The Society has a board of trustees, known as the Council, who are responsible for the Society’s governance and meet three times per year.
On the Council, 21 of the 25 members are nominated and elected for a three year term of office by the fellowship of the Society. In addition, up to four members are co-opted onto the Council, including a postgraduate student representative.
The Council members’ expertise and interests represent the main areas of Society activity and bring a breadth of experience from the wider world.
The Council is chaired by the President who is elected for a three year term. The current President is Professor Dame Judith Rees.
The Council has committees that consider matters of strategy and implementation relating to their specific areas of expertise and which advise the Council and Society staff. The Council's committees currently include: Education; Expeditions and Fieldwork; Finance; Research and Higher Education.
There is also an Inclusion and Diversity Committee that directly advises the Council as well as a small number of specialist sub-committees.
The current strategic plan, covering the period 2012 to 2016, provides the context and focus for the Society’s development at each stage and is supported by five year implementation, business and fundraising plans, as well as a comprehensive risk review. Annual operating plans are derived from these documents.