Dr Fang Liu of China becomes the first-ever woman to be appointed Secretary General of ICAO
Wed 11 Mar 2015 – Dr Fang Liu of China (right) has been elected by the ICAO Council as the new Secretary General of the UN civil aviation agency ICAO, so becoming the first-ever woman to hold the post. Her three-year term will start on August 1, succeeding Raymond Benjamin of France, who has held the position for two consecutive terms since 2009. Voted ahead of other candidates from Australia, India and the UAE, Dr Liu is only the second ICAO Secretary General from the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2007, she has served as Director of ICAO’s Bureau of Administration and Services, and has chaired a number of important internal committees. Between 1987 and 2007, Dr Liu held the posts of Legal Counsel, Deputy Director, Director and Deputy Director General in the Department of International Affairs and Cooperation of the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC).
In these capacities, she was involved in the areas of international affairs and cooperation at bilateral and multilateral levels, including ICAO, aviation policy, international air transport regulation and development, and bilateral and multilateral air services negotiations for the Chinese government. She also served for four years as Chair of the Aviation Group for the region’s premier forum on Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).
During her time at ICAO, Dr Liu has represented the Organization at the High-Level Committee on Management under the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination, and separately served as Chairperson of the Security Advisory Group and Vice-Chairperson of the Security Management Team for all UN organisations in Canada.
Fluent in Chinese and English and with a good command of French, Dr Liu holds a PhD in international law from Wuhan University and a background in in both international and air and space law.
As the incoming head of the ICAO Secretariat, Dr Liu takes over at a time when strong leadership will be required by the Organization to bring about a successful agreement by Member States of a global measure to tackle international aviation carbon emissions by the time of the next Assembly later next year.
Dr Fang Liu of China (left) is seated beside current ICAO Secretary General Raymond Benjamin (centre) and ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria: