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Past and Present Senior Officials

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Although the International Telegraph Union was established in 1865, it was not until the second International Telegraph Conference in 1868 that a permanent central secretariat for the Union was established. Originally called the “Bureau international des Administrations télégraphiques,” the secretariat was placed under the direction of the Swiss government and was headed by a Director. Over the years, first a deputy director was added (1892) and then a deputy director dedicated to radiocommunication matters (1918). In 1947, the International Telecommunications Conference in Atlantic City decided to accept the invitation from the newly created United Nations for ITU to become the UN specialized agency for telecommunications. In conformity with UN practice, the Bureau was renamed the “General Secretariat,” and the title of “Director of the Bureau” was changed to “ITU Secretary-General.” In addition, the Atlantic City Conference made provisions for each of the International Consultative Committees for telephone, telegraph and radio (CCIF, CCIT, CCIR) to be headed by a director. Since 1992, ITU has been unique among the UN agencies in having 5 senior officials elected by its plenipotentiary conference: the Secretary-General, the Deputy Secretary-General, and the Directors of the Bureaux of the Radiocommunication Sector (BR), the Telecommunication Standardization Sector (TSB) and the Telecommunication Development Sector (BDT).

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​Directors of the "International Bureau," 1869 - 1947

From 1869 to 1947, the ITU secretariat – then called the “International Bureau” – was under the direction of the Swiss government.  Throughout this period, it was headed by a Director appointed by the Swiss government.

CURCHOD, LouisLouis  CURCHOD (Switzerland)
Director from 1 January 1869 - 24 May 1872
LENDI, CharlesCharles  LENDI (Switzerland)
Director from 24 May 1872 - 12 January 1873
CURCHOD, LouisLouis  CURCHOD (Switzerland)
Director from 23 February 1873 - 18 October 1889
FREY, AugusteAuguste  FREY (Switzerland)
Director from 25 February 1890 - 28 June 1890
ROTHEN, TimothieTimothie  ROTHEN (Switzerland)
Director from 25 November 1890 - 11 February 1897
FREY, EmileEmile  FREY (Switzerland)
Director from 11 March 1897 - 1 August 1921
ETIENNE, HenriHenri  ETIENNE (Switzerland)
Director from 2 August 1921 - 16 December 1927
RABER, JosephJoseph  RABER (Switzerland)
Director from 1 February 1928 - 30 October 1934
VON ERNST, FranzFranz  VON ERNST (Switzerland)
Director from 1 January 1935 - 31 December 1947

 

​Secretaries-General, 1948 - present

In 1947, ITU became a specialized agency of the United Nations and, in conformity with UN practice, the title of “Director of the Bureau” was changed to “ITU Secretary-General.” Initially appointed by the ITU Administrative Council, the Secretary-General has been elected by each plenipotentiary conference since 1965.  Since 1994, the Secretary-General is elected for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one further term.

VON ERNST, FranzFranz  VON ERNST (Switzerland)
Secretary-General from 1 January 1948 - 31 December 1949
MULATIER, LeonLeon  MULATIER (France)
Secretary-General from 1 January 1950 - 31 December 1953
ANDRADA, Marco AurelioMarco Aurelio  ANDRADA (Argentina)
Secretary-General from 1 January 1954 - 18 June 1958
GROSS, Gerald C.Gerald C.  GROSS (United States)
Secretary-General acting from 20 June 1958 - 31 December 1959
Secretary-General from 1 January 1960 - 29 October 1965
SARWATE, Manohar BalajiManohar Balaji  SARWATE (India)
Secretary-General from 30 October 1965 - 19 February 1967
MILI, Mohamed EzzedineMohamed Ezzedine  MILI (Tunisia)
Secretary-General ad interim from 20 February 1967 - 31 December 1973
Secretary-General from 1 January 1974 - 31 December 1982
BUTLER, Richard E.Richard E.  BUTLER (Australia)
Secretary-General from 1 January 1983 - 31 October 1989
TARJANNE, PekkaPekka  TARJANNE (Finland)
Secretary-General from 1 November 1989 - 31 January 1999
UTSUMI, YoshioYoshio  UTSUMI (Japan)
Secretary-General from 1 February 1999 - 31 December 2006
TOURE, HamadounHamadoun  TOURE (Mali)
Secretary-General from 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2014
ZHAO, HoulinHoulin  ZHAO (China)
Secretary-General from 1 January 2015 - present

​Deputy Directors of the "International Bureau," 1892 - 1947

From 1869 to 1947, the ITU secretariat – then called the “International Bureau” – was under the direction of the Swiss government. In 1892, the Swiss Federal Council created Deputy Director posts for each of the secretariats of international bodies under its supervision. For the ITU Bureau, one Deputy Director was appointed by the Swiss government.

