Kitack Lim Re-elected for a Second Time as IMO Secretary General

BY Tiya Chatterji December 6, 2019

The Assembly of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has confirmed the renewal of Kitack Lim’s appointment as Secretary-General of IMO. He has been reelected for a second four-year period beginning on January 1, 2020. Kitack Lim is the eighth elected Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) maritime agency.

Lim was born in South Korea. He majored in nautical science at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University, graduating in 1977. He worked on ships as a Korean naval officer and for an international shipping company. He joined the Korea Maritime and Port Administration in 1985, while continuing with further studies at the Graduate School of Administration, Yonsei University, obtaining a Master’s Degree in 1990. He then further studied maritime administration at the World Maritime University, graduating with a master’s degree. From 1995 he attended a doctoral program for international law at Korea Maritime and Ocean University, completing course work in 1998.

In June 2015, he was first elected Secretary-General for a four-year period that began in January 2016. Prior to that, he served as President of the Busan Port Authority. During his tenure, Lim helped steer the international maritime industry to perpetrate to ambitious environmental initiatives including the 2020 sulphur cap, the 2050 GHG goal, the Ballast Water Management Convention, and the Polar Code, among others.