Japan's Koji Sekimizu was elected Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), effective January 1, 2012, during the 106th session of the IMO Council.
The selection of Sekimizu will be submitted for approval to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 27th session from November 21-30, 2011. If approved, Sekimizu would serve for four years.
Sekimizu, 58, is currently Director of IMO’s Maritime Safety Division. He studied marine engineering and naval architecture and joined the Ministry of Transport of Japan in 1977, working initially as a ship inspector and moving on to senior positions in both maritime safety and environment related positions within the Ministry. He began attending IMO meetings as part of the Japanese delegation in 1980 and joined the IMO Secretariat in 1989, initially as Technical Officer, Sub-Division for Technology, Maritime Safety Division, becoming Head, Technology Section in 1992, then moving to become Senior Deputy Director, Marine Environment Division in 1997 and Director of that Division in 2000, before moving to his current position in 2004.
IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos said he looked forward to working closely with Sekimizu during the transition "to introduce him to the current state of organizational affairs so that the transition of administration from me to him will be as smooth, harmonious and successful as possible.“
The other candidates that were considered for Secretary-General included: Lee Sik Chai of Korea, Andreas Chrysostomou of Cyprus, Neil Frank Ferrer of the Philippines, Jeffrey Lantz of the United States and Esteban Pacha Vicente of Spain.
June 29, 2011