ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Candidates Sought for ISO Secretary-General

U.S. Requested to Submit Nominees for Top Post at International Standards Organization

New York, May 21, 2002

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has issued a call for applications to fill the post of Secretary-General, which was left vacant by the sudden death of Dr. Lawrence D. Eicher on March 21, 2002. ISO president, Mario Cortopassi, has asked the organization's national member bodies, including the American National Standards Institute, to assist in the executive search and to submit qualified nominees by July 15, 2002.

Included in the letter to the chief executive officers (CEO) of ISO members was a copy of the proposed search timetable and procedures. It was indicated that an executive search firm will be engaged by May 31st to aid the recruitment process; the company's name and contact information will be widely disseminated once the group has been hired.[1] Also enclosed were the selection criteria, including a job description, academic and professional qualifications, personal traits and compensation, which focus on management, communication and strategy skills. This set of criteria may be refined pending advisement from the executive search firm.

The responsibilities of the Secretary-General are similar to those of a CEO; just as the CEO answers to the Board of Directors, the Secretary-General is held accountable by the ISO Council. The duties of the position include organization-wide operations encompassing oversight of over 2,800 technical groups, management of an international staff of 180 persons and control of finances, property and supplies for the headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland where the job is based. ISO has specified that the successful candidate should possess a background in national and international standards and related activities as well as a strategic understanding of international trade. Desired personal traits include sound, balanced judgment, proven diplomatic skills, the ability to embrace cultural differences and a philosophy that values the beliefs and views of others even when they are not personally held. Salary and compensation levels are competitive with equivalent executive positions in the international Geneva environment.

The search firm will seek qualified candidates within ISO's membership and from without, and will consider nominations forwarded by ISO members. All nominations should be sent to the executive search firm and should include the candidate's name, curriculum vitae (professional resume) and a hand-written motivation letter. Once the firm has identified the best candidates, the ISO Nominating Committee, composed of four of ISO's principal officers, will conduct interviews and select the preferred candidate. Pending the approval of ISO Council, the new Secretary-General will be appointed at a special Council meeting on November 11, 2002 and will assume the position as soon as possible thereafter.

Under Dr. Eicher's leadership, ISO has grown to become a network of national standards institutes representing more than 140 countries working in partnership with international organizations, governments, industry and consumer representatives. [Editor's note: For more information on Dr. Eicher, please see ANSI Online News story, Lawrence Eicher, Official of International Organization for Standardization, Remembered]

Christian J. Favre, formerly ISO assistant secretary-general for General Administration and Finance, was appointed Acting Secretary-General on May 1, 2002 and will serve in this capacity until the new appointment is confirmed.


Please submit the names of possible candiadates along with a curriculum vitae (resume) to the address below by July 15, 2002. This information will then be forwarded to the ISO Nominating Committee.

Egon Zehnder International
Dossier ISO
Cours de Rive 10
Tel: + 41.22.849.6868
Fax: +41.22.849.6878

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