WIPO's Senior Management Team
The WIPO Senior Management Team consists of the four Deputy Directors General and the three Assistant Directors General, plus the Executive Director of the Office of the Director General (Chief of Staff). The current team was appointed on December 1, 2009.
The Senior Management Team is responsible for assisting the Director General in providing the strategic direction of WIPO’s programs, managing the budgets, activities and human and financial resources of their respective Sectors in accordance with agreed work plans, and ensuring delivery of results in line with the Organization’s nine strategic goals and the Program and Budget.
- Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, Deputy Director General, Development Sector
- Mr. James Pooley, Deputy Director General, Innovation and Technology Sector
- Ms. Binying Wang, Deputy Director General, Brands and Designs Sector
- Mr. Christian Wichard, Deputy Director General, Global Issues Sector
- Mr. Trevor C. Clarke, Assistant Director General, Copyright
- Mr. Ambi Sundaram, Assistant Director General, Administration and Management Sector
- Mr. Yoshiyuki (Yo) Takagi, Assistant Director General, Global Infrastructure
- Mr. Naresh Prasad, Chief of Staff
Mr. Onyeama (Nigeria) is responsible for the Development Sector which incorporates WIPO’s programs on:
- Development Agenda Coordination;
- cooperation with African, Arab, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean countries and least developed countries (LDCs); and
- the WIPO Academy;
- the Technical Assistance Database Projects; and
- the WIPO External Offices in Brazil and Singapore.
The Sector’s key objective is to facilitate the use of IP for social, cultural and economic development to enable greater participation by developing countries and LDCs in the benefits of innovation and the knowledge economy.
As development is a cross-cutting issue both at the national level and at the level of the Organization, Mr. Onyeama perceives the main challenges for the future as the need to:
- partner effectively with developing countries in designing national IP strategies and plans that provide a coherent IP framework tailored to national circumstances and that addresses prevailing policy, legislative, institutional and capacity-building needs;
- ensure meaningful organization-wide coordination and engagement in implementing these strategies and plans;
- build a critical mass of human capital capable of addressing the legal, economic, business and technological aspects of IP for development. This involves raising IP knowledge and awareness among policy makers, IP administrators, examiners and practitioners, entrepreneurs, artists, authors and inventors, research and academic communities, civil society and industry.
Mr. Onyeama joined WIPO in 1985. He was appointed Director of the Cooperation for Development Bureau for Africa in 1999, then Assistant Director General responsible for the Coordination Sector for External Relations, Industry, Communications and Public Outreach in December 2006. Prior to joining WIPO, he worked for the Nigerian Law Reform Commission, and practiced as a solicitor and advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
Mr. Pooley (U.S.) oversees the Innovation and Technology Sector which is responsible for WIPO’s programs on patent law and innovation, including:
- operation of the international patent system through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), which employs a third of the Organization’s staff and generates some 75 percent of its income;
- support for the work of the Standing Committee on the Law of Patents (SCP), the body responsible for development of international patent law;
- advice on development of national legislation and patent systems; and
- promotion of innovation infrastructure and successful use of the patent system, particularly by SMEs and research institutions.
Mr. Pooley’s priorities are to ensure the continued improvement and expansion of the PCT to the benefit of all of its users, to help implement national innovation strategies, and to support Member States in their continued search for a balanced and productive way forward in norm-setting. Mr. Pooley believes that these goals can be achieved by emphasizing service and outreach to the PCT user community, and by encouraging continued dialog. “Progress in the SCP will follow as respectful engagement helps to reveal important areas of common interest,” he explained.
Mr. Pooley brings to WIPO extensive experience as an IP practitioner in the private sector. Before joining WIPO, he was a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP in California. He embarked on his legal career in 1973 in California, at a time when Silicon Valley began to attract high-tech innovators and entrepreneurs. Throughout his career, Mr. Pooley has been very active in teaching and writing, and in chairing/participating in many professional associations and commissions, including the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), the National Inventors Hall of Fame and the National Academies of Science Committee on IP Rights. Involvement in Boy Scouting has also been a lifelong personal pursuit.
Ms. Wang (China) is responsible for the Brands and Designs Sector.
As well as supporting the work of Member States in the Standing Committee on the Law of Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Geographical Indications (SCT), the Sector administers the Madrid System for International Trademark Registrations; the Hague System for International Design Registrations; and the Lisbon System for International Registrations of Appellations of Origin.
For Ms. Wang the Sector’s main challenge is “to further improve the operation of the three registration systems so stakeholders have access to high quality, cost-effective, efficient and user-friendly services.”
Ms. Wang joined WIPO in 1992 to work in the Cooperation for Development Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, and held senior positions in the Office of the Director General, prior to her appointment as Assistant Director General in December 2006. Before joining WIPO, Ms. Wang served in a number of government posts in China and abroad, and headed the China Trademark Service, then under the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC).
Mr. Wichard (Germany) oversees the Sector for Global Issues which brings together a number of programs that address horizontal, cross-cutting issues, notably:
- Traditional Knowledge (TK), Traditional Cultural Expressions (TCEs) and Genetic Resources (GR);
- Arbitration, Mediation and Domain Names;
- Cooperation with Certain Countries in Europe and Asia;
- Building Respect for IP;
- IP and Global Challenges;
- IP and Competition Policy;
- Communications; and
- External Relations.
