This article outlines the overall SEI Reorganization structure, which will become effective following ASCE approval of the new SEI Bylaws, anticipated October 2023. 

History, goals, and why SEI is reorganizing 

As noted in a prior article the SEI Board of Governors (BOG) voted to move forward with the reorganization of SEI at their October 14, 2022, meetings. Goals include:
  • Increase collaboration and knowledge-sharing throughout the Institute by moving from the current five Division structure to a two Community structure. 
  • Reorganize the SEI BOG from a representative structure to a strategic board structure for long-term operation efficiency. 
  • Become a more nimble, responsive organization to meet industry and member needs as the pace of change accelerates. 
  • Focus the efforts and resources of SEI to establish and meet Institute priorities for the advancement of the profession. 
  • Increase leadership opportunities and pathways to leadership for rising stars. 

SEI has actively solicited input from Institute leaders as part of this process, including engaging with current leaders and Division Excoms. Member surveys have also been in place since January 2023 to provide a forum for members to ask questions. 

SEI has also provided monthly updates to SEI members in the monthly "SEI Update" emails since December 2022. 

In March 2023, the SEI Interchange event was held so members could learn about the "why" behind the reorganization, better understand the general reorganization structure, and have a forum to ask questions. Please see the Interchange Replay if you're wondering why SEI is reorganizing. 

May 2023 Update: SEI Board of Governors approves general reorganization structure

The Reorganization Task Committees presented to the SEI Board of Governors on May 6, 2023. The Task Committees presented motions related to the new structure for approval, and all motions were reviewed and discussed. Motions were approved, amended, or returned to the Task Committees for further study. 

This article summarizes approved items relevant to most members and/or ExComs that the SEI BOG has approved to date. Transition details are currently being developed by the Reorganization Transition Teams in collaboration with the current Division ExComs. The SEI reorganization and transition planning process are still being developed; for this reason, some information is not yet available.

A summary draft organizational chart of the Reorganization is the featured image with this news article and below. 

a chart of squares & circles that outline the organizational structure of SEI

Reorganization Structure Overview

Technical Community

The Technical Community will integrate the current Codes and Standards Division (CSAD) and Technical Activities Division (TAD) committees under the supervision of a single ExCom. Current Board-level initiatives related to technical topics will also be integrated into the Technical Community. 

The final committee lists under each subject group heading are under review by the Reorganization Transition Teams in collaboration with the current CSAD and TAD ExComs. They are expected to be available by August 2023. Some committees may be combined, reassigned, renamed, or sunset if inactive based on recommendations from ExCom members. The Technical Administrative Committees (TACs) within TAD, which were created as a means to organize the large number of technical committees, will be dissolved to create a flatter organization in the new structure. 

The Technical Community will also include new Councils to facilitate collaboration between committees and outside research groups and representatives. 

The new Technical Community ExCom will have 9 voting members plus 6 non-voting industry liaisons. 

  • Voting member transition composition (effective October 2023): 4 ExCom members from TAD, 4 from CSAD, and 1 Young Professional. The existing Division ExCom members will nominate initial ExCom members
  • Voting member long-term composition: 9 members from the Technical Community, including 1 Young Professional
  • Non-voting industry liaisons: 6 Representatives total, 1 each from Wood, Steel, Concrete, NIST, FEMA, and ICC

Professional Community

The Professional Community will integrate the Business and Professional Activities Division (BPAD), Global Activities Division (GAD), and Local Activities Division (LAD) under the supervision of a single ExCom. Current Board-level initiatives related to diversity, leadership, and professional development topics will also be integrated into the Professional Community. The Professional Community also includes SEI Local Chapters (including International Chapters) and Graduate Student Chapters. 

Final committees list are under review by the Reorganization Transition Teams in collaboration with the current BPAD, GAD, and LAD ExComs. These are expected to be available by August 2023. Some committees may be combined, reassigned, renamed, or sunset if inactive based on recommendations from ExCom members. 

The new Professional Community ExCom will consist of 7 voting members. 

  • Voting member transition composition: 2 ExCom members from BPAD, 2 from GAD, 2 from LAD, and 1 Young Professional from LAD. The existing Division ExCom members will initial ExCom members. 
  • Voting member long-term composition: 7 members from the Professionals Community, including 1 Young Professional

SEI Operations

SEI Operations include SEI staff, activities requiring contracts with outside organizations, and activities related to the distribution of funds. A partial list of these activities include: 

  • General Operations, including SEI staff support
  • Awards
  • Structures Congress
  • Electrical Transmission and Substation Conference (ETS)
  • SEI Futures Fund

Focus Initiatives

A focus initiative is an SEI activity identified by the SEI BOG as a priority to accelerate growth in the immediate future. Initiatives are priority SEI activities and receive prioritized staff support and SEI resources. 

Although initiatives report to the Board of Governors, they "live" in their parent committee with the Communities (Technical, Professional, or SEI Operations). They are re-evaluated every three years and reviewed for progress annually. 

The goal for focus initiatives is accelerated growth for a set timeframe (3 years) that requires additional SEI resources. Focus initiatives are not expected to remain focus initiatives "in perpetuity". Initiatives will either move to the communities or sunset (based on a discussion with initiative leadership) when they are self-sufficient for future growth or are no longer identified as a focus initiative. 

The maximum number of focus initiatives is 4 long-term initiatives plus 1 short-term initiative (i.e. a task committee) for 5 maximum focus initiatives. 

Board of Governors

The Board of Governors will be reduced from 15 current Governors to 10 in the reorganization. Nine of these Governors are voting. The one non-voting members is the SEI Managing Director. Voting Governor composition when the Reorganization takes effect is as follows:

  • President
  • Past President
  • President Elect
  • 1 Technical Community recommended Governor
  • 1 Professional Community recommended Governor
  • 2 At-Large Governors
  • 1 Young Professional Appointed Governor
  • 1 ASCE Appointed Governor

Board terms are 4 years. The Young Professional Governor position in the Reorganization will be revised from the current 2-year term to a 4-year term. 

SEI Operations, the Technical Community ExCom, the Professional Community ExCom, and the Focus Initiatives are the only activities reporting directly to the Board (compared to the 30-ish now). 

A Board Advisory Council is currently being studied to facilitate collaboration between the Board and SEI members and leaders. This Council would include a diverse subset of active SEI members to ensure a wide variety of voices and perspectives are heard. Council size, terms, and composition are currently under review. 

Next steps

The SEI Board of Governors will meet in July 2023 to review, amend, and approve further recommendations and details from the Reorganization Task Committees. More information will released when available. 

The SEI BOG is expected to approve the final SEI Reorganization plans this summer and will update the SEI Bylaws to match those plans. The ASCE Board of Direction will review the updated SEI Bylaws for approval (anticipated October 2023). The SEI reorganization changes outlined in this article will begin following new SEI Bylaws approval. 

Share your questions

Do you have questions about the SEI Reorganization? Share them in the survey linked below. 

Take the Survey