ICAO appoints first woman secretary general

For the first time in its history, the UN agency that governs civil aviation has appointed a woman as its secretary general.

APEC CAAC China Fang Liu ICAO Raymond Benjamin secretary general

Fang Liu of China succeeds Raymond Benjamin of France, who has held the position for two consecutive terms since 2009. She becomes the first woman ever to be appointed to the prestigious global position heading the United Nations specialised agency for civil aviation, and only the second ICAO secretary general from an Asia Pacific state.

The director of ICAO’s Bureau of Administration and Services since 2007, Liu has led many improvement initiatives in ICAO in recent years and served as the chairperson of some of its most important internal committees. She has also represented ICAO 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 Organizations in Canada.

Between 1987 and 2007, 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 either led or was integrally 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).