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National Spiritual Assembly Elected

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National Spiritual Assembly members stand before the 104th Bahá'í National Convention after their election was announced. Photo by Nancy Wong

Delegates to the 104th Baha’i National Convention cast their ballots in a prayerful atmosphere today to elect the nine members of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States.

The individuals elected to serve on the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States are, listed according to the highest number of votes received:

Kenneth E. Bowers
Jacqueline Left Hand Bull
David F. Young
Muin Afnani
Juana C. Conrad
S. Valerie Dana
Fariba Aghdasi
Erica Toussaint-Brock
Robert C. Henderson

The elected officers are as follows:

Chair: Robert C. Henderson

Vice-chair: Jacqueline Left Hand Bull

Secretary: Kenneth E. Bowers

Deputy Secretary: S. Valerie Dana

Treasurer: Juana C. Conrad


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9 Responses

  1. Charlotte Solarz

    We are blest! What dignity, and how elegant the process! What a shining Assemblage we see to steer our BE year 169! Allah’u'Abha!

  2. Françoise Teclemariam

    Congratulations ! I am so happy for your country ! God bless you all !

  3. Sue Emmel

    What a glorious twin event this past week… the election of the National Spiritual Assembly coinciding with the Centenary celebration commemorating the beloved Master’s visit to America in 1912 and the dedication of the Temple land with the laying of the cornerstone for the building of the Baha’i House of Worship in Wilmette! The maturity that has occurred in these past 100 years yields such promise for the next 100 years and beyond! Ya-Baha’u'l-Abha!

  4. Elaine M. Keniston

    Congratulations to all, and to our delegates!

  5. fabrice

    wow! 5! les femmes sont majoritaire dans l’Assemblee!

  6. Mary Wilson

    Can it be any more diverse as this? I can imagine Abdu’l-Baha smiling down at this Assembly – what He proclaimed and insisted all through His journey in America has indeed born fruit. This picture brings tears to my eyes – our prayers surround and embrace this heavenly-endowed body!

  7. Matthew

    I wonder why the members of the NSA are listed in order of the number of votes they received? It seems like an irrelevant and even potentially dangerous distinction to me. Aren’t all members equal regardless of the number of votes they receive? Does anybody know if there is a rational for doing that I am unaware of? I would actually prefer not to have that information unless there is a reason for it. Sorry if that sounds negative.

  8. Soheil Taheri

    What a difference. Not a row of ambitious men and women chasing leadership rather humble souls who did not seek to be there but when chosen, have arisen to serve.

  9. cwright

    Hi Matthew,

    Your question is a good one. Actually, such a listing does not imply at all that one Assembly member has a higher status than another. It is the Spiritual Assembly as a whole that has administrative authority within a Bahá’í community, not the individuals that constitute the Assembly. Also, there is no fixed requirement to provide a list of names and votes received, but the Universal House of Justice (the governing body on the global level for Bahá’ís around the world) has set a precedent, enabling the delegates at a National Convention to learn of the results of an election. In a letter written on December 16, 1965, the House of Justice states:

    “Normal Convention procedure would call for a tellers’ report announcing the names of the nine believers elected to the National Spiritual Assembly plus statistical information as to the balance of the votes cast. However, if the Convention votes to have the complete report of the tellers, or any part of it, the Convention is entitled to have the information which will thereupon be presented by the tellers in accordance with the vote of the Convention.”

    On a more practical level, such a listing allows the newly-elected Assembly members to know who is to be the convener of the first Assembly meeting – the convener being the person who received the highest number of votes – until such time as the new Assembly can elect its own officers.

    With loving regards,
    U.S. Baha’i Office of Communications