The National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the United States is the administrative body for the Bahá'ís of the U.S.
The Assembly has nine members. They are chosen by 171 delegates representing all the adult Bahá'ís of the continental U.S. There are approximately 1,700 local Spiritual Assemblies in the 48 contiguous states. Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico have their own National Spiritual Assemblies.
The Assembly directs, coordinates and stimulates the activities of individuals and local Spiritual Assemblies. It participates with other National Spiritual Assemblies in the election of the international governing body of the Faith, the Universal House of Justice, which is held in Haifa, Israel, every five years.
The headquarters of the National Assembly is in the vicinity of the Bahá'í House of Worship, Wilmette, Illinois, where the Assembly maintains an administrative staff, supervises a publishing trust, and publishes several periodicals including a quarterly magazine, World Order, and a quarterly newsletter, US Bahá'í Report.
The Assembly supports the proclamation of the Bahá'í Faith throughout the world. Bahá'í communities have been established in more than 215 countries, territories and islands; Baha'is now live in over 112,000 localities around the world. The Bahá'ís of the United States were among the first to carry the Faith to many lands.
The Assembly has an official representative accredited with the United Nations Department of Public Information and is a member of the Bahá'í International Community which has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF). In addition, it has submitted comprehensive position papers to the U.N. on such topics as human rights, the environment, and the equality of men and women.
The Assembly directs the operations of three permanent schools in California, Maine and Michigan and supervises Baha'i studies at the Native American Bahá'í Institute in Arizona and at 36 other locations across the nation. The first Bahá'í school in the United States was founded in 1900.
The Assembly also operates the Louis G. Gregory Bahá'í Institute in South Carolina, which provides training for teachers and administrators of the Faith, primarily from the southern states. WLGI, an educationally licensed 50,000-watt Bahá'í radio station, broadcasts from the same site.
The Assembly, in all of its deliberations, endeavors to reach decisions through "loving and frank consultation." In all of its efforts it strives to remain free from outside pressure and influence. Clear directives for its actions are contained in the sacred writings of the Baha'i Faith.