IFAD is a new kind of institution in the UN system. The governing bodies that supervise its operations reflect an innovative formula that brings together the interests of industrialized countries, each of the three categories having the same number of votes (600). As an action-oriented organization, the fund normally works by consensus rather than by voting.
The three main organs are the Governing Council, the Executive Board, and the secretariat, headed by a president.
In 2002, IFAD's professional staff numbered 134 and general service staff numbered 181.
The highest governing body of the fund is the Governing Council, which meets once a year and on which all members are represented by a governor and an alternate governor. The council adopts the fund's budget, approves the applications of new members, and elects the president of the fund and members of the Executive Board.
The Executive Board, composed of 18 members and 18 alternates, oversees the operations of the fund, including its investments and work program. The board holds three sessions a year.
The president of the fund, elected for four years, is responsible for its management. He is chairman of the Executive Board and heads the secretariat. Lennard Båge of Sweden was elected in February 2001. The fund's headquarters are located at 107, Via del Serafico 00142 Rome, Italy.