SFPE is driven by its mission and largely measures its success in achieving mission-related goals.

Good governance provides the vision and direction to ensure that SFPE is on the right path. The responsibility for governing SFPE rests with its volunteer board of directors, operating according to its Constitution & Bylaws, Standing Rules, and Policies & Procedures, and working in close collaboration with the chief executive officer to set strategic direction, provide necessary resources, and make key decisions that staff then implement to meet member needs.

Volunteer leadership is also distributed among SFPE's Standing Committees, making volunteer management an important operational function for SFPE staff. Governance also involves the management of SFPE's regional and local chapters that support the global organization in fulfilling its mission.