Nominations for the Office of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) has officially closed. As at close of nomination on July 8 2020, eight nominees from different countries had indicated interests.
The outgoing DG, Azevedo, will be stepping down on August 31, 2020.
Nominees are expected to answer questions from the General Council (involving all its member states) and the Press between 15-17 July, 2020. Several rounds of consultations will follow until a consensus is announced. The DG’s role is expected to be primarily advisory, managerial and renewable after 4 years
Generally, the appointment of the WTO DG is by consensus of the General Council.
Seade Kuri Jesús (Mexico)
Jesús Kuri possesses unique experience in global trade negotiations and management of international financial crises.
According to his CV, Kuri is the founding Deputy Director-General of the WTO. He was also a Senior Advisor at the IMF and Principal Economist at the World Bank.
Kuri was a Chief Negotiator for Mexico in the creation of the WTO and is currently the Under Secretary-General (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) at USMCA, Mexico. He is fluent in the 3 Official languages of the WTO (English, French and Spanish).
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (Nigeria)
NOI (as she is fondly called) is a global financial expert, economist and international development professional spanning, three decades of experience. She was twice appointed Nigeria’s Finance Minister and briefly, Foreign Affairs Minister. The first woman to occupy both positions.
She rose through the ranks of the World Bank, having served for almost 25 years to the position of No 2, Managing Director, Operations.
She is Chair to a lot of boards….
Board of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
Chair, Board of AU African risk capacity
Member, South Africa Economic Recovery Team
Member, Boards of Standard Chartered Bank Plc and Twitter Inc.
Co-Chair, Global Commission on the Economy and Climate
Angelopolous Global Public Leader at Havard Kennedy School, etc.
She is a recipient of many awards at both the National and Global Stage.
Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh (Egypt)
Abdel-Hamid believes unequivocally in the Multilateral Trading System and its rule-based foundation. He is a Senior WTO official growing through the ranks to the position of Director of the Trade in Services and Investment Division of WTO.
He has solid internal WTO management and leadership experience spanning almost 35 years, as well as extensive legal expertise in public international /trade law and negotiations.
He is currently a Senior Counsel, King & Sparding LLP
He is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Tudor Ulianovschi (Moldova)
Ulianovschi is a diplomat and politician with vast experience in international, political and economic reforms, including trade policy matters.
He has accumulated almost 15 years of experience as a Deputy Foreign Affairs and later Foreign Affairs Minister for the Republic of Moldova, Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO. He has chaired quite a number of steering Committees and is a member of the International Gender Champions.
Ms Yoo Myung-Hee (Korea)
Myung-Hee is an innovator, negotiator and strategist who believes in the importance of the multi-lateral system and constant renewal derives.
She has ample experience over 25years as Korea’s FTA strategist and currently negotiator for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, US (KORUS) FTA re-negotiations.
Myung-Hee is currently Korea’s first female Minister for Trade.
Amina Mohammed (Kenya)
She is an ambassador, diplomat and politician. Amina has been previously chairperson of all the highest decision-making bodies of the WTO.
She has chaired the Ministerial Conference (highest decision body of the WTO), General Council, Trade Policy Review and the Dispute Settlement body.
She is the first African to chair the Ministerial Conference of the WTO and first woman to chair the General Council and the Dispute Settlement body of the WTO respectively.
She also held several portfolios such as:
Assistant Secretary-General of the UN, Deputy Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme, Permanent Representative and Ambassador to the WTO.
She is currently the Kenyan Minister for Sports, Culture and Heritage.
Mohammed Maziad Al-Tuwaijiri (Saudi Arabia)
He leads the development agenda of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and boasts robust interaction with international organizations and multilateral agencies
He has a long career in banking with the Saudi British Bank, J.P. Morgan and HSBC, eventually becoming the Group Managing Director, Deputy Chairman and CEO for Middle East, North Africa and Turkey. A Strong advocate of Saudi Vision 2030, worked tirelessly to bring it to life through the support of the Ministry of Economy, as well through the position occupied as a Board member of key organizations, institutions and Companies in Saudi Arabia.
He is the immediate past Minister of Economy and Planning and currently an advisor to the Royal Court of Saudi Arabia.
Liam Fox (The UK)
He is a British politician who has been a staunch advocate for free trading and a defender of the rules based global trading system of the WTO. He has served in a number of positions as Former UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Minister Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Defence Secretary, et al
He is currently in the UK Parliament, President Board of Trade and a Privy Counsellor.