A former chief coordinator of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency has been appointed as the agency’s new interim director-general. Romanian diplomat Cornel Feruta succeeds the nuclear watchdog agency’s longtime director Yukiya Amano, who passed away at the age of 72.
“As a consequence of the recent passing away of Director General Yukiya Amano, and in order to ensure the orderly and smooth functioning of the Agency, the Board of Governors has decided to designate Mr Cornel Feruta as acting Director General, until a Director General assumes office,” the IAEA said Thursday in a statement on its website.
Although the announcement was made only a few days ago, Amano passed away a number of weeks earlier; the delay came at the request of his family in Japan. Feruta worked closely with Amano, and has also been a strong supporter of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal negotiated between six world powers and Iran. The United States withdrew from the deal last year.
According to the IAEA statement, Feruta previously held the position of Assistant Director General and Chief Coordinator at the IAEA, which he joined in September 2013. In 2012-13, he served as Director General for Political Affairs in the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and for a short period as Chief of Staff to the Prime Minister of Romania.
In 2013, Feruta served as Chairman of the Second Preparatory Committee of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT).
“From 2007 to 2012 he was Romania’s Ambassador and Resident Representative to the IAEA, UN and other international organizations in Vienna. In this role, he served as President of the 55th IAEA General Conference in 2011 and as Governor to the IAEA Board of Governors from October 2008 to September 2010 as well as Board Vice-Chair,” according to the IAEA. Feruta chaired and guided the negotiations of the Working Group on the IAEA Medium-Term Strategy 2012-2017 and on the IAEA program and budget for 2010-2011.
Feruta holds a Master’s degree in International Relations and a degree in Political and Administrative Sciences from the Bucharest University. Born on 21 August 1975, he is married and has three children.