Singaporean to lead U.N. intellectual property agency

Daren Tang in suit, smiling (©WIPO)
Daren Tang will be the next head of the World Intellectual Property Organization. (© WIPO)

Daren Tang, the current head of Singapore’s intellectual property office, was selected to lead a U.N. organization responsible for protecting intellectual property rights worldwide.

In a 55-28 vote, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) coordination committee on March 4 selected Tang over his Chinese challenger, Wang Binyang, for the position.

After confirmation by the WIPO General Assembly in May, Tang will take over as director general when the term of the current head, Francis Gurry, ends on September 30.

The 193-member WIPO protects and promotes intellectual property rights, which is one of the foundations of modern business. Intellectual property rights give inventors, creators and entrepreneurs ownership of their ideas and the exclusive right to use them to make money from their hard work.

“Mr. Tang is a thought leader on intellectual property issues, and a vocal advocate for transparency and institutional integrity,” Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo said at a March 5 press conference.

“Secure property rights are critical for driving innovation, investment, and economic opportunity,” the secretary said.

Tang has a Bachelor of Laws from the National University of Singapore and a Master of Laws from Georgetown University in Washington. He also graduated from the Advanced Management Program at Harvard University in Massachusetts.

“The U.S. looks forward to working closely with him to advance WIPO’s core mission of safeguarding intellectual property,” Pompeo said.