Rafael Mariano Grossi of Argentina has been appointed as the new Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
In a closed session, Grossi received the support of 24 members of the 35-nation Board of Governors, ahead of Romania’s Cornel Feruta with 10 votes.
Grossi is a seasoned diplomat and became Argentina’s permanent representative to the United Nations in 2013. Prior to that, he was IAEA’s Assistant Director General for policy and Chief of Cabinet.
The new Director General – appointed for a term of four years – will be the IAEA’s sixth head since it was founded in 1957. The Board envisages that he will assume office no later than January 1 2020.
Yukiya Amano of Japan was the IAEA’s fifth Director General. He was first appointed to the office effective December 2009 and reappointed in 2013 and 2017. He passed away on July 18 2019. He followed Mohamed ElBaradei, IAEA Director General from 1997 to 2009; Hans Blix, IAEA Director General from 1981 to 1997; Sigvard Eklund, IAEA Director General from 1961 to 1981; and Sterling Cole, IAEA Director General from 1957 to 1961.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo congratulated Grossi in a statement and added that the United States strongly supports the IAEA and stands ready to assist the new Director General in ensuring that the agency is prepared to meet the growing challenges of the 21st century. Pompeo also thanked Cornel Feruta for serving as the acting IAEA Director General.