The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary General who is the legally authorised representative of the Organization. He is the Chief Executive Officer of the Secretariat and, in that capacity, runs the affairs of the Organization in accordance with the directions of the Board of Governors.
The Secretary General is appointed by the Conference from a Member Country for a period of three years, a term of office that may be renewed once for the same period of time. At various times during the Organization’s history, Conference Presidents have been asked to temporarily oversee the functioning of the Secretariat during the absence of a Secretary General.
In the half a century of existence of the Organization, the Secretariat has been run by 22 Secretaries General (and five Presidents who were asked to oversee the Secretariat’s work in the absence of a Secretary General).
The first Secretary General was HE Dr Fuad Rouhani of the Islamic Republic of Iran, in 1961. The present incumbent is HE Abdalla Salem El-Badri of Libya, who has been in charge since 2007.
The Secretary General, with the support of his staff in the Secretariat, significantly contributes to the development of the Organization through the execution of its policies and the propagation of its cause over the years.