New WTO Director General Names His Four Deputy DGs

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Incoming World Trade Organization Director-General Roberto Azevêdo has announced the appointment of his four deputies, coming from China, Germany, Nigeria and the United States. He also named his chief of staff, from Australia.

Azevêdo, from Brazil, will take over from Pascal Lamy of France on 1 September. The deputies will begin on 1 October, according to a WTO press release.

The new deputies will be: Yi Xiaozhun of China, Karl-Ernst Brauner of Germany, Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria, and David Shark of the United States. There are no women and no WTO “outsiders” in the top posts. They were selected after consultations with members states, WTO said.

Yi is a veteran trade official at China’s Ministry of Commerce who has served as China’s Ambassador to the WTO since 2011. Brauner is a senior officer in the Federal Department of Economics and Technology who has been Germany’s representative to the Trade Policy Committee in Brussels for the last 12 years and has worked with WTO since the start of the 2001 Doha Round. Agah has worked on trade issues at the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment since the early 1990s, and has been Nigeria’s Ambassador to the WTO since 2005. He chaired the WTO General Council in 2011. Shark has served as the United States’ Deputy Permanent Representative to the WTO since 2000 and his work on these issues goes back to the 1970s in the Office of the US Trade Representative.

Azevêdo also announced that his Chef de Cabinet will be Tim Yeend, the Australian Ambassador to the WTO for the last three years.

Separately, immediate former WTO Chief of Staff Arancha Gonzalez of Spain has been appointed Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the WTO and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The WTO press release is here.

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