TOPRA Board Elections - call for nominations

Contribute to the future of TOPRA by being a Board member

Nominations period: 9 July – 5 August 2020

Please consider if now is the time for you to be part of the team that leads this well-respected organisation and makes a difference to how regulatory professionals are supported.

The following positions on the TOPRA Board of Directors will fall vacant at the end of 2020 as the current post holders complete their terms of service:


Nominations are invited to this post, which is for a one-year term. The successful candidate will then serve a further one year as the TOPRA President and a final one year as Past-President.

In addition to the general fiduciary duties of being a director of the company, key elements of the Presidential role include:

  • Being one of three officers of the company – the “presidential troika” (per Memorandum and Articles of Association)
  • Chairing meetings of the Board and the Annual Review Meeting
  • Writing a monthly editorial for InTouch and any ad hoc items requested by the TOPRA communications team - eg, the foreword to the annual report
  • Participating member of the Finance Committee (a sub-committee of the Board)
  • Signatory (on behalf of the Board) of the annual report and accounts filed with Companies House

North America Representative

This position is held for two years (for a maximum of two consecutive 2-year terms). The N.A. Board Director has oversight of the activities of TOPRA in North America network and raising awareness of networking and educational provisions for the North American region. Together with the rest of the Board they have the legal and financial responsibility for TOPRA, setting and monitoring its strategy, and overall accountability for organisational performance.

EU Representative

This position is held for two years (for a maximum of two consecutive 2-year terms). The EU Board Director has oversight of the activities of all the European ‘TOPRA In’ groups. Together with the rest of the Board they have the legal and financial responsibility for TOPRA, setting and monitoring its strategy, and overall accountability for organisational performance.

If you feel you would like to discuss what the roles entail before making your decision please get in touch with Chief Executive, Kevin Pay via You could also be put in touch with current Board members to hear their experience of holding office.

How to make a nomination

The nomination form is available for download from this page. This form requires the signatures of three other TOPRA members plus a statement from you which explains why you wish to stand and what you think you would bring to the Board. For the regional positions it is expected that the candidates explain why they are suited to be representative of the particular interests of the membership in these regions.

If an election is held, the statement you provide will be available for members to use as the basis for their selection. 

Please note that you can only stand for one position on the Board.

All nominees must be paid-up Members, Registered Members or Fellows of TOPRA, have experience in the field of regulatory affairs and be supportive of the vision and objectives of TOPRA. Some experience of volunteering in TOPRA can be helpful but is not a requirement.  Honorary Members and Student Members may not stand for, or vote in, an election.

Please complete the nomination forms and send them as a PDF along with a current photo (.jpg or .png file) by email to Sinéad Whelan, Head of Membership.

Download the nomination form

Nominations must be received at the TOPRA offices by email by close of business on Wednesday 5 August 2020.

Who can stand for election?

Any paid-up Member, Registered Member or Fellow who has been a member of TOPRA for at least one full calendar year can stand for election. There are no limitations in terms of where you live, what sector you work in, or who you are employed by, but those standing for ‘regional’ roles should be able to demonstrate how their experience makes them a suitable candidate. 

TOPRA is committed to encouraging diversity throughout the organisation and the Board is no exception. There are no limitations in terms of age, gender or ethnic background - if you think you can add a fresh perspective to the way the Board thinks then we encourage you to join them. As signatories to the Science Council Diversity Declaration, we actively seek candidates who reflect the changing demographic of the wider regulatory affairs profession. 

TOPRA is keen to attract Board members with a wide skill set. In particular, we welcome those who can act as genuine ambassadors for our organisation, who enjoy networking at a senior level and who have deep understanding of regulatory affairs in a global context.

Nominees are asked to provide information about themselves as part of the election process. Members who vote can base their decision on what experience candidates have in regulatory affairs, what they have contributed to the profession and the extent of their current engagement in TOPRA activities, plus any fresh ideas they may have.

Why should you consider standing for election? 

This is a real chance for a regulatory professional to influence the work of their professional body and to offer their time and talents to promoting TOPRA and the profession of regulatory affairs in general. 

