Director-General of the World Trade Organization

The Director-General of the World Trade Organization is responsible for supervising the administrative functions of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Because World Trade Organizations' decisions are made by member states (through either a Ministerial Conference or through the General Council), the Director-General has little power over matters of policy - the role is primarily advisory and managerial. The Director-General supervises the WTO secretariat of about 700 staff and is appointed by WTO members for a term of four years.[1]

Director-General of the World Trade Organization
Roberto Azevedo cropped.jpg
Roberto Azevêdo

since 1 September 2013
World Trade Organization
StyleMr. Director-General
His Excellency
StatusChief Administrative Officer
Reports toGeneral Council
SeatCentre William Rappard, Geneva, Switzerland
AppointerGeneral Council
Term lengthFour years, renewable
Constituting instrumentWTO organization chart
Formation1 July 1993
First holderPeter Sutherland
DeputyDeputy Director-Generals

The current Director-General is Roberto Azevêdo of Brazil, since 1 September 2013.[2]

Before the creation of the WTO, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade had a series of Directors-General. Peter Sutherland was the last DG of GATT and the first of the WTO.

Past Directors-GeneralEdit

This is a list of former holders of the office of director-general. The post was created in 1995, although the earlier office of Executive Secretary is often seen as a direct equivalent.[3]

Name Portrait Took office Left office Country
1 Peter Sutherland 1 July 1993 1 May 1995   Ireland
2 Renato Ruggiero 1 May 1995 1 September 1999   Italy
3 Mike Moore 1 September 1999 1 September 2002   New Zealand
4 Supachai Panitchpakdi 1 September 2002 1 September 2005   Thailand
5 Pascal Lamy 1 September 2005 1 September 2013   France
6 Roberto Azevedo 1 September 2013 incumbent   Brazil


  1. ^ See document WT/L/509, accessible from
  2. ^ McClanahan, Paige (8 May 2013). "Roberto Azevêdo to be named new World Trade Organisation chief". Guardian. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Previous GATT and WTO Directors-General". WTO. Retrieved 8 May 2013.

External linksEdit