Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life

Frequently Asked Questions


Below are some frequently asked questions about service on governmental boards and commissions. For further information, call 314-516-4727, or email:

What kind of boards and commissions exist?
There are an unbelievable number of boards and commissions that operate at local, regional and state levels, requiring citizens to make intelligent, informed decisions. Many are professional licensing boards, such as the State Board of Accountancy and the State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts. Other boards include local zoning commissions, regional transportation or social welfare committees and even state boards that direct transportation or conservation programs. If you are interested in serving on a local board or commission, your mayor or county executive should be able to provide you with a list of openings.

What is the time commitment required for service on a board or commission?
Time commitment for board service varies greatly, but state service generally involves several day-long meetings a year in Jefferson City plus preparation for these meetings. Details are available through the above website.

Will I be compensated for my efforts as a board or commission member?
Compensation is usually limited to travel expenses and, occasionally, a very modest per diem.

What happens when I return my Talent Bank form?
When you return the completed "Public Service Personal Profile" you will become part of the Institute's Talent Bank and will be considered when board vacancies come open that match your interest and ability. You will also be added to the Institute's mailing list to receive the "Woman Watch" newsletter and information about Institute programs and skill building workshop offerings.

The appointment process is competitive and slow. Don't be discouraged if you don't hear anything for quite some time.

Will my name be available for any other use?
No, the data base will not be sold or used for any commercial purpose.

What else can I do to increase the possibility of receiving an appointment?
Take an active role in your community, work on political campaigns, get to know the individual who makes these appointments--or become that person.

If I am interested in the Talent Bank, how do I apply?
Visit the Talent Bank webpage. Contact us by phone at 314-516-4727, or email: to request a "Public Service Personal Profile."

Is it necessary that I answer all of the questions on the profile?
The information marked as "voluntary" on the form will eventually be required as the official screening process proceeds, for example, some boards require political party balance. Also for the Institute's purpose, diversity data will help us assure that the database is inclusive.

Do I need to update my form once I've been added to the data base?
It's a good idea to send us an updated resume periodically, especially if you move, change jobs, or redefine your interests.