Francis Gurry, Nominated for Second Term as Director General of WIPO


On March 6 this year, the Coordination Committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) nominated by consensus the current Director of WIPO, Mr. Francis Gurry, for a second term as Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization over the next six years. Applications must be approved by the WIPO General Assembly at its next session, to be held on 8-9 May 2014. The current mandate of the Director General expires on September 30, 2014.

The process of electing a new Director General of WIPO is governed by the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization and “The Procedures for the Nomination and Appointment of Directors General of WIPO”, adopted by the General Assembly of WIPO in September 1998.

WIPO Coordination Committee, which comprises 83 member states, held the first round of voting which contained a list of four candidates. Mr. Gurry prevailed in that round of voting with 46 votes, with 20 votes for Mr. Geoffrey Onveama of Nigeria, 10 votes for Mr. Suescum Alfredo Alfaro of Panama and seven votes for Mr. Jüri Seilenthal of Estonia. According to the rules, the candidate with the least number of votes after the first round is eliminated.

Francis Gurry is the fourth Director General of WIPO, following Dr. Kamil Idris (Sudan, 1997-2008), Mr. Arpad Bogsch (USA, 1973-1997) and Mr. Georg Bodenhausen (Netherlands, 1970-1973). The WIPO Director General is nominated for a period of six years.

Francis Gurry is a native of Australia, began work at WIPO since 1985 as a consultant in the Development Cooperation and External Relations Bureau for Asia and Pacific Region. He held various positions, including Head of the Industrial Property Division (1988-1990), Special Assistant  to the Director General and Director Counsellor (1990-1993), Director of the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center (1993-1997), Legal Counsel (1997-1999), Assistant Director General (1999-2003), Deputy Director General (2003-2008) and Director General (2008 to present). Previous activities within WIPO, F. Gurry practiced jurisprudence, holding several academic positions. The Director General is Bachelor of Laws and Master of Law, Melbourne University and Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge (UK). At the same time, Mr. Gurry was conferred on the title Doctor Honoris Causa of several famous universities in the world, including the Academy of Economic Studies in Chisinau.

Francis Gurry’s curriculum can be found at: # page = 3