The International Commission on Large Dams groups National Committees which are organized in countries wishing to become member. The Commission is directed by :
- The General Assembly consisting of representatives from all the Member Countries and of the Officers of the Commission. The meeting is held during the Annual Meeting. Any independent country can become a "Member Country" and constitute a National Committee consisting of persons competent in the matters relating to dams. The General Assembly is in charge of resolving all questions concerning organisation and direction of studies, investigations and experiments, administration of all funds and properties, operation of the Central Office and any other relevant business of the Commission ; it shall approve the budget of receipts and expenditure, appoint and organise all Committees, and elect new Member Countries.
- The Board consisting of the President, the six Vice Presidents, the Secretary-General and the Treasurer. Officers are elected by the Commission on a three-year mandate non-renewable except for Secretary-General and Treasurer.
- The world headquarters of ICOLD, the Central Office, is established in Paris. It is placed under the direction of the Secretary General assisted by the necessary staff to accomplish its missions of management and organization of ICOLD activities.
- The Technical Committees, Administrative and Special Committees are appointed by the Commission. The official languages are French and English.
The Official documents (Constitution, By-Laws, Board,...) are in the "Institutional Files" part.
ICOLD leads the profession in setting standards and guidelines to ensure that dams are built and operated safely, efficiently, economically, and are environmentally sustainable and socially equitable.
ICOLD is assisting nations to prepare to meet the challenges of the 21st century in the development and management of the world’s water and hydropower resources.