The Deutsches Historisches Museum was founded as a limited company (GmbH) under public ownership by the Federal Government and the Land Berlin. On 30 December 2008 its legal form was changed into a foundation under public law and is under the sole responsibility of the Federal State.
The highest body of the Deutsches Historisches Museum Foundation is the „Kuratorium“ (Board of Trustees). It consists of five members from the Federal Government, the German Bundestag and the Federal Länder. The Kuratorium oversees the activities of the foundation management and decides upon all fundamental questions of the Deutsches Historisches Museum, in particular the general outline of the programme organisation, the statutes, the budget, the appointment of the auditors as well as important personnel decisions. The current Chairman of the Board is Dr. Günter Winands, department head under the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.
A further organ of the Foundation is the Advisory Council (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat). It is made up of 18 noteworthy persons from the fields of historical and social research, art history and museology. The Advisory Council advises the Deutsches Historisches Museum Foundation on its projects, in particular on the conceptual preparation of special exhibitions and on the continuing orientation of the Permanent Exhibition. It is also an important guarantee for the independence of the Foundation from outside influences. Chairman of the Advisory Council is Prof. Dr. Horst Möller. Deputy Chairman is Prof. Dr. Etienne François.