Emile  ESCHBAECHER (France)
Deputy Director from 1892 - 1 August 1905
Aristide Albert  CRESCITZ (France)
Deputy Director from 1 August 1905 - 1 November 1927
Louis  POULAINE (France)
Deputy Director from 3 January 1928 - 31 December 1928
P. Lucien  BOULANGER (France)
Deputy Director from 1 March 1929 - 6 December 1938
MULATIER, LeonLeon  MULATIER (France)
Deputy Director from 1 October 1939 - 1947

 

Deputy Directors of the Radiocommunication Division, 1918 - 1947

In 1906, the first International Radiotelegraph Conference (Berlin) requested the Bureau of the International Telegraph Union (ITU) to act as the central secretariat for a variety of tasks arising from the new Radiotelegraph Convention. This responsibility was accepted, and a Radiotelegraph Section with a secretary and a clerk was created within the Bureau. By 1918, the growth of the radiotelegraph work prompted the Swiss Federal Council to create the post of Deputy Director for the Radiotelegraph Section (subsequently renamed the Radiocommunication Service in 1934 and then Radiocommunication Division in 1944). The incumbent for this post was appointed by the Swiss government.

Franz  SCHWILL (Germany)
Deputy Director, Radiocommunication Division from 1918 - 1945
GROSS, Gerald C.Gerald C.  GROSS (United States)
Deputy Director, Radiocommunication Division from 1945 - 1947

 

Assistant Secretaries-General, 1947 - 1959

When ITU became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1947 and the post of “Director of the Bureau” was renamed “ITU Secretary General,” it was decided that both the Deputy Director of the Bureau and the Deputy Director of the Radiocommunication Division would become Assistant Secretaries-General. One Assistant Secretary General was in charge of the Telegraph and Telephone Division and one Assistant Secretary-General oversaw the Radio Division. The ITU Administrative Council was responsible for appointing the two Assistant Secretaries-General until 1959.

MULATIER, LeonLeon  MULATIER (France)
Assistant Secretary-General from 1948 - 1949
GROSS, Gerald C.Gerald C.  GROSS (United States)
Assistant Secretary-General from 1948 - 1958
TOWNSHEND, HughHugh  TOWNSHEND (United Kingdom)
Assistant Secretary-General from 1950 - 1957

 

Deputy Secretaries-General, 1959 - present

The 1959 Plenipotentiary Conference decided on a restructuring of the Union which included reducing the number of Assistant Secretaries-General from two to one and renaming the post “Deputy Secretary-General.” In addition, it was decided that henceforth the Deputy Secretary-General, like the Secretary General, would be elected by each plenipotentiary conference. Since 1994, the Deputy Secretary-General is elected for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one further term.

SARWATE, Manohar BalajiManohar Balaji  SARWATE (India)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 1960 - 31 December 1965
MILI, Mohamed EzzedineMohamed Ezzedine  MILI (Tunisia)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 1966 - 19 February 1967
BUTLER, Richard E.Richard E.  BUTLER (Australia)
Deputy Secretary-General ad interim from 1968 -1973
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 1974 - 31 December 1982
JIPGUEP, JeanJean  JIPGUEP (Cameroon)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 1983 - 31 December 1994
CHASIA, HenryHenry  CHASIA (Kenya)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 1995 - 31 January 1999
BLOIS, RobertoRoberto  BLOIS (Brazil)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 February 1999 - 31 December 2006
ZHAO, HoulinHoulin  ZHAO (China)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2014
JOHNSON, MalcolmMalcolm  JOHNSON (United Kingdom)
Deputy Secretary-General from 1 January 2015 - present

CCIF - International Telephone Consultative Committee (1924 - 1956)


When the International Consultative Committee on Long-distance Telephone Communications (CCIF) was founded in 1924, a Permanent Secretary was appointed to prepare studies and organize the annual meetings of the Committee. At the third meeting of the CCIF in 1926, the post of Permanent Secretary was renamed “General Secretary” or “Secretary General.” The post was renamed again in 1947 when the International Telecommunications Conference (Atlantic City) decided that each of the International Consultative Committees for telephone, telegraph and radio (CCIF, CCIT, and CCIR) would be headed by a Director appointed by the Committee’s Plenary Assembly.
VALENSI, GeorgesGeorges  VALENSI (France)
Secretary-General, CCIF from 1923 to 1948
Director, CCIF from 1 January 1949 - 31 December 1956

 

CCIT – International Telegraph Consultative Committee (1924 - 1956)

Unlike the CCIF, the International Telegraph Consultative Committee (CCIT) did not establish its own secretariat when it was created in 1925. Administrative tasks were entrusted to the ITU Bureau, and organization of meetings was handled by the Administration hosting the meeting. In 1947, the International Telecommunications Conference (Atlantic City) decided that each of the International Consultative Committees for telephone, telegraph and radio (CCIF, CCIT, and CCIR) would have a specialized Secretariat and be headed by a Director appointed by the Committee’s Plenary Assembly. However, the 1949 CCIT Plenary Assembly had difficulties selecting a director, so it was decided that the ITU Assistant Secretary-General in charge of the Telegraph and Telephone Division would assume this responsibility in addition to his regular duties.  This arrangement remained in place until 1956.

