SSA Establishes Standing DEI Committee

At its 20 November 2021 meeting, the SSA Board of Directors established the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee, a standing committee of the SSA Board of Directors.


SSA recognizes the need to have broader representation and participation from all sectors of society, both in its leadership and its membership at large. In this regard, SSA is like many geoscientific and international scientific organizations.

In 2020, the SSA Board commissioned the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Task Force to identify specific and actionable recommendations for the board to address diversity and inclusion within the SSA community. The Task Force’s report was received by the Board in April 2021 and published in full in Seismological Research Letters as Velasco et al. (2021, doi: 10.1785/0220210170).

One of the Task Force’s recommendations was the establishment of a permanent committee to address justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in all facets of SSA’s activities and to encourage their development in the Earth science community more broadly. In response to this and the Task Force’s other recommendations, the Board is establishing this Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee to coordinate and facilitate DEI activities across the Society and to advise the Board on short- and long-term initiatives that will address the under-representation of different groups and communities.


  1. Recommend to the Board actions and initiatives that will improve DEI throughout SSA;
  2. Support the implementation of the principles and initiatives that foster DEI in all SSA activities;
  3. Document and report to the Board on an annual basis the DEI initiatives implemented within SSA and their outcomes; and
  4. Liaise with DEI groups in other geoscience societies to develop and share resources that improve the participation of under-represented groups in SSA and in geoscience more generally.


DEI Committee members shall be appointed for a term of up to three years by the President in consultation with the Executive Committee.

All members of the committee shall be active members of SSA, and no member shall serve more than two consecutive three-year terms.

The chair of the DEI Committee, at the time of appointment to this role, shall be a member of the Board other than the President or immediate Past-President.

The DEI Committee shall have the following membership:

  • Early-career representative
  • Representative of SSA’s social science research community
  • Representative of minority-serving institutions
  • Industry representative
  • Representative based outside the United States
  • Chair of annual Nominations Committee (ex officio)
  • Government Relations Committee representative (ex officio)
  • Meetings Committee representative (ex officio)
  • Membership Committee representative (ex officio)
  • Publications Committee representative (ex officio)
  • Honors Committee representative (ex officio)

Review of these Terms of Reference

The terms of reference of the DEI Committee shall be reviewed at least once every five years.

Posted: 29 November 2021