Okonjo-Iweala Appoints Four WTO Deputy DGs

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala
The Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, announced the appointment of Angela Ellard of the United States, Anabel González of Costa Rica, Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam of France and Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang of China as her four Deputy Directors-General.

The former Nigeria Finance Minister reiterated her commitment to strengthening the global trade body. In a statement posted on the WTO’s website, she said “I am very pleased to announce the appointment of four new Deputy Directors-General at the WTO. It is the first time in the history of our Organization that half of the DDGs are women.

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“This underscores my commitment to strengthening our Organization with talented leaders whilst at the same time achieving gender balance in senior positions. I look forward to welcoming them to the WTO,”

Ellard (United States) has a distinguished career of service working at the US Congress as Majority and Minority Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director. She is internationally recognised as an expert on trade and international economic policy, negotiating trade agreements and supporting multilateral solutions as part of an effective trade and development policy.

Ellard has negotiated and delivered significant bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation for well over 25 years with Members of US Congress and senior Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administration officials.

González (Costa Rica) is a renowned global expert on trade, investment and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Gonzalez served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director-General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE); and as Special Ambassador and Chief negotiator of the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement.

She also served at the World Bank as a Senior Director, the WTO as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division and as Senior Consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank.

On his part, Paugam (France) has held senior management positions in the French Government on trade, most recently as Permanent Representative of France to the WTO. He has also held a number of senior positions in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the French Treasury. He has also served as Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre in Geneva. He has accumulated a deep and practical knowledge of government practices on trade as well as being familiar with high-level dialogues on trade and international economic operations.

Paugam has published a number of articles on trade-related issues, in particular when serving as Senior Research Fellow on International Trade at the French Institute for International Relations (IFPRI).

Xiangchen Zhang (China) is currently serving as Vice Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China. He has long and extensive experience on WTO issues, international negotiations, and policy research. Ambassador Zhang served until recently as China’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and previously as Deputy Permanent Representative.

He has had an extensive career of more than 30 years in international trade, serving as Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation; as Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce; and as Director General of the Department of Policy Research of the Ministry of Commerce.