Top Officials Proposed For WIPO; Tied To Director’s Term 17/09/2014 by William New, Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)After months of consideration and an application process that attracted 360 applicants, the World Intellectual Property Organization secretariat has made public its proposed names for the top posts at the UN agency for the next six years. Only four out of eight names are newcomers, and all will be tied to the term of service of the director general, meaning if he leaves, they have to leave as well. According to the document, WO/CC/70/2 [pdf], on the agenda of the WIPO Coordination Committee, countries represented would be Chile, United States, China, Norway, Ethiopia, Japan, Sri Lanka, and India. The Coordination Committee meets at the time of the annual WIPO General Assemblies, from 22-30 September. The names of the proposed appointments are: (i) Mr. Mario Matus (Chile) , Deputy Director General, Development Sector; (ii) Mr. John Sandage (United States of America) , Deputy Director General, Patents and Technology Sector; (iii) Ms. Wang Binying (China) , Deputy Director General , Brands and Designs Sector ; (iv) Ms. Anne Leer (Norway) , Deputy Director General, Culture and Creative Industries Sector; (v) Mr. Minelik Getahun (Ethiopia) , Assistant Director General , Global Issues Sector; (vi) Mr. Yoshiyuki Takagi (Japan) , Assistant Director General, Global Infrastructure Sector ; and (vii) Mr. Ramanathan Ambi Sundaram (Sri Lanka) , Assistant Director General, Administration and Management Sector . Naresh Prasad (India), the current chief of staff, would be promoted to assistant director general, at an additional cost of 40,000 Swiss francs to the organisation. The document says the creation of the new assistant director general post would be “personal” to Prasad and would not constitute a precedent for the future. Of the candidates, Matus, Sandage, Leer and Getahun are new. Wang Binying is elevated to a deputy director general [correction: Wang already holds the position of DDG.] Takagi and Sundaram continue at the same level. The biographies of the proposed officials are included in the document linked above. The four newcomers are notable for an emphasis on diplomacy and a relative lack of expertise in intellectual property rights issues, with the exception of Leer. Sandage stands out for his background in the US State Department working on counterterrorism and crime issues. Matus is a career diplomat and trade negotiator from Chile, having most recently been its ambassador to the World Trade Organization and to the World Intellectual Property Organization. Leer is producer and editor at BBC in London, and has a background in publishing and various media. Getahun is Ethiopian ambassador to the UN in Geneva and a career diplomat. Of possible relevance, the African Union is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The terms run from 1 December 2014 to 30 September 2020 [corrected], unless the director general leaves earlier. This is of some relevance as there was a high-level allegation of misconduct by outgoing Deputy Director General James Pooley against Gurry earlier this year that authorities have been looking into (IPW, WIPO, 7 May 2014, IPW, WIPO, 9 May 2014, IPW, WIPO, 19 May 2014). Sources say the issue was sent back to the Internal Audit and Oversight Division (IAOD), and that independent investigators have been working on preliminary evaluation reports on the issue [updated]. If tied to Gurry’s term, it would not be in the senior management team’s interest for him to leave early. The process was conducted in complete confidentiality, handled as a human resources hiring process, and was ultimately up to the discretion of the director general, according to WIPO. As had been suggested by some during the process, the post overseeing the development sector went to Latin America, a developing region that some argued was next in line after Asia and Africa had held it previously. Knowledge Ecology International also has reported on the proposed appointments, here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related William New may be reached at email@example.com."Top Officials Proposed For WIPO; Tied To Director’s Term" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.