Its 18 members are elected by the PLO Parliament, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), often as representatives of the PLO member factions. The Executive Committee members hold special areas of responsibility, such as military matters, foreign affairs, finance and social affairs, making their role similar to that of ministers in a national government. Elections have been held irregularly, and the last PLO Executive Committee was elected by the PNC in 1996. Some of its deceased members were replaced at the 2009 PNC meeting in Ramallah.
It is headed by the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization elected by the Executive Committee. There are only 12 living Executive Committee members, the minimum for a quorum, according to the Constitution of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).
The members of the current Executive Committee are: