The GHR is operational on a multi-primary basis, starting December 09, 2015, under the overall administration of the DONA Foundation.
The GHR is a distributed registry whose operation is managed collaboratively by the DONA Foundation and multiple organizations that are credentialed and authorized by DONA. Each of those credentialed organizations are referred to as MPAs (or Multi-Primary Administrators). A credential is a number, made known to the GHR by DONA and allotted to a given MPA. MPAs, in turn, are authorized to allot derived prefixes from their credential to themselves and to third parties. The MPA and these third parties can provide identifier and resolution services (aka local handle services) for handles under the derived prefixes allotted to them. The GHR specifically communicates to the client, upon request, the location and certain relevant security information of the local handle services that can process the handle that the client is interested in resolving.
The GHR was created by Corporation for National Research Initiatives (CNRI) in Reston, Virginia, USA, which operated it as the sole administrator from 1993 – 2015. In 2014, CNRI transferred responsibility for the GHR to DONA.