Board members are volunteers but they also enjoy the benefits of being leaders of an organisation that is increasingly high profile and influential and they have a chance to shape the strategy for TOPRA in these interesting times. 

Members of the Board participate in the Advisory Council with leading figures in the regulatory affairs world and have opportunities to attend conferences and meetings that help develop their personal regulatory intelligence and networks.

Participation in TOPRA at Board level is a significant personal development opportunity, raises your personal profile and above all is a chance to ‘put something back’ into the profession.

Obligations – and benefits!

Potential candidates should understand that being a member of the Board of TOPRA means that they will be a Director of a Company and subject to the requirements of the UK Companies Act.

Candidates should be sure that they have no reason why they should not stand for a Board position, including contractual issues with their employers or conflicts of interest. Membership of TOPRA is individual and personal, so Board members are elected as individuals and not as representatives of their employer. However, as meetings take place in business hours, Board members do need the support of their employers to undertake their duties. Many employers recognise that service of this sort is enriching to the individual, but also brings credit to their employers in many ways. It can be part of a wider corporate responsibility agenda. It also adds value as the employee is well-informed, well-connected and well-respected as a result of their involvement with TOPRA.

What is expected of Board members?

Members of the Board meet in the TOPRA offices (London or Brussels) every other month for half a day – it is possible to join these meetings by web meeting. They prepare by reading papers and from time to time they are contacted by email for their opinions or might join teleconferences. A substantial proportion of the background work can be done out of office hours. Some Board members also get involved in other activities such as leading committees or meeting key stakeholders, but this varies depending on the Board member and their interests. So, whilst there is a time commitment, professionals manage to factor this into their busy working lives. TOPRA meets the reasonable expenses of being a Board member, in line with our expenses policies.

Summary of roles and responsibilities:

  • Attend up to 6 Board meetings (at least one face to face) in one year
  • Contribute to the setting and monitoring of TOPRA’s strategy
  • Undertake all legal and financial responsibilities as a director under UK company law
  • Support the global growth and engagement of membership at a strategic level
  • Represent TOPRA at various events and meetings
  • Champion the development of regulatory excellence

Terms of service

The new Board will be announced to the membership at the Annual Review Meeting (to be held at the Annual Symposium in October 2020) and subsequently in In Touch and on the TOPRA website. The Board year following these elections will run from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2021 in line with TOPRA’s financial year.

Useful resources


If there is more than one candidate for any position, an election will be held by electronic means. Please make sure that your member record contains your up-to-date email address so that you do not miss out on your opportunity to vote and make your voice heard. Results of the election and the composition of the new Board will be announced at the Annual Review Meeting.

Annual Review Meeting

This will be held online on Tuesday 6 October during the TOPRA Symposium. All members are cordially invited to attend. This will be an opportunity to hear about all the activities of the last year, receive a report of the TOPRA accounts, find out plans for the future and ask questions of the current Board. It is also a chance to meet up with many TOPRA colleagues and friends. There is no charge to attend the ARM only.


Why join the Board?

Some of our recent Board members on how being on the Board has benefited them:

Steve Hayes
TOPRA President (2020)

Natalie Tolli
Board Director with North America responsibility (2019–2020)

Dr Axel Wenzel
Honorary Fellow, founding member of TOPRA, Past President and former Board Director with EU responsibliity


ANGELA STOKES"Being a member of the Board has given me insights into the running of a boardroom, I have been given an opportunity to shape the future of OUR professional organisation and I have met and worked with a great bunch of people."

Angela Stokes
TOPRA President 2018

"I am thoroughly enjoying being a Board member. I have gained a lot being a regulatory professional, so having the opportunity to give something back is highly motivating to me."

Aileen Fisher
TOPRA Board Member 2018–2019

"My tenure with the TOPRA Board broadened my network and I established relationships with individuals I would otherwise never have met. You meet so many talented people that you can learn from – it is just an enriching experience."

Thomas Kühler
TOPRA President 2016
TOPRA Board Member 2014–2017

"I enjoyed being on the TOPRA Board since I could contribute to the work of bringing industry, academia and regulatory agencies into dialogue with each other around important questions."

Lena Björk
TOPRA Board Member 2016–2017