Security & Safety

Rafael Grossi / New IAEA Director-General To Take Office

By David Dalton
2 December 2019

New IAEA Director-General To Take Office
The new IAEA director-general Rafael Grossi.
Rafael Mariano Grossi will take office as director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency this week after winning unanimous support from the organisation’s member states.

A special session of the IAEA’s general conference on Monday 2 December approved his appointment for a term of four years from 3 December. In his new capacity, Mr Grossi will lead the world’s centre for cooperation in the nuclear field. He will be the IAEA’s sixth director-general since it was founded in 1957.

The decision by the general conference, which consists of representatives of the 171 member states, comes just over a month after the IAEA’s 35-member board of governors appointed Mr Grossi to the post.

Mr Grossi, 58, is a senior diplomat with over 35 years of experience in the fields of non-proliferation and disarmament. He was Argentina’s ambassador to Austria and its representative to the IAEA and other Vienna-based iInternational Organisations from 2013 to 2019.

Mr Grossi said the dynamic development of nuclear applications during recent decades had widened the IAEA’s mission. “My leadership will focus on current challenges such as preventing the spread of nuclear weapons, fostering development and fighting climate change. To achieve these goals, we will intensify our efforts and explore new, creative ways to improve the agency’s management, gender balance, communication and transparency.”

Mr Grossi succeeds Yukiya Amano of Japan who was the IAEA’s fifth director-general. Mr Amano was first appointed to the office in 2009 and died on 18 July 2019. He followed Mohamed ElBaradei of Egypt, director-general from 1997 to 2009; Hans Blix of Sweden, 1981-1997; Sigvard Eklund of Sweden, 1961-1981; and Sterling Cole of the US, 1957-1961.

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