The General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), WIPO’s highest governing body on May 8, 2020, approved the candidacy of Singaporean Daren Tang for the post of Director General of WIPO.
Daren Tang’s appointment by the General Assembly was voted on by consensus, followed by the procedure for confirming the nomination proposed by the Coordination Committee, which met in March 2020. Daren Tang's six-year term will begin on October 1, 2020. Daren Tang will be the fifth Director General of WIPO and will succeed Francis Gurry (Australia), who has been at helm of the Organization since October 1, 2008.
The process for electing a 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 Member States of WIPO at the General Assembly of October 2019. It should be noted that, Mr. Tang’s confirmation as Director General-elect took place through an unprecedented written procedure after WIPO canceled or postponed in-person meetings due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“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 authors, all of whom are playing critical roles in helping us overcome this grave pandemic, whether it is in finding a cure for the virus, allow us to stay connected through technology, or lifting our spirits during this challenging period”, said the new Director General.
Daren Tang currently holds the post of Chief Executive of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, an office ranked as the world’s most innovative intellectual property office by the World Trademark Review in 2019.