MULATIER, LeonLeon  MULATIER (France)
Director, CCIT from 1 January 1949 - 31 December 1949
TOWNSHEND, HughHugh  TOWNSHEND (United Kingdom)
Director, CCIT from 1 January 1950 - 31 December 1956

 

CCITT – International Telegraph and Telephone Consultative Committee (1956 - 1993)

Following the merger of the CCIF and CCIT in 1956, the Director of the new CCITT was elected by the CCITT Plenary Assembly initially for a six-year term and thereafter for three-year terms. From 1989, the Director was elected by the ITU plenipotentiary conference.

ROUVIÈRE, JeanJean  ROUVIÈRE (France)
Director, CCITT from 1 March 1957 - 21 July 1972
HUMMEL, E.E.  HUMMEL (Germany)
Director, CCITT acting 24 July 1972 - 31 December 1972
CROZE, Raymond J.L.Raymond J.L.  CROZE (France)
Director, CCITT from 1 January 1973 - 8 October 1976
BURTZ, LéonLéon  BURTZ (France)
Director, CCITT from 8 October 1976 - 6 January 1985
IRMER, TheodorTheodor  IRMER (Germany)
Director, CCITT from 7 January 1985 - 28 February 1993

 

TSB – Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (1993 - )

Since 1994, the Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) is elected by the ITU plenipotentiary conference for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one further term.

IRMER, TheodorTheodor  IRMER (Germany)
Director, TSB from 1 March 1993 - 31 January 1999
ZHAO, HoulinHoulin  ZHAO (China)
Director, TSB from 1 February 1999 - 31 December 2006
JOHNSON, MalcolmMalcolm  JOHNSON (United Kingdom)
Director, TSB from 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2014
LEE, ChaesubChaesub  LEE (Korea (Rep. of))
Director, TSB from 1 January 2015 - present

CCIR – International Radio Consultative Committee (1927 - 1993)

When the International Radio Consultative Committee (CCIR) was created in 1927, administrative tasks were entrusted to the ITU Bureau; no secretariat was established.  Twenty years late, the 1947 International Telecommunications Conference (Atlantic City) decided that each of the International Consultative Committees for telephone, telegraph and radio (CCIF, CCIT, and CCIR) would have a specialized Secretariat and be headed by a Director appointed by the Committee’s Plenary Assembly.  The first CCIR Director was appointed in 1948 and took up his duties in 1949. The Director of the CCIR was subsequently elected by the CCIR Plenary Assembly initially for a six-year term and thereafter for three-year terms.  From 1989, the Director was elected by the ITU plenipotentiary conference.

VAN DER POL, BalthazarBalthazar  VAN DER POL (Netherlands)
Director, CCIR from 1 January 1949 - 31 December 1956
METZLER, ErnstErnst  METZLER (Switzerland)
Director, CCIR from 1 January 1957 - 20 June 1963
HAYES, Leslie WilliamLeslie William  HAYES (United Kingdom)
Director, CCIR acting from 1 July 1963 - April 1964
Director ad interim, CCIR from 17 April 1964 - 31 August 1966
HERBSTREIT, Jack W.Jack W.  HERBSTREIT (United States)
Director, CCIR from 1 September 1966 - 31 August 1974
KIRBY, Richard C.Richard C.  KIRBY (United States)
Director, CCIR from 1 September 1974 - 28 February 1993

 

BR – Radiocommunications Bureau (1993 - )

Since 1994, the Director of the Radiocommunications Bureau (BR) is elected by the ITU plenipotentiary conference for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one further term.

KIRBY, Richard C.Richard C.  KIRBY (United States)
Director, BR from 1 March 1993 - 31 December 1994
JONES, Robert W.Robert W.  JONES (Canada)
Director, BR from 1 January 1995 - 31 December 2002
TIMOFEEV, ValeryValery  TIMOFEEV (Russian Federation)
Director, BR from 1 January 2003 - 31 December 2010
RANCY, FrançoisFrançois  RANCY (France)
Director, BR from 1 January 2011 - present

BDT – Telecommunication Development Bureau (1993 - )

The Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) is elected by the ITU plenipotentiary conference for a four-year term and may be re-elected for one further term.

DJIWATAMPU, Arnold Ph.Arnold Ph.  DJIWATAMPU (Indonesia)
Director, BDT from 1 February 1993 - 31 December 1994
LAOUYANE, AhmedAhmed  LAOUYANE (Tunisia)
Director, BDT from 1 January 1995 - 31 January 1999
TOURE, HamadounHamadoun  TOURE (Mali)
Director, BDT from 1 February 1999 - 31 December 2006
AL-BASHEER, SamiSami  AL-BASHEER (Saudi Arabia)
Director, BDT from 1 January 2007 - 31 December 2010
SANOU, BrahimaBrahima  SANOU (Burkina Faso)
Director, BDT from 1 January 2011 - present