What Are the Duties of a Good Committee Chairperson?

Updated February 21, 2017

A committee chairman is part of a committee's primary administrative board. The person acts as the presiding officer at board meetings and other board events. Because the functions of a board may vary based on the organisation, a chairman may have slightly different job descriptions that meet the needs of the organisation. However, all good committee chairmen have the same general responsibilities, all of which are intended to make the committee run well and accomplish its goal.

Meeting Duties

According to the Corangamite District Adult Education Group (GDAEG), committee chairmen must open a committee meeting formally. They take note of attendance and control who gets to speak and for how long. At the end of the meeting, they close the meeting formally.

Function explains that committee chairmen make sure that the committee members are working according to the committee's rules and regulations. This includes reviewing how the committee members perform their given tasks and behave during committee meetings. It also may involve the recruitment of new members, since any vacancy on the committee inhibits the committee's ability to function according to the committee's constitution.

Organization and Management

Committee chairmen establish and enforce policies and procedures that allow effective management of the committee. The committee thus organises the committee's operations so that each committee member knows what they need to do and how to do it. The chairman also may be responsible for providing resources to the committee members that allow them to follow those polices and procedures.


A good chairman represents the committee he serves, according to and the State of Hawaii Board of Education. This means that the chairman may make public statements on behalf of the committee, answer communications the board receives and travel to seminars or business meetings related to the committee goals.


Chairmen have to keep meetings running smoothly. They thus have to work with committee members (especially the secretary) to establish a meeting agenda and time frame. During the meeting, the chairman has to keep the committee members focused on this agenda, according to the State of Hawaii Board of Education and


As a member of the committee, a chairman may vote on issues on the agenda. However, as the CDAEG points out, a chairman is ethically obligated not to browbeat the committee with his own opinion prior to the vote. For this reason, most committee regulations indicate that a chairman generally shouldn't issue points of debate, although still controls the debate floor.

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About the Author

Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website,, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.