In each area, a General Authority Seventy is assigned by the First Presidency to serve as the Area President. Two counselors, who are General Authority Seventies or Area Seventies, are assigned to assist the president. The Area Presidency works under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Area Presidencies outside of the United States live in the area where they serve and often travel within that area to teach and support Church members, missionaries, leaders, and temple presidents and matrons.
Area Presidencies were first created in the 1980s when the growth of the Church made it impractical for the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to respond directly to the unique needs of the many areas of a growing worldwide Church. Area Presidencies are uniquely positioned to help build up the Church and provide valuable counsel and leadership to Church members around the world.