The GCSP's governing body is its Foundation Council, which consists of representatives of 52 member states and the Canton of Geneva.
The Council has oversight responsibility for the Centre. It provides the Centre with strategic guidance and supports it in the achievement of its objectives and the implementation of its mandate. In addition, every year the members approve the GCSP's budget and audited financial statements.
The Council is led by a Chairman and has a Bureau that includes the Chairman, the Secretary, the Treasurer, and two other members of the Council. The Bureau assures the smooth running of the Centre's activities. It acts on the decisions made by the Council. The Council meets twice per year in Geneva, in late Spring and late Autumn. Currently, the Chairman of the Council is Professor François Heisbourg.
The Foundation Council, initially being composed of ten European countries, Russia and the Canton of Geneva, has enlarged with a first wave of integrating new partners from Eastern Europe, the Balkan region, and the United States in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War. With Morocco joining the Foundation Council in 2009, the first country not belonging to the Euro-Atlantic area was granted membership.
In 2010 and 2011, Asia began to have a voice with China, India and the Philippines joining. In 2010 Egypt became a member, followed by the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2013 and Mongolia in 2014. Most recently, the memberships of Japan in 2017 and Sri Lanka, Canada and Pakistan in 2016 were approved.
The trend to “go global” is a reflection of the far-reaching changes of the international security environment, and given ongoing global transformations, the GCSP will continue to open its ranks to partners worldwide.