The IAA Program Committees are the only structure to organize conferences, sessions or symposia of the Academy on particular topics (stand alone conferences or symposia and symposia held in larger event such as International Astronautical Congresses or COSPAR Scientific Assemblies). The Program Committees report to the Commissions and to the Scientific Activities Committee (SAC) chaired by the Vice-President Scientific Activities. The Program Committees are established upon proposition of the Commissions for a limited period of time that generally end after completion of the Conference or the Symposium. The Terms of Reference for all Program Committees are contained in the reports of the Board of Trustees and are published in the Academy website. The IAA Program Committee Chair must be a member or a corresponding member of the Academy. Non IAA members can be members of the Program Committees.
Excerpt from Bylaws
Section VII: ACADEMY COMMISSIONS, TASK FORCES AND STUDY GROUPS
4.2.3 The Vice President for Scientific Activities shall advise the President and the Board on policy matters pertaining to the scientific purposes of the Academy. This Vice President shall prepare a plan of scientific activities, in accordance with the recommendations of the Academy Commissions and approval of the Board. This Vice President is charged with the direction of scientific activities, including Academy Commissions, Program Committees, and Study Groups, scientific meetings, and conferences, and shall be the Chairperson of the Scientific Activities Committee of the Academy.
4.6.1 The Scientific Activities Committee shall assist the Vice President for Scientific Activities in the performance of his or her duties relating to the preparation and conduct of the Academy’s scientific research and other endeavors, including the management of the Academy Commissions, Program Committees and Study Groups, meetings and conferences, and international communications within the astronautical sciences. The Scientific Activities Committees reviews the work of Program Committees and the reports of Study Groups, and makes recommendations relating to these to the Board of Trustees. This Committee also recommends appointments of Chairpersons and members of Academy Commissions, Program Committees and Study Groups.
The membership of the Scientific Activities Committee shall include the Section Chairpersons and the Chairpersons of Academy Commissions, as well as other persons who may be appointed by the President with the approval of the Board. The Chairpersons of the Program Committees and Study Groups may also be invited to attend the meetings of the Scientific Activities Committee. Seven members of this committee, including its chairperson, shall constitute a quorum.
7.1 In order to provide opportunities for initiation of focused activities, to facilitate and observe such activities, enable the exchange of ideas and information among interested members of the Academy and recommend appropriate measures relating to the establishment and activities of Program Committees and Study Groups to the Board of Trustees, six Academy Commissions shall be established, namely: Commission I on Space Physical Sciences; Commission II on Space Life Sciences; Commission III on Space Technology and System Development; Commission IV on Space Systems, Operations and Utilization; Commission V on Space Policy, Law and Economics; Commission VI on Space and Society, Culture and Education. The initial general scopes of responsibility of each of the Academy Commissions are shown for information in Appendix 1 of these Bylaws. The scopes may be amended by majority Board decisions in the future.
7.2 The officers of each Academy Commission shall be a Chairperson, a Vice Chairperson and a Secretary. They shall be appointed by the President upon recommendation of the Vice-President for Scientific Activities for a term of two years. The Vice Chairperson shall succeed the Chairperson at the expiration of his term of office. Each Academy Commission shall be composed of members appointed by the President upon the recommendation of the Vice-President for Scientific Activities. The Chairpersons of the relevant Program Committees and Study Groups shall serve as ex-officio members of the respective Academy Commissions. The Chairperson and Vice-Chairpersons of the Academy Commissions shall be selected from among the Members of the Academy, the Secretary and other members of the Commissions may be either Members or Corresponding Members of the Academy.
7.3 Academy Commissions may establish ad hoc Advisory Groups to help in reviewing selected study topics.
7.4 Upon recommendation of the Vice President for Scientific Activities, the respective Chairperson of an Academy Commission or petition of at least 15 Members and/or Corresponding Members, the Board shall be empowered to establish appropriate Program Committees and Study Groups. Members and/or Corresponding Members wishing to organize a Program Committee or a Study Group shall submit their proposal to an Academy Commission with the most appropriate scope. Such proposal shall include the terms of reference of the body concerned, the length of time needed for completion of its task, proposed membership, secondary interest in another Academy Commission, if any, and other useful information. If endorsed by the respective Academy Commissions, the proposal shall be transmitted to the Scientific Activities Committee for its approval. The Vice-President for Scientific Activities shall inform the Board of Trustees of the establishment of all Program Committees and Study Groups and shall report on the progress of their work.
7.5 The Vice-President for Scientific Activities shall recommend to the President the appointment of the Chairpersons and members of the Program Committees and Study Groups. The Officers of the Program Committees and Study Groups shall be the Chairperson, one or more Co-Chairpersons and a Secretary. The Officers shall be either Members or Corresponding Members. They shall remain in office for the lifetime of the task concerned. The membership of Program Committees and Study Groups shall include Members and Corresponding Members, as well as non-Members who are distinguished in the respective subjects of interest of these bodies.
7.6 Each Program Committee shall focus on accomplishing specific assignments over a period of time and shall organize conferences, sessions or symposia of the Academy on particular topics. The Terms of Reference for all Program Committees are contained in the reports of the Board of Trustees.