WTO’s Okonjo-Iweala Appoints Two Women As Deputy DGs For The First Time Ever
The new director-general, who herself is the first woman and the first African to lead the WTO, appointed United States’ Ms Angela Paolini Ellard, Costa Rica’s Anabel Gonzalez, along with Jean-Marie Paugam of France and China’s Zhang Xiangchen.
WTO has counted one woman deputy director-general previously, but Okonjo-Iweala stressed that this was “the first time in the history of our organisation that half of the DDGs are women.”
The WTO chief, who took office on March 1, stated;
This underscores my commitment to strengthening our organisation with talented leaders whilst at the same time achieving gender balance in senior positions. I look forward to welcoming them to the WTO.
In making the appointments, Nigeria’s former finance and foreign minister maintained the previous balance of one deputy from China, one from the United States, one from the European Union and one from a developing country elsewhere.
The new DDGs replace Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria, Karl Brauner of Germany, Alan Wolff of United States and Yi Xiaozhun of China.
The deputies each take charge of four or five fields at the Geneva-based global trade body, such as legal affairs, market access, development, agriculture and commodities, and intellectual property.
Ellard has served at the US Congress as majority and minority chief trade counsel.
Gonzalez is a former foreign trade minister who also served as a senior director at the World Bank and as director of the agriculture and commodities division at the WTO.
Paugam was France’s permanent representative at the WTO and has held senior positions in the French economy and finance ministry.
Zhang is a vice minister in China’s Ministry of Commerce who was recently Beijing’s permanent representative to WTO.
The organisation is holding a meeting of its general council on Wednesday and Thursday. The council is the WTO’s highest-level decision-making body in Geneva, featuring representatives from all 164 member states.