OECD Secretary-General

Selection of the Secretary-General of the OECD


1. Role of the Secretary-General

2. Selection process

3. Candidates

4. Former Secretaries-General

5. Contacts

1. Role of the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General chairs the OECD's Council and heads the Secretariat.

The Council
Decision-making power is vested in the OECD’s Council. It is made up of one representative per member country and the European Commission. The Council meets regularly at the level of ambassadors to the OECD and decisions are taken by consensus. The Council meets at ministerial level once a year to discuss key issues and set priorities for OECD work. The work mandated by the Council is carried out by the OECD Secretariat’s various directorates.

The OECD Secretariat
Some 2 000 staff of the OECD Secretariat in Paris work to support the activities of committees. Some 700 economists, lawyers, scientists and other professional staff, mainly based in a dozen substantive directorates, provide research and analysis.

The Secretariat is headed by a Secretary-General, assisted by four Deputy Secretaries-General. The Secretary-General also chairs the Council, providing the crucial link between national delegations and the Secretariat.

More information: About OECD. 

2. Selection process of the current Secretary-General

OECD member countries were asked to put forward candidates by 15 July 2005. Six countries put forward candidates for the post of Secretary-General of the Organisation to succeed Donald. J. Johnston, who stepped down in May 2006.

These candidatures were reviewed by representatives of all 30 OECD countries in individual hearings in Paris on 3 – 4 October.

The Dean of the Ambassadors, Swiss Ambassador Wilhelm Jaggi, led a first round of consultations with the representatives of other OECD countries, assisted by Ambassador Peter Brückner of Denmark and Ambassador Jocelyne Bourgon of Canada. Following these consultations, he identified three candidates as best placed to win eventual consensus for appointment to the position.
=> Read the Dean's Read the Dean's report to OECD Heads of Delegations to OECD Heads of Delegations.

A second round of consultations began on 3 November with a view to narrowing down the field to the two candidates that member countries appraise as best suited to successfully lead the OECD in the coming years.
=> Read the Dean’s Read the Dean’s second report to OECD Heads of Delegations to OECD Heads of Delegations.

A third round of consultations took place on 24 November with a view to arriving at a consensus among the 30 member countries on the choice of the new Secretary-General by 1 December 2005.
=> Read the Dean’s third report to OECD Heads of Delegations.

On 30 November the OECD Council nominated Mr. Angel Gurria as the next Secretary-General of the OECD as from 1 June 2006 for a period of 5 years.
=> Read the Dean’s final report to OECD Council and the news release announcing the nomination.

3. Candidates 

Angel GURRÍA  Mexico
Marek BELKA Poland
Allan FELS Australia
Seung-Soo HAN Korea
Alain MADELIN France
Sawako TAKEUCHI Japan


4. Former Secretaries-General


5. Contacts

For further comment, journalists are invited to contact, Media Relations at OECD (tel. 33 1 45 24 80 90).


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