The Commonwealth Secretariat
The Commonwealth Secretariat is the intergovernmental organisation which supports member countries and co-ordinates Commonwealth activities.
The Commonwealth Secretary-General is responsible for representing the Commonwealth publicly, and is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Board of Governors
All member governments are represented on the Commonwealth Secretariat Board of Governors by their High Commissioners. The role of the Board of Governors, which usually meets once a year, is to approve the Secretariat’s strategic plans, work programmes and budgets.
The Chairperson of the Board of Governors and the representative of the Chair in Office also sit on the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is a sub-committee of the Board of Governors that can make policy recommendations to the Board and oversees budgets and audit functions. The Executive Committee includes the eight largest contributors to the Secretariat’s total resources, with additional member countries from each region elected to serve two-year terms.
- Rwanda's President Paul Kagame is the current Commonwealth Chair-in-Office.
The Chair-in-Office represents the Commonwealth at high-level international meetings and reinforces the Good Offices role of the Commonwealth Secretary-General. The term ‘Good Offices’ refers to the Commonwealth's conflict prevention and resolution work.
The Chair-in-Office is the leader of the Commonwealth country that hosts a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The two-year role comes into effect at the start of the CHOGM. The next CHOGM is in 2024, when Samoan Prime Minister Fiamē Naomi Mataʻafa will become Chair-in-Office.
Staff at the Commonwealth Secretariat are structured around areas of work and a Senior Management Committee (SMC). You can download our senior team organogram below.
Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal
Contractual disputes involving the Secretariat are resolved by the Commonwealth Secretariat Arbitral Tribunal (CSAT) established by Commonwealth Governments. More information about CSAT, including its Statutes and Rules, can be found on the CSAT page.