The primary governing body of the Association is the Council, whose members are elected annually by the AHA membership. The Council cares for the general interests of the Association by conducting business, setting policy, and overseeing the financial and legal matters of the organization.
The Council is comprised of:
- six elected officers: the president, president-elect, immediate past president, and the vice presidents of the Professional, Research, and Teaching divisions
- ten elected councilors: three members representing each division and one at-large member with no divisional responsibilities
- three appointed officers: the executive director, the editor of the American Historical Review, and the treasurer as nonvoting members
Officers of the organization, the terms of office, and the annual AHA election process are defined in the AHA Constitution & Bylaws.