On 23 October 2014 Houlin Zhao was elected 19th Secretary-General of the ITU. His four-year mandate started on 1 January 2015. Born in 1950 in Jiangsu, China, Mr Zhao graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and holds an MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the UK. From 2007 to 2014, he served as ITU Deputy Secretary-General, supporting the work of the Secretary-General, principally in terms of day-to-day management, including human resources, financial administration, improving efficiency, and working to help broaden ITU's membership, particularly in terms of academic institutions.
Houlin Zhao was elected ITU Deputy Secretary-General at the Plenipotentiary Conference in Antalya, Turkey, in November 2006. He wasre-elected for a second four-year term in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010.
Born in 1950 in Jiangsu, China, Mr Zhao graduated from Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, and holds an MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the UK.
From 1999 to 2006, he served as Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB). During his term of office he spearheaded the introduction of new efficiency measures to improve ITU's standards-making environment and strengthen its promotion. Healso enhanced the strategic partnership between Member States and Sector Members, while initiating and maintaining good relationships with industry members. Under his leadership, ITU enhanced its level of international cooperation with other standards developmentorganizations, and was instrumental in helping bridge the standardization gap between developing and developed countries.
From1986 to 1992, Mr Zhao was a senior staff member in the then CCITT, and from 1993-1998 in TSB. Among his responsibilities as Counsellor for ITU-T Study Groups, he was Coordinator for cooperation with other international technical bodies, including ISO and IEC.
Prior to joining ITU, Mr Zhao served as an engineer in the Designing Institute of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of China, taking an active role in his country's expert meetings on telecommunication standards and national plans, as well as participating in ITU’s technical Study Group meetings as a Chinese delegate. He contributed important articles to a number of prestigious Chinese technical publications, and in 1985 was awarded a prize for his achievements in science and technology within the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
Mr Zhao is married with one son and two grandchildren, and is fluent in three official ITU languages: English, French and Chinese.