Board Representation

La Leche League (LLL) Leaders elect the La Leche League International (LLLI) Board of Directors in order to reflect that LLL is an international, democratic organization.

Board seats are allocated for each Direct Connect Entity (DCE). The DCEs are currently

  • European Area Network
  • International Area Network
  • Ligue La Leche
  • LLL Alliance for Breastfeeding Education
  • LLL Canada 
  • LLL Great Britain
  • LLL New Zealand
  • LLL of the United States of America

Additional DCEs may be added in accordance with the DCE Rights and Responsibilities policy. 

The total number of DCE eligible seats is determined according to the LLLI Bylaws and the official annual Leader count that precedes the start of the nomination process for the election.

Founders serving on the Board do not affect the seats delegated to each DCE, nor does their service count toward the Bylaws-designated Board number minimum or maximum.

Each DCE receives at least one, and no more than three, Board seats.  

Allocation Method

LLLI Board seats are allocated by:

  1. Calculating the percentage of total Leaders in each DCE (# Leaders in DCE divided by total # Leaders x 100)
  2. Multiplying the resulting percentage of Leaders in the DCE times the greatest number of Board seats allowed by the Bylaws
  3. Allocating the resulting whole unrounded numbers as seats to each DCE, while ensuring every DCE is allocated at least one seat and no DCE is allocated more than three seats
  4. Determining whether an additional seat or seats may be available due to fractional seats
  5. Allocating any additional seats to the DCE(s) who are eligible for an additional seat without exceeding three seats. The allocation among them will be determined according to the highest fractional remainder, in descending order of the remainders

Board Seats Gained or Lost

If the annual Leader count shows that an entity’s seat allocation changes, that seat is gained or lost in the following election cycle. In the case of a seat being lost, it is the Board member closest to the end of their term who steps off.

Changing the Seat Allocation Formula

One or more DCEs or the LLLI Board Operations Committee may request that the formula for Board seat allocation be changed. The LLLI Board Operations Committee and all DCE Board Election Committees (BECs) meet to discuss and vote on recommended changes.  A simple majority vote of the DCE BECs and the LLLI Board Operations Committee, with each committee getting one vote, signifies approval of the proposed recommendation.

The Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee sends the recommendation to the Board.   The LLLI Bylaws Committee and the DCE Review Panel (DCE RP) review it at the same time as the Board and submit a recommendation to the Board.

The Board votes for final approval within 30 days after receiving the recommendation from the LLLI Bylaws Committee. Any changes to the proposed formula are approved no later than eight months prior to a scheduled election, so that there will be adequate time for the changes to go into effect. 

Scheduling of Terms

Terms for Board representatives are scheduled  in a three-year staggered cycle so that approximately no more than a third of the Board terms begin within one year. Terms for seats within the same DCE are also staggered. When a seat is gained, the Board Operating Committee will inform the DCE Board Election Committee whether the term is for 1, 2, or 3 years to fit with the staggering of the terms. (Refer to the current Board Cycle table.)


All Board representatives report regularly to their DCE Councils/Boards, and each Council/Board establishes a clear line of communication between the Board representative(s) and the DCE Leaders.

The Secretary of the Board maintains an accurate record of each member’s date of first election and total number of terms served, enabling the LLLI Board Operations Committee to notify DCE representatives when a member has reached the maximum term of service and is not eligible for re-election.

The Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee notifies the DCE, in writing, at least five months prior to the election, of the need to submit nominees to their designated DCE Board Election Committee or other persons identified by the DCE as responsible for securing nominees. 

The Board Election Committees notify the Chair of the LLLI Board Operations Committee of their nominations at least three months prior to the Annual session, and conform to the actions described in the Board Elections policy.

(Oct 92; rev Feb 97, Mar 06, Sep 13, Dec 17, Jan 18. May 2019, May 2023)