Ambassador William Lacy Swing of the United States is now on his second five-year term as Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). He was re-elected on 14 June 2013 by IOM’s governing body to the post that he has held since October 2008.
From May 2003 till January 2008, as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ambassador Swing successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history. Prior to his work in the DRC, Ambassador Swing served from 2001 to 2003 as the Special Representative to the Secretary-General for Western Sahara and Chief of Mission for the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
During a long diplomatic career at the US Department of State, Mr. Swing was a six-time ambassador, managing some of the largest diplomatic missions and foreign development and humanitarian aid programmes in two hemispheres, with a record of strengthening bilateral relationships.
Through his diplomatic assignments in countries facing significant migration movements, he has acquired a deep understanding of the multiple factors affecting international migration.
Ambassador Swing graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina (Bachelor of Arts) and Yale University (Bachelor of Divinity), and did post-graduate studies at Tubingen University in Germany and at Harvard University. He speaks fluent French and German.