World Intellectual Property Organization

Key WIPO Body Nominates Candidate for Director General

Geneva, May 13, 2008
PR/2008/552

The Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated Mr. Francis Gurry, a national of Australia, to become the next Director General of WIPO. The candidate will have to be appointed by the WIPO General Assembly at its next meeting scheduled from September 22 to 30, 2008.

Mr. Gurry was selected from a list which originally included 15 candidates. He would become the fourth Director General of WIPO, following Mr. Georg Bodenhausen of the Netherlands (1970-1973) Mr. Arpad Bogsch of the United States (1973-1997) and Dr. Kamil Idris of Sudan (1997-2008).
 
Three days were set aside this week for the Coordination Committee meeting. However, withdrawal of seven candidates following the second round of formal voting accelerated the process. The last round of voting included Mr. Gurry and Mr. José Graça Aranha, a national of Brazil. Mr. Gurry received 42 votes, whereas Mr. Graça Aranha received 41 votes.
 
Mr. Gurry joined WIPO in 1985 as a consultant in the Development Cooperation and External Relations Bureau for Asia and the Pacific. He has assumed various posts since that time including Head of the Industrial Property Law Section (1988-1990), Special Assistant to the Director General and Director-Counselor in the Office of the Director General (1990-1993), Director, WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and Acting Legal Counsel (1993-1997), Legal Counsel (1997-1999) also in charge of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center and electronic commerce, Assistant Director General and Legal Counsel (1999-2003), and Deputy Director General (2003-present).  Prior to joining WIPO, Mr. Gurry practiced law and held a number of academic positions. The Director General-elect holds law degrees from the University of Melbourne and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.  Mr. Gurry’s full curriculm vitae is available.
 
The Director General-elect will assume his duties on October 1, 2008 following appointment by the General Assembly.
 
The process of electing a Director General is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and “The Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO,” adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO in September 1998.

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