Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, of both ruling and nonruling parties of former and existing socialist states. In such party organizations the committee would typically be made up of delegates elected at a party congress. In those states where it constituted the state power, the central committee made decisions for the party between congresses, and usually was (at least nominally) responsible for electing the Politburo. In non-ruling communist parties, the central committee is usually understood by the party membership to be the ultimate decision-making authority between Congresses once the process of democratic centralism has led to an agreed-upon position.
Non-communist organizations are also governed by central committees, such as the right-wing Likud party in Israel, the Mennonite Church and Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors (to war). In the United States the two major parties are administered by the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee; these act as the leading bodies of those organizations at the national/administrative level, as well as local committees in a similar capacity within the local Democratic or Republican governments of individual counties and states.