The Governing Council is the decision-making body for Future Earth, setting its strategic direction, approving budgets, activities and key appointments, and promoting Future Earth as an eminent global platform for research, innovation, and collaboration for sustainability.

The Governing Council is composed of up to 15 members representing: major international organizations in science, sustainability and policy, supporting partners of the Future Earth Global Hubs, Regional Centers and Offices, and other strategic leaders working on transformations to global sustainability.