preference election system to elect candidates, such as IRV or Condorcet.  The exact system and online voting tool to be used is determined by the Board preceding the election.

Annual elections generally begin in March.  All the newly elected directors will be seated at the next board meeting after the elections.

The Board will vote on any changes to be made to the election rules no later than the January meeting, and ideally in the December meeting. OSI staff will then post a list of dates and deadlines, as well as any election rule changes, for the upcoming election. 

Candidates may be nominated to run in either the Individual Election, or the Affiliate Election, depending on eligibility, but may not run in both in the same year.

All the newly elected Individual and Affiliate directors will be seated at the next board meeting after the elections.

Timeline of elections 2024

Board-Appointed Election Procedure

The Board appoints two of its members in order to ensure that the resulting Board has an optimal balance of skills, knowledge, and demographics.

Whenever the Appointed seats are vacant or the Appointed Director’s term is scheduled to end, the Board will appoint seat holders for the required Appointed seat(s).  This appointment will happen at a regular Board meeting, and may take place by majority vote.  In the event that there are several candidate appointees, the Board may choose to make use of a preference voting mechanism, but are not required to do so.

The Board may postpone filing one or both Appointed seats if good candidates for them are scarce or if there are other reasons to delay.  Appointed Board members are removed the same way as other Board members.


Vacancies are filled at the next regular election by electing a person for a full new term, not by serving out the vacant term.  As such, vacancies may remain vacant for up to one year.


This election system for Directors is approved by the sitting Directors in accordance with OSI’s bylaws, as an extension of our process for selecting new Directors.  Nothing in this election document should contradict the Bylaws, and should any provision do so, the Bylaws take precedence.