The Endowment is directed by a chairman who is appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a term of four years. Advising the chairman is the National Council on the Humanities , a board of 26 distinguished private citizens who are also appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. The National Council Members serve staggered six-year terms.
Chairman William D. Adams  was nominated by President Barack Obama in April 2014 and confirmed by the Senate in July. He began his term on July 23, 2014. Adams previously served as president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine from 2000 until June 2014, and as president of Bucknell University from 1995 to 2000. Adams has additionally acted as vice president and secretary of Wesleyan University and program coordinator of the Great Works in Western Culture program at Stanford University, and held various teaching positions at Stanford University, Santa Clara University, and the University of North Carolina.
NEH comprises seven program division and offices and several administrative offices. NEH also supports and works closely with the humanities councils in each state and territory.