Here is an overview of the ICRC's five governing bodies.
- The Assembly is the supreme governing body of the ICRC. It oversees all ICRC activities. It is a collegial body comprising between 15 and 25 co-opted Swiss nationals. Its president and vice-president are the president and vice-president of the ICRC. The Assembly formulates policy, defines general objectives and strategy, and approves the budget and accounts. It appoints key management officials, including the director-general, the directors and the head of the Internal Audit Unit.
- The Assembly Council is a subsidiary body of the Assembly. It prepares the Assembly's activities and takes decisions, particularly on strategic financial and human resources management issues and communication.
- The Office of the President is made up of a president and a vice-president. The president represents the ICRC on the international scene, bears primary responsibility for the ICRC's external relations and conducts ICRC humanitarian diplomacy in close cooperation with the Office of the Director-General. As chair of the Assembly and the Assembly Council, the president ensures that the responsibilities assigned to these two bodies remain under their control and closely monitors the running of the ICRC. The president is responsible for developing the institutional strategy and proposing it to the Assembly.
The vice-president assists the president in carrying out his duties and substitutes for the president when he is absent or unable to carry out his duties or at his request. She is also responsible for the cohesion, smooth running and development of governance and oversight mechanisms.
- The Directorate is the ICRC's executive body, responsible for implementing and overseeing the institutional strategy and general objectives defined by the Assembly and the Assembly Council. The Directorate is also responsible for managing ICRC staff and ensuring the smooth running of the organization as a whole.
- The Internal Audit Unit is an internal oversight body, which independently and objectively monitors and assesses the organization's performance and efficiency according to recognized international standards. The Internal Audit Unit, the Directorate and the Assembly are the three components of the internal oversight system. The Assembly, aided by the Audit Commission, has ultimate responsibility for oversight.