Mr. Wichard believes that these programs are instrumental in meeting what he considers to be the Sector’s overarching goal, namely, to re-establish WIPO’s position as the leading intergovernmental forum for international IP policy. Effective delivery of these programs, Mr. Wichard believes, will support the achievement of this goal by, inter alia:
- facilitating negotiations on the development of a legal instrument for the protection of TK, TCEs and GR;
- engaging actively in debates on the major challenges facing humankind, such as economic development, climate change, public health and food security;
- enhancing WIPO’s communications and outreach efforts and establishing a service culture throughout the organization;
- raising awareness for efficient alternatives for resolving IP disputes outside the court system;
- contributing to international efforts to nurture respect for IP, and to raise awareness for using IP as a business tool;
- partnering effectively with certain WIPO Member States in Europe and Asia; and
- interacting more efficiently with other intergovernmental organizations and with non-governmental organizations.
Mr. Wichard previously served as deputy director general for commercial and economic law in the German Federal Ministry of Justice, where he was responsible for all aspects of the government’s IP policy. From 1998 to 2006, he worked at WIPO in the Industrial Property Law Division and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center.
Mr. Clarke (Barbados) leads WIPO’s diverse activities in the complex field of copyright and related rights which range from supporting the normative work of Member States in the Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR); to refocusing capacity-building efforts towards the commercialization of culture assets, and developing a copyright infrastructure.
Mr. Clarke’s key priority is to assist the Director General in “building an Organization which is better positioned to address the multiple challenges facing the international IP system in today’s rapidly evolving global commercial and technological environment.”
He believes that WIPO’s work on copyright and related rights is crucially important – particularly in relation to the exploitation of creative works on the internet.
A key challenge is to meet the expectations of Member States at a time when increasing demands are being made on WIPO’s resources. These expectations include building on the normative foundation to ensure that the Organization maintains its leading role as the world authority on copyright; adopting more strategic and creative approaches to respond to the needs of developing countries; and charting WIPO's role in the shifting sands of copyright in the digital future.
Mr. Clarke (Barbados) came to WIPO after six years as Ambassador at the Permanent Mission of Barbados to the United Nations Office and Other International Organizations in Geneva. This followed a successful career spanning over 40 years in telecommunications engineering and management in the British multinational corporation Cable & Wireless. He played a key role in negotiations relating to the liberalization of telecommunications with the government of Barbados and the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States.
Mr. Sundaram (Sri Lanka) is responsible for the Administration and Management Sector which brings together all programs related to the administration and management of the Organization. The Sector which was established following the major reorganization carried out under WIPO’s Strategic Realignment Program includes:
- Finance, Budget, including the Program and Budget Committee (PBC)
- Program Management and Performance;
- Administrative Support Services;
- Information and Communication Technology;
- Conference and Language Services;
- Safety and Security; and
- Premises and Infrastructure.
Mr. Sundaram considers that his Sector plays a key role in establishing a corporate culture focused on performance and customer service, and ensuring that core administrative and management processes are efficient, responsive, service-oriented and cost-effective.
Mr. Sundaram brings to WIPO more than 30 years of experience and expertise in public administration and management. He previously directed the Department of Operational Support and Services of the World Health Organization, where he began his career in 1979. Mr. Sundaram began his professional life as a management consultant with Arthur Andersen & Co, U.K.
Mr. Takagi leads the Global Infrastructure Sector whose task it is to coordinate and develop the technical architecture and business functions of the global IP system. The Sector brings together a range of key services and assets provided by WIPO, and coordinates and develops new components, including a range of search tools, global databases and common platforms. The Sector’s work is strongly focused on facilitating knowledge-sharing by developing and consolidating sustainable knowledge infrastructures by establishing a network of interconnected IP Offices that share a common platform. This will support the protection and use of IP assets, knowledge and information by all countries. The Sector includes programs relating to:
- the international classification systems and WIPO IP standards,
- Global IP databases (PATENTSCOPE, Global Brand Database),
- international IP information services and institutions (partnerships projects for access to technology such as ARDI, ASPI, Patent Landscape reports, Technology and Innovation Support Centers (TISCs)), and
- the modernization of infrastructure and business solutions at IP offices and the establishment of common platforms such as WIPO CASE.
Mr. Takagi is convinced that “recent technological developments for interconnecting systems, such as intelligent search engines, multi-linguistic and analytic tools and common platforms for sharing IP knowledge, will “facilitate the creation of a global IP infrastructure that will support deeper and more open collaboration among IP offices.”
Since joining WIPO in 1994, Mr. Takagi has served as Director of a number of Divisions. In his capacity as Director of the WIPO Permanent Committees on IP Information, he supported a number of IP offices in their transition from paper-based to Internet-based systems. Prior to his current role, he set up and directed the new department for Global IP Infrastructure. Mr. Takagi began his career in the Japan Patent Office in 1979, and also served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, participating in numerous WIPO meetings and negotiations relating to the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement). He was educated at Kyoto University.
The Senior Management Team includes the Executive Director of the Office of the Director General (Chief of Staff), Mr. Naresh Prasad (India), who was appointed on May 11, 2009.
The Office of the Director General is responsible for overall strategic planning, and for ensuring efficient coordination in support of WIPO’s goals, both across internal sectors, and between the Secretariat and its Member States and other external stakeholders. In his role as Chief of Staff, Mr. Prasad notes “My endeavor is to ensure that the priorities and goals, as set out by the Director General, are met both in letter and spirit."
Prior to joining WIPO, Mr. Prasad led a distinguished career in India’s premier civil service, the Indian Administrative Service, with some 30 years’ experience in assignments at national and international levels. These included over 10 years in senior positions in the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, the last four as India’s focal point for IP issues. Mr. Prasad also served for three years in the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). He was India’s chief negotiator for IP matters in a number of bilateral and multilateral fora.