Roberto Azevêdo

Director-General of the World Trade Organization Pascal Lamy World Trade Organization

Ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo
Roberto Azevedo in 2020.jpeg
Director-General of the World Trade Organization
In office
1 September 2013 – 31 August 2020
Preceded byPascal Lamy
Personal details
Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo

(1957-10-03) 3 October 1957 (age 62)
Salvador, Brazil
Political partyIndependent
Spouse(s)Maria Nazareth Farani
EducationUniversity of Brasília
Rio Branco Institute

Ambassador Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁoˈbɛʁtu kaʁˈvaʎu dʒi azeˈvedu]; born 3 October 1957) is a Brazilian career diplomat and a former Director-General of the World Trade Organization. He is the current Executive Vice President and Director of Corporate Affairs at PepsiCo. [1] Azevêdo was elected to succeed Pascal Lamy as Director-General of the World Trade Organization in May 2013.[2]

On 14 May 2020, he announced publicly via a teleconference that he would resign as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization on 31 August the same year, just a year before his second 4-year term as WTO's Director-General expires. [3]

Early life and education

Azevêdo graduated in Electrical Engineering from University of Brasília and International Relations at Rio Branco Institute.[1] Besides his native Portuguese, he is fluent in English, French and Spanish.


His first diplomatic posting was to Washington in 1988. He subsequently served in the Brazilian embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay before being assigned to the Permanent Mission of Brazil in Geneva, Switzerland in 1997.

In 2001 Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo was named head of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry's Dispute Settlement Unit where he remained until 2005. During his tenure he acted as chief litigator in many disputes at the WTO and served on WTO dispute settlement panels.

From 2006 to 2008, he was Vice-Minister for Economic and Technical Affairs at the Foreign Ministry in Brasilia. In that capacity, he was Brazil's chief trade negotiator for the Doha Round and represented Brazil in MERCOSUR negotiations.

In 2008, he was appointed Brazil's Ambassador in Geneva to the United Nations’ international organizations and Permanent Representative to the WTO.

Ambassador Azevêdo has been a frequent lecturer on topics related to international economics and has published numerous articles on these issues.

Director General of the World Trade Organization

In May 2013 Azevêdo was appointed to succeed Pascal Lamy as the WTO's Director General, with a term beginning 1 September 2013. There were nine nominated candidates for the role,[4] Azevêdo being considered the "insider's candidate" preferred by developing economies.[5] His opponent, Mexican Herminio Blanco, was considered to have been the preferred candidate of richer nations.[4] The Brazilian government pre-empted the official announcement of the WTO and stated that Azevêdo had won by a wide margin.[6]

The official announcement from the WTO's three-person committee for selecting the Director-General was published on 8 May 2013, declaring Azevêdo as the emergent consensus candidate from several rounds of consultation. The formal election occurred at the General Council meeting on 14 May.[7]

On his watch, the WTO agreed to the Bali Package in December 2013.

At a virtual meeting of all WTO members on 14 May, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevêdo announced that he would step down on 31 August, cutting his second term short by exactly one year[3].

Other activities

Personal life

Azevêdo is married to Ambassador Maria Nazareth Farani Azevêdo (a Brazilian career diplomat like himself). She is currently (2020) head of the Brazilian permanent mission to the United Nations Offices at Geneva, and they have two daughters.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Biography: Roberto Azevedo" (PDF). WTO. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  2. ^ "WTO names Roberto Azevedo as new head". BBC News Online. UK. 7 May 2013. Retrieved 7 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b "DG Azevêdo announces he will step down on 31 August". Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  4. ^ a b McClanahan, Paige (8 January 2013). "Ghana gets its claim in early as candidates vie to head WTO". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  5. ^ McClanahan, Paige (8 May 2013). "Roberto Azevêdo to be named new World Trade Organisation chief". The Guardian. UK. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  6. ^ "Brazil's Azevedo wins race to head WTO". Al Jazeera. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  7. ^ "Troika recommends Carvalho de Azevêdo to be the next WTO Director-General". WTO. 8 May 2013. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  8. ^ Members International Gender Champions (IGC).