The AAS Board of Directors represents the membership and oversees programmatic, procedural, and financial matters of the organization. The board includes the elected positions of President, Vice President, Past President, and Past Past President, collectively referred to as the officers. The board of directors also includes the elected chairs of the four Area Councils (East & Inner Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia), and the chair of the Council of Conferences. Additionally, appointed members of the board include the AAS Executive Director (ex officio), the chair of the Finance Committee, the editor of The Journal of Asian Studies, the chair of the Editorial Board, and the chair of the Annual Conference Program Committee.

The Board of Directors meets twice a year—once in the fall and a second time at the Annual Conference in the spring—and conducts business in between meetings via email discussions and conference calls.

Every AAS Member selects the Area Council that best represents their geographic area of interest (China & Inner Asia, Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia) at the time they join the association. These Area Councils serve as the primary channel for representation and communication between the membership at large and the Board of Directors. The membership elects council representatives for a term of three years. During their time on the council, their responsibilities may include administering grant programs, awarding paper prizes, organizing designated panels for the Annual Conference, and overseeing book prizes.

The AAS instituted the Council of Conferences (COC) in 1977 to serve as a liaison between the Association and the nine regional Asian Studies conferences with which it is affiliated. The COC also provides outreach grants to support projects promoting Asian Studies.

The AAS holds elections every fall, in accordance with Article 11 of the Association’s bylaws. The respective Area Councils nominate candidates to stand for election. If an AAS member is interested in putting forth their name (or that of a colleague) for consideration, they should contact the chair of the appropriate Area Council prior to the Annual Conference in the spring to do so. COC nominations should be directed to the relevant regional representative.

AAS Members who wish to bring an issue before the Board of Directors should contact their Area Council representatives to initiate this process. For an explanation of how the AAS Board of Directors decides when and how to issue a position statement regarding issues of academic freedom and access, please see this #AsiaNow post by Executive Director Hilary Finchum-Sung.