ITTO’s governing body, the International Tropical Timber Council, appointed Ms Sheam Satkuru by consensus as ITTO’s new Executive Director at its 57th session, which was held virtually from 29 November to 3 December 2021. She won the position from among nearly 50 applicants.
Ms Satkuru, a citizen of Malaysia, was the Malaysian Timber Council’s Regional Director for Europe between 2007 and 2017, and she has been Director of Operations at ITTO since 2017.
Ms Satkuru is a specialist in international trade, with strong skills and experience in legal and policy analysis related to international affairs, the timber and forest industries, communications, public affairs and outreach. She is also a skilled and experienced international negotiator. She holds a master’s degree in law from Kings College at the University of London and was called to the English Bar in 1993.
Ms Satkuru was one of three shortlisted candidates for the position of Executive Director. In accepting the appointment, Ms Satkuru referred to the principle of consensus as one of ITTO’s strongest features.
“ITTO begins yet another new chapter in its long journey of adventures,” she said. “As the first woman to be appointed as the Organization’s Executive Director, I applaud all members of the International Tropical Timber Council for the consultative and collaborative spirit they have shown. To all, I pledge to take ITTO’s interests forward in a fair, balanced and equitable manner for all its members.”