In 2007 the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) began with a vision of providing global access to knowledge about life on Earth. As a project dedicated to serving diverse users, EOL embraces a governance model that includes the participation of people and organizations around the world that support EOL’s vision and share a desire to contribute to its mission.
To develop a model for the global governance of EOL, a group of biodiversity leaders met in Leiden, the Netherlands, in January 2010. The Leiden Group proposed a governance outline which was refined over the year. On January 6, 2011, a new governance model was ratified. Migration towards this new model began immediately with the formation of the initial EOL Executive Committee leadership group. It is expected that the new structure will be fully operational by July 2012.
EOL operates under the management of the following parties:
The EOL Council is responsible for ensuring the alignment of goals among the contributors to EOL and among its major partners. It provides oversight and alignment for the whole EOL project and is responsible for ensuring cohesion among the major groups of EOL stakeholders. Members are engaged at a vision, mission, and goals level. The group is composed of senior individuals who represent the diversity of EOL Partners including cornerstone institutions, natural history museums, biodiversity and bioinformatics leaders, leaders in key geographies, and leaders representing key user communities.
EOL Executive Committee
The EOL Executive Committee operates as EOL’s board of directors, focusing on the long-term sustainability and success of the EOL. Members provide governance and decision-making at the policy level. Committee members are senior figures from the cornerstone institutions, regional, national and thematic EOLs, and other major financial or in-kind partners.
The EOL Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day operational management, coordination, and planning of EOL and its working groups. The leader of the EOL Secretariat is the EOL Executive Director, who reports to the EOL Executive Committee. The EOL Secretariat includes executive and operations managers as well as administrative, financial, and communications staff.
EOL Working Groups
EOL Working Groups are responsible for the day-to-day management and delivery of EOL component efforts.