Election for the next Stan Governing Body

I found two links, given below:

Does the TWG Director position still exist? The last appointment to the position is outlined earlier this year in thread 7780. Does the director still have the powers outlined in list item e) of the older thread 5693?

e) Technical Working Group (TWG) leader: Bob at this point. Override authority on any decisions made by anyone level d) and lower, override should be applied rarely. Cannot be a Technical leader for a domain. Can create, merge or remove domains. Answers to the SGB and can be overruled by SGB. Appointed by SGB.

@ChrisChiasson, thanks for bringing this up. There definitely should be a space to ask questions to the candidates. I am unsure if @jonah or anyone else has specific plans how this should go. If it is not planned, I can make it happen. It would probably be a separate thread and some timing considerations might be necessary (question answering makes the most sense when all the candidates are known, but before voting starts, however the nomination period is directly followed by voting period, so some tradeoff will have to be made).

I would kindly ask you to keep this thread directly election-related and discuss specifics (e.g. the state of the TWG position) as a new topic.

The SGB can influence basically any process withing the Stan project, if it chooses to do so. So asking about stalled PRs (or basically anything else) is IMHO not off-topic, but it might well be a wrong abstraction level. I guess SGB will more likely decide on the overall governance of development. But specific cases might be important to inform how the general procedure should be setup.

I understand that you are frustrated about the PR process and hope we can find a good solution going forward. I don’t want to silence the discussion about the issue, I just don’t want this thread to be derailed as I fear you concerns might not be adressed quickly. So feel free to move it elsewhere

Hope that makes sense!


I guess we don’t have a rule other than the nominations thread is just nominations, so as long as the nominations thread is kept with no discussion I’m ok with whatever you think is best (e.g. separate thread) for asking candidates questions.

Also I expect more nominations to be coming in the next few days (I’ve heard from people).

1 Like

And yeah the future of the TWG and such things will be handled by the next SGB. That doesn’t mean that the SGB members will themselves be the TWG members, but @ChrisChiasson’s question is still a fair question to ask of the candidates.

1 Like

Thanks Steve. I’m definitely open to this! I wanted to give new people a chance to nominate themselves first, but many people have also suggested to me that this would be helpful.


A thread for questions has been created: Questions for candidates for Stan Governing Body

I invite @ChrisChiasson and others to put their questions there.



Thanks Martin!

Note: this is me speaking for myself; I am not speaking on behalf of the SGB.

I am really glad to see people stepping up to be part of the next Stan Governing Body! I’m sure Stan will be in good hands and the SGB will lead the project in the right direction.

Hindsight is 20/20. I’ve been reflecting a lot on how the year has progressed. We were ambitious walking into this and relative to the goals we set out, we didn’t accomplish as much as we intented. That said, we learned a lot and I think based on the nominees so far, the next SGB will be able to avoid some of the difficulties the provisional SGB faced.

One of the main challenges is the transition from a Columbia-centric project to one that focuses on inclusion of both users and developers, no matter where they’re based or who they are. This project started at Columbia and it really wouldn’t have existed without @andrewgelman investing so much of his resources into the project. I can honestly say that he’s put in a lot of personal capital that he’ll never be recognized for. But for the provisional SGB, there was a tension between centering the project around Columbia versus focusing on making it open. Just looking at the nominees, I can already see this being less of an issue. With the transition to the new SGB, I’m looking forward to seeing the community growing.

Another challenge that we faced was governance (literally, the act of governing). Most people joining boards have the luxury of having established by-laws and rules to follow. Creating a governance structure is a bit of a different skill that involves setting of rules that enable certain actions and limit others. We struggled with generating a consistent set of rules that even our group could follow easily. To the next SGB: although the provisional SGB wasn’t able to generate a good set of rules that you could just work off of, hopefully you’re able to treat that as a freedom. Getting good rules in place is important, but it’s not the most important thing. If you can figure out how to accomplish what you want to do, generate rules that enable that.

On a positive note, there is some time commitment (as mentioned by other SGB members), but I don’t think it has to be as time-consuming as projected. It can be mitigated with a bit of communication and focus. Good luck! I’m happy to help wherever I can.


Hi, Daniel. Thanks for the kind words! Let me generalize your statement and say that Stan really would not exist in this form without many many many people investing so many of their resources in the project. I was just lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time so as to be able to steer resources toward the creation, development, and use of Stan. One anti-model I had in mind was Bugs, which was great and was influential and helped many users, but the Bugs project did not have the resources or structure to allow it to be improved. For Stan, it’s great to see all the community interest, and I appreciate the willingness of new people to volunteer their time and effort to the project.


Note: this is not a post from me personally, but rather a message I am posting on behalf of the current (provisional) Stan Governing Body.

We realized some information about the vote didn’t make it to the Helios. The approval voting via https://heliosvoting.org/ works as follows:

There are 6 candidates on the ballot for 5 spots. You can approve (vote for) as few or as many of the candidates as you want. The five candidates with the most total approvals are elected to the next SGB. This means you can vote for all 6 candidates if you approve of an SGB comprised of any subset of 5 of the 6 the candidates. To express specific preferences you can vote for fewer than 6 (or fewer than 5) with a minimum of 1. Not casting a vote equates to approving 0 candidates. To change a ballot you already submitted just submit a new ballot (only your most recent ballot is counted when the election ends).

A few other rules apply to handle unlikely outcomes:

  • To be voted into the SGB each candidate requires at least 5 approvals.

  • If there is a tie for the last spot, there will be a runoff election the following week with rank voting for those that were tied.

  • If there is a tie for the last spot(s) after the runoff, members that weren’t tied will become voted in and they will be responsible for figuring out a way to fill the SGB from those that are still tied for the last spot(s).

Reference: SGB minutes from 10/28

cc: @Stan_Development_Team