Multiple meanings of “board” (and how they translate into Spanish)

Legal Terms with Multiple Meanings

When “board” denotes a group of persons exercising managerial or supervisory powers the term can have several different Spanish renderings. For example, in business law contexts “board of directors” is consejo de administración, while the “board of trustees” of a foundation is its patronato.

“Board” is also used in the context of alternative dispute resolution (resolución extrajudicial de conflictos), in which arbitration (arbitraje) may be conducted by a single arbitrator (árbitro) or by a panel of arbitrators commonly known as an “arbitration board” (tribunal arbitral).

In the US, a state or local entity that governs and manages the public school system is commonly know as the “board of education,” while persons appointed to supervise institutions of higher education such as colleges and universities are often known as the “board of regents.”

And “board” may likewise designate a type of governmental body or entity. In that regard, what in Spain are collectively termed organismos administrativos (generically, “governmental agencies”) receive several different names within the US Government. One of these is “board” (Federal Reserve Board; National Labor Relations Board), but also include “agencies” (Central Intelligence Agency—CIA; Environmental Protection Agency—EPA), “bureaus” (Federal Bureau of Investigation—FBI) and “commissions” (Securities and Exchange Commission—SEC; International Trade Commission—ITC).

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