WORLD Trade Organization director-general elect Roberto Azevedo of Brazil has appointed four deputy director-generals to help him as he starts his term Sept. 1.
His deputies — Yi Xiaozhun of China, Dr. Karl-Ernst Brauner of Germany, Yonov Frederick Agah of Nigeria and David Shark of the U.S. — will begin Oct. 1.
Azevedo noted in a statement that his new team will play an important role in advancing the aims of WTO.
"The skills and experience that my deputies bring will help ensure that we can develop and enhance the WTO's agenda across its many different areas of work, including at the Bali Ministerial meeting in December, which is an immediate priority," he said.
Shark has been serving as the U.S. deputy permanent representative to WTO since 2000, and the statement from Azevedo said Shark has long experience with the WTO General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade and issues going back to the 1970s in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
A statement from USTR Ambassador Mike Froman added that as U.S. deputy chief of missions in Geneva, Switzerland, Shark "has been a stalwart and steady voice" for the U.S. at WTO.
Yi is an experienced senior trade official in China's Ministry of Commerce who has worked on international trade issues since the 1980s. He has served as China's ambassador to WTO since 2011.
Brauner is a senior officer in the Federal Department of Economics & Technology who has been Germany's representative to the Trade Policy Committee in Brussels, Belgium, for the last 12 years. He has been involved with WTO since the start of the Doha Development Agenda.
Agah has been closely involved with international trade issues in the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment since the early 1990s, including as Nigeria's ambassador to WTO since 2005. He was chair of the WTO General Council in 2011.
While they come from different regions that symbolize the geographical diversity of the WTO membership, beginning Oct. 1, they will serve the multilateral trading system and work with the director-general as a team, the WTO statement said.
Azevedo also announced that his chef de Cabinet will be Tim Yeend, who has been Australia's ambassador to WTO for the last three years.
"I am pleased that Mr. Yeend will be taking on this new role as principal adviser in my office. His extensive experience and knowledge of the WTO will help me in setting out a strong forward agenda, including in the immediate context of the Bali Ministerial," Azevedo said.