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]

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-General

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 Republic of Ireland Ireland
2 Renato Ruggiero
No image.png
1 May 1995 1 September 1999 Italy Italy
3 Mike Moore
Mike Moore.jpg
1 September 1999 1 September 2002 New Zealand New Zealand
4 Supachai Panitchpakdi
Supachai Panitchpakdi.jpg
1 September 2002 1 September 2005 Thailand Thailand
5 Pascal Lamy
Photo P Lamy-2.jpg
1 September 2005 1 September 2013 France France
6 Roberto Azevedo
Roberto Azevedo cropped.jpg
1 September 2013 incumbent Brazil Brazil


  1. ^ See document WT/L/509, accessible from [1]
  2. ^ McClanahan, Paige (2013-05-08). "Roberto Azevêdo to be named new World Trade Organisation chief". Guardian. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  3. ^ "Previous GATT and WTO Directors-General". WTO. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 

External links