Houlin Zhao was first elected 19th Secretary-General of the ITU at the Busan Plenipotentiary Conference in October 2014. He took up his post on 1 January, 2015. ITU Member States re-elected Houlin Zhao as ITU Secretary-General on 1 November 2018. He began his second four-year term on 1 January 2019.
Prior to his election, he served two terms of office as ITU Deputy Secretary-General (2007-2014), as well as two terms as the elected Director of ITU's Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (1999-2006).
Houlin is committed to further streamlining ITU's efficiency, to strengthening its membership base through greater involvement of the academic community and of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and to broadening multi-stakeholder participation in ITU's work.
Houlin holds a MSc in Telematics from the University of Essex in the United Kingdom.