IMF governance

The IMF has three decision-making bodies: the Board of Governors, the Executive Board, and the Managing Director.


Board of Governors (assisted by the IMFC and the DC)


Composition and powers

The Board of Governors comprises a governor (usually the finance minister or head of the central bank) and an alternate governor for each member country.

Although the Board of Governors has delegated most of its powers to the IMF Executive Board, it retains the right to approve quota increases, allocation of special drawing rights (SDR), admittance of new members, compulsory withdrawal of members and amendments to the Fund's Articles of Agreement and By-Laws. The Board of Governors also elects or appoints executives and is the supreme arbiter for questions involving interpretation of the Articles of Agreement. A quorum consists of a majority of governors holding at least two-thirds of the total number of votes allocated.



The Board of Governors is advised by two ministerial committees:

  • the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), with twenty-four members, is selected from the group of 188 governors and represents all member countries. Its structure mirrors that of the Executive Board. The IMFC meets twice a year, during the Spring and Annual Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, to examine proposed amendments to the Articles of Agreement submitted by the Executive Board, and any other issue of shared interest concerning the global economy. After each meeting, the committee publishes a communiqué that summarises its opinions, defining the orientation of the IMF's working programme. The IMFC operates by consensus and conducts no formal voting. The members of the IMFC appointed Agustín Carstens, Governor of Banco de México, to the post of committee chair for a term of three years starting on 23 March 2015.
  • the Development Committee, which is a joint committee in charge of advising the IMF and World Bank Board of Governors on issues involving the economic development of emerging and developing countries. This committee has 25 members (usually finance or development ministers). It also meets during the Spring and Annual Meetings.


Executive board



The Executive Board is responsible for conducting the day-to-day business of the IMF and exercises the powers delegated to it by the Board of Governors. It studies the health checks conducted each year by IMF services for all member countries, and economic policy issues that impact the entire global economy. The Board normally makes decisions by consensus, but sometimes holds formal votes. The number of votes assigned to each member country is the sum of its basic votes (distributed equally among all member countries) and its quota votes.



The IMF Executive Board comprises twenty-four Directors who represent all member countries and whose work is guided by the IMFC and supported by the services of the IMF. Following application of the amendment reforming the Executive Board on 26 January 2016, and since the ordinary election of October 2016, all of the 24 Executive Directors are elected. Previously, the countries with the highest quotas (United States, Japan, Germany, France, United Kingdom) could each appoint an Executive Director and 19 Executive Directors were elected by the other member countries.

The Managing Director, assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors, directs the services of the IMF and chairs the Executive Board.


Managing Director


The Managing Director takes care of daily business under the direction of the Executive Board. She chairs the meetings of the Executive Board, without taking part in voting, but has a casting vote in case of a tied vote. She may participate in the Board of Governors meetings, without a voting right.

She is appointed by the Executive Board for a renewable five-year term, and is assisted by a First Deputy Managing Director and three Deputy Managing Directors. Although the Executive Board may choose the Managing Director by a majority of votes cast, to date the appointment has always been made by consensus. Christine Lagarde has been Managing Director since July 2011. Her second five-year term began on 5 July 2016. She is assisted by the First Deputy Managing Director and three Deputy Managing Directors


Updated on: 06/12/2018 10:34