IACA's main governing organ is the Board of Governors. Its other four organs include the Assembly of Parties, Dean, International Senior Advisory Board, and International Academic Advisory Board. Their roles, membership and powers are defined by the Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization.

The Board of Governors and Dean were elected in late November 2012, following the first session of the Assembly of Parties. With six terms expiring in 2015, new members were (re-) elected to the Board of Governors in December 2015.

All members of the two advisory boards were unanimously elected by the Board of Governors in June 2013. Several members had served on the boards since spring 2010, having been unanimously elected by the Steering Committee during the transition phase.

In the lead up to the first Assembly of Parties (29 – 30 November 2012), the Academy was guided by a Provisional Commission. Established in October 2011 by IACA’s Provisional Assembly, the Provisional Commission met five times and had a series of informal consultations before it was dissolved with the convening of the Assembly of Parties. Its role, membership and powers were defined in the Resolution of the IACA Provisional Assembly establishing the Provisional Commission.

During earlier stages of the transition period, the Academy’s work was guided by the International Steering Committee. The Steering Committee was inaugurated in October 2008 and dissolved on 8 March 2011 with IACA becoming an international organization. The Agreement for the Establishment of IACA as an International Organization in its Article XVII recognized the necessity of transitional provisions until IACA’s decision-making organs became fully operational.

The Academy’s daily operations had been carried out by a team of approximately 30 international professionals, including personnel seconded by Parties and stakeholders.