Center Governance

The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs is broadly guided by an Advisory Board consisting of scholars and practitioners of international affairs, and it is directed on policy issues by an Executive Committee made up of Harvard senior faculty. The Center is also governed by its Steering Committee consisting of senior faculty who make decisions on faculty grants. The Advisory Board meets every eighteen months, the Executive Committee three times each semester, and the Steering Committee three times per academic year.

Advisory Board

The WCFIA Advisory Board is a group of eminent persons who assist the Center with strategic direction and fundraising. The group is comprised of 10-15 members and represents a combination of people from academia, the private sector, and other professions. The Advisory Board Chair is nominated by the Faculty Director and approved by the Executive Committee. Advisory Board members may be nominated by the Faculty Director, should represent a wide range of fields, and serve three-year terms (which may be renewed). Determinations about renewal of terms are made by the Advisory Board Chair, in close consultation with the Faculty Director. There are no term limits.

The Board is strictly advisory in nature and has no by-laws. Meetings of the WCFIA Advisory Board usually take place once a year in Cambridge. Subcommittees may be formed on an ad hoc basis to address particular needs. 

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee oversees the strategic direction, academic plan, and financial sustainability of the Center. This committee is appointed by the Director of the Weatherhead Center. Members represent a wide range of disciplines in the FAS and the Professional Schools, and serve three-year terms (which may be renewed). Determinations about renewal of terms are made by the Faculty Director. There are no term limits. 

The Executive Committee meets twice per semester, and meetings are chaired by the Faculty Director. Meeting agendas are circulated in advance of the meetings and meeting minutes are approved by the Committee. The Executive Director is a non-voting member of the Committee, and serves as the Committee Secretary. A meeting quorum is defined as a simple majority of the membership (excluding any members on leave).

At its first meeting of the Spring Semester, the Executive Committee reviews the Center’s income and expenditures (budget) for the coming fiscal year. Sub-Committees of the Executive Committee may be formed, at the discretion of the Faculty Director, to oversee policy affairs, the academic affairs of the Center, and fundraising.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee, appointed by the Faculty Director, is a “kitchen cabinet” group that serves as a sounding board and day-to-day advisory group for the Faculty Director. The Steering Committee is comprised of the Faculty Director, 4-6 other Faculty Associates, and the Executive Director (non-voting). The Steering Committee meets three times per year, and on an ad-hoc basis as needed. Meeting agendas are circulated in advance of the meetings, and meeting notes are circulated afterwards. The Steering Committee reviews and makes decisions on all faculty funding requests. Steering Committee meetings are chaired by the Faculty Director.