Member states of the ITU have re-elected Houlin Zhao of China as secretary general during the Union’s 20th Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-18) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Zhao won the position with 176 votes, from 178 ballot papers deposited, and contested the position unopposed. An information and communication technology (ICT) engineer, he has served in a variety of senior management position at ITU and will begin his second, and last, four-year term on January 1, 2019.
Zhao said: “We continue to connect the unconnected. We are strengthening partnerships to implement our common vision of a connected world, where information and communication technology is a source for good for everyone everywhere.”
Prior to first being elected as ITU secretary general in 2014, Zhao served eight years as ITU deputy secretary general. He also served two elected terms as director of ITU’s Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB), which develops technical standards to ensure worldwide ICT interoperability. Before that, he was a senior counsellor with TSB for 12 years.
In putting forward Zhao for re-election, Wei Miao, minister of industry and information technology of the People’s Republic of China, said: “Since being elected secretary general of ITU in 2015, Houlin Zhao has attained marked achievements in overcoming the challenges that ITU faces in advancing its work and activities by way of promoting reform and innovation.
“His pragmatism and spirit of teamwork has been widely recognised. We are confident that Mr Zhao will undoubtedly … continue to lead ITU in playing an even more important role in the worldwide development of information and communication technologies.”