The member states of the World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO on May 8, 2020, appointed by consensus, Mr. Daren Tang as the Organization’s next Director General, with Mr. Tang’s six-year term beginning on October 1, 2020.
Mr. Tang’s appointment by the General Assembly, WIPO’s highest governing body, followed his nomination by the WIPO Coordination Committee in March, 2020. Mr. Tang will succeed Mr. Francis Gurry, who has served as WIPO’s Director General since October 1, 2008.
Speaking on his appointment, Mr. Tang said “I sincerely thank all Member States for their support and confidence in entrusting me with this immense responsibility in these unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold misery and brought the world to a standstill, but has also reminded us of our common humanity. More than ever, the WIPO community needs to unite to support our inventors, innovators and creators, all of whom are playing critical roles in helping us overcome this grave pandemic, whether it is in finding a cure for the virus, allowing us to stay connected through technology, or lifting our spirits during this challenging period.”
“I look forward to working with the Member States and staff of WIPO, as well as the many stakeholders in the global IP community, to build our future IP ecosystem – one that is balanced, inclusive and vibrant. I send my heartfelt wishes to one and all that they and their loved ones remain safe and healthy until we meet again”, he added.
Goodwill message by out-going DG
“I extend my warmest congratulations to Mr. Tang and to the Government of Singapore on Mr. Tang’s appointment”, Mr. Gurry said. “The international intellectual property community will be in good hands with Mr. Tang at helm of the Organization. In the meantime, we are looking forward to working closely with Mr. Tang and his team on a smooth transition”, he added.
Mr. Tang will be the fifth Director General of WIPO, following Mr. Gurry of Australia (2008-2020), Mr. Kamil Idris of Sudan (1997-2008), Mr. Arpad Bogsch of the United States (1973-1997) and Mr. Georg Bodenhausen of the Netherlands (1970-1973).
Process of selection
The process of selecting a Director General is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and the “2019 Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO”. Mr. Tang’s confirmation as Director General-elect took place through an unprecedented written procedure after WIPO cancelled or postponed in-person meetings due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Intellectual Property Organization WIPO is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 193 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.