The IAF is a non-profit non-governmental organisation set up in 1951 under French law. Its structure is laid out in the IAF Constitution, which defines the IAF as a federation of member organisations where decisions are made by a General Assembly.
The IAF General Assembly (GA) is the supreme governing body of the Federation, composed of delegates of each member organisation. It votes and approves all strategic decisions guiding the Federation’s conduct and activities, including the approval of new member organisations.
The GA convenes annually during the International Astronautical Congress (IAC).
The IAF Bureau sets the agenda of the IAF General Assembly, including: review of new member candidates; supervision of IAF activities; and supervision of IAF accounts. It is made up of:
- The IAF President
- The Incoming IAF President
- 12 IAF Vice-Presidents
- The IAF Executive Director
- The IAF General Counsel
- The IAF Honorary Secretary
- The President of the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA)
- The President of the International Institute of Space Law (IISL)
- Special Advisor to the President
All of the former IAF presidents by date since the Federation’s creation in 1951.
The IAF Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Federation, including the smooth organisation of its Congress and other events, and the running of its activities. The Secretariat is managed by the IAF Executive Director and based in Paris, France.
The IAF Administrative and Technical Committees consist of members who are also and always representatives of IAF member organisations. Some committees are a panel of experts in a space(-related) field and recommend actions and activities within and outside the remit of the Federation.
Other have a formal role in the IAF, such as setting the technical programme of the IAC (which is the case of the International Programme Committee, recommending IAC host cities or IAF award recipients.