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IO BIO: Biographical Dictionary of Secretaries-General of International Organizations


So far, IO BIO has published some 80 entries, covering some 40 IOs. All entries are freely available at the website For an overview, see the flyer

The IO BIO Project is constructing a biographical dictionary with short biographies of Secretaries-General (SGs), or other executive heads with different titles, of International Organizations (IOs). The biographical literature on SGs is limited, giving an incomplete picture of the variety of people who have held these positions and the interactions between them. IO BIO focuses on those SGs of intergovernmental organizations who have left a mark for any reason, whether good, bad or unusual. IO BIO includes deceased SGs and those who have been out of office for five years or more and most probably will not return to office as SG. The short biographies (between 800 and 3,600 words; the length is determined by level of importance, with three category levels) present an accurate and coherent description of the entire life and career of each SG. Entries provide biographical data, a balanced account of life and work, as well as references and a picture. To allow for group analyses (another IO BIO objective) authors are encouraged to pay attention to the social and professional connections of SGs. Scholars and practitioners are carrying out the IO BIO Project on a voluntary basis. More information and its Instructions for AuthorsTools to Find More Dataand Databases 1 and 2 (respectively Persons and Entries, and IGOs and their SGs) are available at the website

IO BIO Editors are Bob Reinalda, Kent Kille and Jaci Eisenberg.

Are you an expert on an intergovernmental organization and its executive head(s), either as a scholar or as a (former) practitioner? Are you interested in writing a short biography of a Secretary-General? IO BIO is looking for experts willing to write an entry. To express an interest, or for more information, please contact us by e-mail: