Paris, France — Dr. Sang-Kyung Byun from Republic of Korea, Dr. Yutaka Michida from Japan were named the new Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) at the recently concluded 26th Session of IOC Assembly, Paris, 21 June-5 July 2011.
Dr. Byun graduated from the Seoul National University in 1972 with the Bachelor Degree in Oceanography and then completed his PhD study in Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, France from 1977-1980. He also spent two years in Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as a visiting scientist. His extensive experience of studying and working abroad enables him, after his return back to Korea, to be competent in the lead, coordination and development of various national, regional and international programmes. He assumed a series of executive and academic titles, including President of the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute, Chairman of the Korean Oceanographic Commission, President of the Korea Society of Oceanography. Dr. Byun has been active in IOC related activities regionally and globally. Serving as the Chair for the Local Organizing Committee, he has successfully lead the organization of the Fifth IOC/WESTPAC International Scientific Symposium in 2001, which is evolving as the largest regular scientific gathering for marine scientific communities in the Western Pacific region. He was elected as the Vice Chair of IOC in 2009, taking charge of IOC Tsunami program and marine science program. Dr. Byun is currently serving as the Principal Research Scientist of the Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute (KORDI).
Dr. Michida is currently working as a professor of the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo. After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1981 on physical oceanography, he had served 16 years in the Hydrographic Department of Japan Coast Guard from 1984-2000 with a scientific focus on the velocity structure in the surface mixed layer. He moved to the Center for International Cooperation of Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo in 2000 with main work on lecturing, research and international cooperation. He was one of the leading scientists of the drifter programme in the Western Pacific region with more than 100 scientific and technical articles including 52 refereed papers published in international and national journals.
Dr. Michida has more than 20 years' experience of leading, coordinating various bilateral and multi-lateral programs in his career development, ranging from the oceanographic data management to the ocean circulation and observations. He has used to take charge of the China-Japan Joint Research on the Kuroshio in 1980s-1990s. In relation to IOC programs, in addition to participating in all sessions of the Assembly and the Executive Council of the IOC since 2000, Dr. Michida contributed greatly to the IOC’s International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange Program (IODE) in the strategy/policy development of oceanographic data management and exchange. He is also active in the regional activities of IOC, particularly in the IOC Sub-Commission for Western Pacific (WESTPAC). Serving as the member of WESTPAC Advisory Group since 2009, he has been providing scientific advice on the development of the WESTPAC Ocean Research Priority Research Plan (ORPRP) and the revitalization process of the WESTPAC.
The intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission is the focal point of UN system for marine scientific research, observations, services and capacity building. Established in 1960 as a intergovernmental body with functional autonomy within UNESCO, IOC elected once every two year its officers of one Chairperson and five Vice-Chairpersons. The Chairperson and each Vice-Chairperson Shall be eligible for re-election in their capacity as Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, but only once for successive terms.
Let's warmly congratulate Dr. Sang-Kyung Byun and Yutaka Michida on being elected as new IOC Officers and continuously render our regional support as much as possible to their work during their terms.