The governance of EHESS is unique in the role it gives to the Assemblée des Enseignants-Chercheurs (Academic Assembly), which is sovereign in areas of academic recruitment, elects the President of EHESS, and debates the major strategic and scientific directions of the school.

At the head of EHESS stands the president assisted by the Board of the Presidency. Three councils work closely with the presidency to ensure the smooth running of the school.

The Assemblée des Enseignants-Chercheurs (Academic Assembly) consists entirely of tenured academic staff: the Directeurs d’études (Professors) and the Maîtres de conferences (Associate Professors) of EHESS. It assists in defining the academic objectives of the school as well as overseeing the recruitment of teaching and research staff. It elects the President of the school for a five-year once-renewable term of office, and its approval is required before the appointment of staff to the Board of the presidency can proceed. One member of the Board is given special responsibility for dealing with student affairs. This member is delegated by the President to preside over the Commission de la Scolarité (Student Affairs Commission).

The Conseil d’Administration (Administrative Council) defines the general rules of the establishment. It deliberates on the content of the institutional contract between the School and the Ministry for Research. It approves the scientific programs, based on the reports of the scientific council, and upon recommendation of the Academic Assembly. It votes on the budget, and studies and approves the annual financial accounts. It lays down the general conditions of employment for temporary and short-term contract staff, recruited with the school’s own resources. It decides on the school’s internal regulations. This committee is made up of elected student representatives as well as representatives of the teaching staff and administrative personnel.

The Conseil Scientifique (Scientific Council) puts forward the research programs. It decides on the allocation of research funds and presents its proposal to the Academic Assembly and the Administrative Council for the vote on the budget. It has a say in any issue having an impact on matters of research. In terms of teaching, it decides on student admissions to the first year of the EHESS diploma. It presents an annual activity report to the Academic Assembly and the Administrative Council. A select committee of the Scientific Council decides on the eligibility of external tutors to supervise doctoral students at EHESS.