The AFL-CIO is governed by a quadrennial convention at which all AFL-CIO members are represented by elected delegates of our unions. Convention delegates set broad policies and goals for the union movement and every four years elect the top three AFL-CIO officers—the president, secretary-treasurer, executive vice president—and 55 vice presidents.
The three top officers and 55 vice presidents make up the AFL-CIO Executive Council, which guides the daily work of the federation. Between Executive Council meetings, the daily work of the federation is governed by the Executive Committee, which sets the AFL-CIO’s annual budget.
The General Board takes up matters referred to it by the Executive Council, which traditionally include endorsements of candidates for U.S. president and vice president. The board includes the Executive Council members, a chief officer of each affiliated union and the trade and industrial departments created by the AFL-CIO Constitution and four regional representatives of the state federations.
The responsibilities of all officers of the AFL-CIO are set out in our Constitution, which calls for gender, racial, ethnic and work sector diversity on all governing councils.