⚠ COVID-19 - Official Statement from AWS

AWS Future Leaders Program

AWS Future Leaders Program

Future Leader 2020The American Welding Society (AWS) has initiated the Future Leaders Program to develop the next generation of AWS leaders and to aid in the continuing efforts of AWS to ensure a diversity of viewpoints reflective of the entire membership. The Future Leaders Program offers opportunities for early career members of the welding community to interact with industry leaders and to contribute to AWS at the highest level of governance. The two future leaders chosen for this program will serve a one-year term, from January 1st to December 31st. During their year of service, the individuals will attend two (2) AWS Board of Directors (BOD) meetings, attend FABTECH, participate in discussions to set policy, gain leadership skills, and connect with industry leaders. AWS will pay for travel, lodging and per diem for Participants for the BOD meetings.

Deadline to apply for the 2020 program will be October 1, 2019.


Future Leaders Program Application

Future Leaders Representatives 2019

This year, Victoria Shekastehband and Mitchell Grams were chosen to serve as AWS Future Leaders.

Victoria Shekastehband
Victoria N. Shekastehband
Michell Grams
Michell R. Grams

"I was delighted with the high quality of the application packages for the inaugural class of Future Leaders. There were many outstanding packages, and selection of the final two choices was very difficult for the committee members," explained AWS President Thomas Lienert. "We are very fortunate to have such exceptional candidates for the first Future Leaders group..."

More on the AWS’s 2019 Future Leaders

Eligibility Requirements

  • AWS Member
  • Must be 18 years of age or older on January 1 of their year in office
  • Must be no older than 30 years of age on January 1 of their year in office
  • To ensure diversity within the program, one participant will be selected from each of two categories every year.
    • Minimum HS Diploma or equivalent, as well as be a CWI, welder, or welding educator.
    • Minimum 4-Year Degree, as well as engineers, scientists, professors and business, sales or marketing personnel.

Desired Attributes

Applicants for the Future Leaders Program will be evaluated based on potential for leadership. Where applicable, your attributes can be listed on the application form. Examples of desired attributes include but are not limited to the areas shown below.

  • AWS Scholarship recipient
  • SKILLS participant (list ranking at state, national, or world level)
  • AWS Leadership Symposium attendee
  • Involvement in AWS Section and/or Student Chapter activities
  • AWS Section or Student Chapter Officer
  • AWS Committee involvement
  • Community service
  • Involvement in other leadership activities


  • Attend two (2) AWS Board of Director Meetings (spring and fall) and participate as a non-voting member. Attend all AWS Board of Director Orientation and Training Sessions at the Board Meetings.
  • Work with a mentor (a member of the AWS Board of Directors will be assigned as mentor)
    • Understand Board of Director meeting protocol
    • Sit with Board of Director mentor at meetings
  • Participate in local AWS Section activities when possible

Call for Speakers

AWS Speakers Directory - Call for Speakers

Live Chat

Hi there, start a chat session with AWS Customer Support

  Monday through Friday
  • 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM (EST)
  • 1:00 PM to 4:30 PM (EST)

Read More >
AWS Welding Buyers Guide

AWS Member Network

AWS Member Network

Read More >

AWS Merchandise

Lands' End

Purchase Merchandise through our Lands’ End Store

AWS Members who wish to order AWS merchandise in quantity (12 or more) receive special pricing through our partnership with Staples. For more information, please contact Keila DeMoraes at 1-800-443-9353 Ext. 444

Read More >