Today, the German Archaeological Institute is a federal agency that is within the area of responsibility of the ministry of foreign affairs. The institute employs around 120 scientist.
The institute is headed by a president, who, in accordance with the articles of the institute, is bound to the decisions of central management. The president's deputy is his secretary general, who in particular deals with matters of scientific organisation and policy.
The individual branches (departments and committees) are headed by directors. The directors together with the president and the secretary general form the board of directors (Direktorium), whose tasks are set forth in the articles.
On 1 January 2005, a new version of the articles of the German Archaeological Institute (Satzung des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts)came into force. This was followed by a new version of the articles of the three committees of the institute. The new versions of the committee articles (Satzungen der Kommissionen des Instituts) have been in force since 7 March 2006.
Central management (Zentraldirektion), the institute's governing body, which consists of 18 members, is made up of representatives from various archaeological and prehistoric subjects, most of which are professors at German universities. The director of the Directorate-General for Culture and Communication of the ministry of foreign affairs is also a member. The institute's president is the chairman. The tasks of central management are set forth in the articles.
A grant commission prepares the allocation of grants by central management. The tasks of the grant commission as well as details on evaluations, department and committee conferences and voting procedures are set forth in the rules of procedure (Geschäftsordnung).
The institute has developed a set of objectives for the areas profile building in research, national and international networking, quality assurance, personnel structure, scientific services, promotion of young talent and collaboration with the ministry of foreign affairs. These objectives are set forth as part of a target agreement (Zielvereinbarung) between the president and the board of directors.
The scientific work of the various branches of the institute is based on a research plan (Forschungsplan) that explains and substantiates strategic decisions regarding the strengthening and development of the research profile of the various departments/committees and the institute as a whole.
The individual research plans of the departments/committees served as basis for wider-reaching scientific questions, so-called research clusters (Forschungscluster). These clusters are designed to provide greater links between the research activities of the different branches of the institute as well as with the work of other institutions. The research clusters deal with the latest scientific issues, are multi- as well as interdisciplinary and are designed to have an influence beyond the institute on prehistoric studies in general.
In May 2006, during a meeting of central management, a historical monument committee (Baudenkmalauschuss) was set up that will supervise and provide advice on monument restoration projects carried out by the DAI.