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Director-General selection process
Mr. Lamy, who assumes office on 1 September, told the General Council in a
statement that he has selected Alejandro Jara of Chile, Valentine Rugwabiza of
Rwanda, Harsha Singh of India and Rufus Yerxa of the United States. Their terms
of office will begin on 1 October.
Amb. Jara, currently Chile's ambassador to the WTO since 2000, has served in the
Chilean Government since 1976. Ms. Rugwabiza has served as Rwanda's Ambassador
to the WTO since 2002 and is the first woman ever appointed as a Deputy
Director-General for the World Trade Organization. Mr. Singh, currently
Secretary of India's Telecom Regulatory Authority, is a former member of the WTO
Secretariat. Mr. Yerxa, a former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, has served
the last three years as Deputy Director-General to Director-General Supachai
“I am very pleased that these outstanding individuals have agreed to be my
deputies. This is a very strong team to lead the WTO Secretariat into a crucial
stage in the Doha Development Agenda negotiations. The coming months of
preparation for the December Hong Kong Ministerial Conference will be
instrumental to the future of our negotiations. I look forward to working with
my team and with Member Governments in the months and years to come,” Mr. Lamy
Alejandro Jara was born in 1949 in Santiago, Chile. He
studied high school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Santiago, Chile. In 1973 he
obtained his law degree from the Universidad de Chile. With the support of a
Fulbright scholarship he pursued graduate studies at the Law School, University
of California at Berkeley (1975-1976).
In 1976 he joined the Foreign Service of Chile where he has specialized in
international economic relations. He served in the Delegation of Chile to the
GATT in Geneva (1979-1984) and was seconded to the Economic System for Latin
America (SELA) in Caracas as Coordinator for Trade Policy Affairs. He was
appointed Director for Bilateral Economic Affairs (1993-1994), Director for
Multilateral Economic Affairs (1994-1999). During 1996 — 1997 he also served as
Chile’s Senior Official to APEC. At the same period he was deputy Chief
negotiator for the Chile — Canada Free Trade Agreement and in 1997-1998 he was
Chief negotiator for the Chile — Mexico Free Trade Agreement. In July 1999 he
was designated Director General for International Economic Relations.
In June 2000 he was appointed as Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Chile
to the World Trade Organization in Geneva. During 2001 he served as Chairperson
of the Committee on Trade and Environment of the WTO. In February 2002 he was
elected as Chairman of the Special Session of the Council for Trade in Services,
which is in charge of the negotiations mandated by Ministers in Doha. He is
author of numerous articles and papers on international trade.
Mr. Jara is married to Daniela Benavente and has two children.
Valentine Sendanyoye-Rugwabiza has extensive work
experience in senior Government and private sector positions. Over the last
three years she has served simultaneously as Rwanda’s Permanent Representative
to the UN in Geneva, Head of Delegation to the WTO and Ambassador Extraordinary
and Plenipotentiary to Switzerland. She was also Deputy Head of Delegation for
her country’s first Trade Policy Review in 2004.
Prior to her current assignment she was adviser at the Council of Economic and
Social Affairs in the Office of the Rwandan President in Kigali. In this
capacity, she has represented the Government of Rwanda in numerous international
Before joining government service in 2000, Ambassador Sendanyoye-Rugwabiza
managed her own company which she had established on her return to Rwanda in
1997. Previously she had worked for eight years as a senior manager with a major
Swiss multinational company, first as head of its commercial development and
marketing operations for Central Africa, based in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and then as
its regional manager for Central and West Africa, based in Abidjan, Côte
Ambassador Sendanyoye-Rugwabiza is a founding member of the Rwandese Private
Sector Federation, the Rwanda Women Entrepreneurs’ Organization and the Rwandese
Women Leaders’ Caucus.
She has been Coordinator of the African Group in the WTO. She is one of the two
Ambassadors representing the LDCs in the Integrated Framework Working Group. She
initiated the Integrated Framework in Rwanda.
Ambassador Sendanyoye-Rugwabiza obtained both her degree and masters degree in
sciences from the National University of Zaire (now RDC) respectively in 1985
Harsha Vardhana Singh
Harsha Vardhana Singh is the Secretary cum Principal
Advisor of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). He is involved in
all policy initiatives of TRAI and he is responsible for all interactions of
TRAI with national and international agencies/bodies, including multilateral
agencies, regulatory bodies, and the relevant bodies in the Indian Parliament.
Mr. Singh has also served as a counsellor to the Office of the Director General
on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade/World Trade Organization
Secretariat (1996-97). He served as a counsellor in the Trade and Environment
and Technical Barriers to Trade Division (1995-96) and the Rules Division
(1991-95) after having served as an Economic Affairs Officer (1985-91). He has
recently been made an Honorary Professor at ICRIER. He is also a member of the
visiting faculty at the TERI School of Advanced Studies for their program on
M.A. in Regulatory Studies.
Mr. Singh holds a Ph. D. in Economics from the University of Oxford.
Rufus H. Yerxa
Rufus H. Yerxa has served as Deputy Director-General
of the World Trade Organization (WTO) since 2002.
Mr. Yerxa has an extensive record as a trade diplomat, legislative expert and
private lawyer. He has served as a senior trade official in both Republican and
Democratic Administrations. From 1989 to 1993 he was the U.S. Ambassador and
Permanent Representative to the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in
Geneva, the predecessor organization to the WTO. From 1993 to 1995 He was the
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative in Washington — his government's senior
sub-cabinet trade official. In these two positions, he played a major role in
negotiating and securing Congressional approval of both the Uruguay Round/WTO
agreement and the NAFTA accord.
Prior to these appointments, he was legal counsel to the Committee on Ways and
Means of the U.S. House of Representatives (1981-89), where he served as Staff
Director of the Trade Subcommittee. He guided the drafting and enactment of
several major pieces of trade legislation. He began his government career as a
legal advisor with the U.S. International Trade Commission (1977-81), an
independent government agency responsible for various trade matters.
He left U.S. government service in 1995, and moved to Brussels as resident
partner with a major U.S. law firm. His law practice focused on international
trade matters and European regulatory affairs. He subsequently served as
European General Counsel for a major pharmaceuticals and agro-food company.
Mr. Yerxa received his undergraduate degree from the University of Washington,
his law degree from the University of Puget Sound and an advanced degree in
international law from Cambridge University. He is a member of the District of
Columbia and Washington State bars.
Mr. Yerxa resides in Geneva with his wife, Barbara McSweeney and their two