The work of the International Geographical Union falls under the auspices of its General Assembly, which comprises delegates of full member countries. The General Assembly elects the Executive Committee (EC), which consists of the President, Secretary-General and Treasurer and eight Vice-Presidents. The General Assembly meets usually once every four years in conjunction with the International Geographical Congress. Resolutions regarding scientific matters are decided by a majority of the votes cast by individuals registered as attending the Congress who are personally present at the meeting of the General Assembly.

Resolutions on matters of an administrative character shall be decided on a vote taken by countries of the Union represented at the General Assembly or eligible to vote in a postal ballot or e-ballot, each country having one vote.

The organogram below indicates the nature of the relationship between the General Assembly, the Commissions and Task Forces, the Executive Committee and organizations external to the International Geographical Union.