The Boards of Governors consist of one Governor and one Alternate Governor appointed by each member country. The office is usually held by the country's minister of finance, governor of its central bank, or a senior official of similar rank. The Governors and Alternates serve for terms of five years and can be reappointed.
If the country is a member of the Bank and is also a member of the or the International Development Association (IDA), then the appointed Governor and his or her alternate serve ex-officio as the Governor and Alternate on the IFC and IDA Boards of Governors. They also serve as representatives of their country on the Administrative Council of the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) unless otherwise noted. Governors and Alternates are appointed separately.
Role of the Boards of Governors
All powers of the Bank are vested in the Boards of Governors, the Bank's senior decision-making body according to the Articles of Agreement. However, the Boards of Governors has delegated all powers to the Executive Directors except those mentioned in the Articles of Agreement. These powers include:
- Admit and suspend members;
- Increase or decrease the authorized capital stock;
- Determine the distribution of the net income of the Bank;
- Decide appeals from interpretations of the Articles of Agreement by the Executive Directors;
- Make formal comprehensive arrangements to cooperate with other international organizations;
- Suspend permanently the operations of the Bank;
- Increase the number of elected Executive Directors; and
- Approve amendments to the Articles of Agreement.