World Intellectual Property Organization Nominates New Director General

Daren Tang
Salvatore Di Nolfi/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Singapour's Daren Tang, which has been designated as the next WIPO's Director General after an election by a majority of 83 member states, speaks to the media during a stakeout, at the headquarters of the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO, in Geneva, Switzerland on March 4,2020.

If confirmed, Daren Tang of Singapore will assume the role from current director general Francis Gurry.

The coordination committee of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has nominated Daren Tang of Singapore to be its next director general, it was announced Wednesday. The WIPO general assembly will meet on May 7-8 to confirm the nomination.

Tang beat out five other candidates for the nomination, which came after two rounds of voting by the coordinating committee. In the final round, Tang triumphed over China’s Binying Wang, who received 28 votes versus Tang’s 55. The committee is comprised of a total of 83 member states.

Tang, who currently serves as chief executive of Singapore’s Intellectual Property Office, will take over from current director general Francis Gurry of Australia when his term ends on Sept. 30.

In a statement, RIAA chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier congratulated Tang on the nomination.

“Copyright protection and enforcement is a critical driver of global job growth, economic development, culture and trade, and WIPO plays a critical role in assuring the world’s creators are granted exclusive rights to their property,” said Glazier. “It is vital to the music community that creators receive fair value for their work and music fans have access to legitimate content. We look forward to working with Mr. Tang on this essential mission.”

Also celebrating Tang’s nomination was U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, who wrote that Tang’s election “is good news for the global economy" and that he "understands the importance of intellectual property rights to inventors, artists, entrepreneurs, companies, and all those whose livelihoods depend on their creative genius.”

Secretary of State Michael Pompeo weighed in as well, calling Tang “an effective advocate for protecting intellectual property, a vocal proponent of transparency and institutional integrity, and a leader who can unify WIPO member states by forging consensus on difficult issues.”

WIPO was established in 1967 to promote IP protection on a global scale. The current membership of the Geneva-based organization includes 193 member states.