I am working in the Computer Science field and when working on one internal review of our department, I am asked to fill in the following items:

List of important committees of which you were an executive member (these committees typically own A-journals or A-conferences)

e.g., ACM SIGSOFT, ...

May I ask what are executive members? Surely I have served as PC of a number of Rank-A conferences in our field, but to my best understanding, there are no such executive members in anywhere. For instance:


Could anyone shed some lights on this? Thank you very much.

2 Answers 2


These conferences typically have an Executive Committee, consisting of the Chairs of the various threads in the conference. Some typical examples are the Conference Chair, Program Chair, Tutorials Chair, Posters Chair, Educator's Symposium Chair, etc. It will normally be around ten people and they are responsible for the overall running of the conference with each having primary responsibility for one aspect (other than the conference chair who has overall responsibility).

This Executive Committee will meet several times in preparation for the conference, usually face to face and usually at the Conference Venue at least twice. The meetings are where problems are addressed and, hopefully, solved.

An "area chair" may also have a co-chair to aid with their area. They might attend meetings or not, but are ready to serve if there is some issue with the chair. There may also be a few others with somewhat lesser responsibilities. They are arguably part of the Executive Committee. Doctoral Symposium Chair might fall into this category.

The Program Chair is a special case and there is usually a Program Committee with several members. They may meet separately from the Executive Committee and are responsible for the overall program. They see that the right papers are accepted and that everything in the main program fits together by assigning papers to sessions. Again, they are arguably part of the Executive Committee.

  • Thank you for your answer. I didn't figure that before but generally speaking, not all the program committee are not Executive Committee, right? Oct 22, 2019 at 3:53
  • Some of the PC members could also be on the Executive, but they might not all be. But for your purposes, if you just write/say you were a member of the PC, those reading it will give an evaluation.
    – Buffy
    Oct 22, 2019 at 11:17

I think that the term "executive" here is supposed to mean "you actually had to do something". This would exclude honorary members, or in some cases ex-officio members, who are on the committee for other reasons but not generally participate in the actual work beyond, possibly, being on committee phone calls.

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