The consensus-based decision was taken by WIPO’s Extraordinary General Assembly, following the nomination of Tang for the post by WIPO’s Coordination Committee on May 4. The new Director general’s mandate starts on October 1, 2020, for a six-year term. Since the global pandemic forced WIPO to cancel the corresponding in-person meeting, his confirmation took place through an unprecedented written procedure.

Mr. Tang has been the CEO of Singapore’s IP Office (IPOS) since 2015 and the Chair of WIPO’s Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) since May 2017. Mr. Tang, the soon-to-be fifth head of the organization, will succeed Francis Gurry who has served as WIPO’s Director General since October 1, 2008.

WIPO’s press release features a statement by Daren Tang: “I sincerely thank all Member States for their support and confidence in entrusting me with this immense responsibility in these unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused untold misery and brought the world to a standstill, but has also reminded us of our common humanity. More than ever, the WIPO community needs to unite to support our inventors, innovators and creators, all of whom are playing critical roles in helping us overcome this grave pandemic, whether it is in finding a cure for the virus, allowing us to stay connected through technology, or lifting our spirits during this challenging period.”