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The Hogwarts school governors have a great deal of authority over the school, notably the ability to hire or fire the school headmaster. It's clear that Lucius Malfoy was one of these school governors before he was sacked, and he never became one again (see How did Lucius Malfoy get back to being a school governor?).

But what sort of people are the other school governors? Are they all parents (making it sort of a Parent-Teacher Association)? Are they alumni (could a former Durmstang student be a governor)? Is it just whomever wants to be one?

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    Probably they chose wizards who can donate much-needed galleons to Hogwarts and who are respectable, also former students? Problem is JKR pretty much forgot about the governors and their role after book2... – user68762 Nov 20 '16 at 22:24
  • Given that it's based on the British public school system, the answer is likely to be that the governors are parents of students currently attending the school, who have been nominated and then elected into the position. I don't offer any evidence for this, hence a comment rather than an answer, but that's how most school governorships in the UK work. – Simba Nov 21 '16 at 10:18
  • @Simba I don't think parents are necessarily even a majority of governors in British schools of any kind. – David Richerby Nov 21 '16 at 15:28
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They are influential people:

“Look, Albus,” said Fudge, uncomfortably. “Hagrid’s record’s against him. Ministry’s got to do something — the school governors have been in touch —” “Yet again, Cornelius, I tell you that taking Hagrid away will not help in the slightest,” said Dumbledore. ~Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Cornelius Fudge

In a situation where muggleborn students are petrified at Hogwarts and there are rumors about the Chamber of Secrets being reopened Fudge is concerned mainly about the impression he would make on the governors. This implies they are the ones with power that could affect his political career.

They are dominated by Lucius Malfoy

It seems Lucius Malfoy is capable of coercing even those governors whom he can't convince or bribe:

Very strange tales they told me, too. . . . Several of them seemed to think that you had threatened to curse their families if they didn’t agree to suspend me in the first place.”~Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Dobby's Reward

Which probably means there aren't any Order members among the governors or people who are loyal to Dumbledore and trust him, else they would've simply asked his protection, instead of submitting to Lucius Malfoy's threats. Nor we ever hear about any gryffindor student having a parent in the board. (In fact the only parent we hear about being a governor is Draco's father).

They only decided on reinstalling Dumbledore and going against Lucius when a known ministry official's pureblood daughter was attacked:

" “So!” he said “You’ve come back. The governors suspended you, but you still saw fit to return to Hogwarts.” “Well, you see, Lucius,” said Dumbledore, smiling serenely, “the other eleven governors contacted me today. It was something like being caught in a hailstorm of owls, to tell the truth. They’d heard that Arthur Weasley’s daughter had been killed and wanted me back here at once. They seemed to think I was the best man for the job after all. ~Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Dobby's Reward

It's pure speculation, but it seems the governors are chosen from the more conservative, influental and wealthy members of the wizarding society, those people who probably symphatize somewhat with Lucius' views.

After all, in the book Chamber of Secrets Arthur Weasley’s Muggle Protection Act is introduced. The more conservative pureblood families represented by Lucius Malfoy are opposed to this proposal and Lucius uses Riddle's diary and his influence on the governors board to harm his muggle-loving political opponents: Arthur Weasley and Albus Dumbledore. But then things go too far, Arthur Weasley’s daughter is attacked and the governors decide that enough is enough.

  • Surely the fact that can so easily be coerced would suggest that they aren't influential? – Valorum Nov 21 '16 at 8:58
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    @Valorum not that easily, just by lucius who is the biggest hawk among them :) i for some reason imagine them as some kind of patricians of the wizarding world. – user68762 Nov 21 '16 at 9:17
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    Being the Governor of a famous school is the sort of thing that you find 'the great and the good' getting involved in, but not necessarily the real 'movers and shakers'. A bit like being on the board of a charity or a zoo. – Valorum Nov 21 '16 at 9:27
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    @Valorum Yes, i don't think my muggle school governors had the PM's ear. In the more seclusive and much smaller wizarding world however things seem to be different. sirius says the old families are all interrelated. Hogwarts politics is important. The first thing Draco says when he talks about Snape being the headmaster is that then he'd change the policy and muggleborns wouldn't be admitted. So the decisions of the headmaster have serious effect on wizarding politics and society. – user68762 Nov 21 '16 at 9:43
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    @Valorum - you don't get to be on the board of influential charity without being a mover and shaker (or at least, being closely affiliated with one - in Muggle societies, at the risk of starting sexism arguments, it was usually BigWig's Wives) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Nov 21 '16 at 15:14
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Main canon.

The short answer is that we don't know. Lucius Malfoy is the only Governor that we meet and it's not immediately clear if his position on the Board of Governors is as a result of him being a parent of a pupil or a member of the Ministry of Magic, in which case his position may pre-date Draco's attendance.

The fact that he's the Chairman (at least according to the Harry Potter Video Game) would imply the latter.

Pure Guesswork.

Given that Hogwarts is modeled on English/Scottish Boarding schools, it's likely that the follow the same Governorship model.

In the absence of any formal ties to other schools in the country and given that there is no Local Government involvement in the school, it can be assumed that the School's governing body is comprised of Parent Governors (elected by other parents) and Co-opted Governors, chosen by the Ministry of Magic. There may or may not be Teacher Governors.

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