What Is an Ex-Officio Board Member’s Role?

Ex-officio board members must attend board meetings and make an active contribution. While there, they can debate, make motions and vote on board motions.

An ex-officio board member is someone who does not have membership with an organization, but is able to serve on its board. This is usually because of another position the person holds, or because of his or her expertise in an area. Unlike other board members, the ex-officio board member has the privilege of partaking in some board activities, but this is not required. Such activities include attending meetings and debating motions. In some cases, the ex-officio board member can vote and present motions. This happens when he or she holds a particular board title, such as being the organization’s treasurer. Alternatively, someone who is ex-officio and an employee of the organization concerned may also vote.

While some organizations allow ex-officio board members to vote, others do not. When the ex-officio board member no longer holds the position that allows him or her to sit on the board, the membership terminates. If the member in question does not hold an official title or is not a company employee, he or she cannot count towards the mandatory board meeting quota. The Latin term ex-officio translates to “from the office,” and it is a concept that derives from the Roman Republic.