Ki-tack Lim elected IMO Secretary-General

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has voted in Ki-tack Lim from the Republic of Korea to become its new Secretary-General
Ki-tack Lim elected IMO Secretary-General

Ki-tack Lim (Republic of Korea) has been elected as the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), with effect from 1 January 2016, for an initial term of four years.

Lim is currently president of Busan Port Authority. He served as the Republic of Korea’s Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO from 2006 to 2009 and was Chairman of the Sub-Committee on Flag State Implementation (FSI) from 2002 to 2004.

The vote took place during the 114th session of the 40-Member strong IMO Council, which is meeting from 29 June to 3 July 2015.  The decision of the Council will be submitted to the IMO Assembly, which meets for its 29th session from 23 November-2 December 2015, for approval.

Lim was born in Masan, Gyeongsangnam-do, one of the major port cities in the Republic of Korea. He majored in nautical science at the Korea Maritime and Ocean University (KMOU), Busan, graduating in 1977. He worked on ships as a Korean naval officer and for Sanko Shipping Co and 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 studied maritime administration with a major in navigation at the World Maritime University (WMU), graduating with a master’s degree. Since 1995, he has attended a doctoral programme for international law at KMOU, completing course work in 1998.

Attending IMO meetings as part of the delegation from the Republic of Korea in 1986, Lim actively participated in maritime safety and environmental protection issues. From 1992, he engaged in activities to promote maritime safety through effective implementation of IMO conventions in his country and other IMO Member States in the Asian region. He was elected Chairman of the Tokyo Memorandum on Port State Control in 2004. 

In 2006, Lim was appointed as Maritime Attaché, minister counsellor at the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in London and led all IMO work for the Republic of Korea, serving as Deputy Permanent Representative to IMO up to August 2009.

Lim was then appointed as Director General for Maritime Safety Policy Bureau at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs (MLTM). He led the delegation of the Republic of Korea to the IMO Assembly in 2009.

In March 2011, Lim was appointed Commissioner of the Korean Maritime Safety Tribunal (KMST). In July 2012, he assumed the position of President of Busan Port Authority.

The other candidates for the post were Andreas Chrysostomou (Republic of Cyprus), Vitaly Klyuev (Russian Federation), Maximo Q. Mejia, Jr. (Republic of the Philippines) Andreas Nordseth (Kingdom of Denmark) Juvenal Shiundu (Republic of Kenya). 


by Laura Stackhouse Editor

Laura Stackhouse is the Web Editor of, an official publication of the International Marine Purchasing Association (IMPA). To discuss news, features or contributing to please get in touch.

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