William Lacy Swing Elected Director General of the International Organization for Migration

Date Publish: 
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 - 16:00

Ambassador William Lacy Swing of the United States has today been
elected as the next Director General of the International
Organization for Migration.

Ambassador Swing was elected by a two-thirds majority vote of
the Council, which brought together IOM Member States.

Speaking after his election, Mr. Swing said: "My vision for IOM
is for a collaborative organization of professionals built on trust
and one that listens to Member States and which efficiently and
cost-effectively helps them manage migration to the benefit of

Mr. Swing, who was the official US candidate for the post of
Director General, brings to the 125-member Organization a breadth
of international experience, a proven ability to manage complex
multilateral operations and to collaborate productively with
foreign governments, United Nations agencies and other
inter-governmental institutions.

As UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for
the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) from May 2003 till
January 2008, 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

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 also speaks fluent French
and German.

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