Gerald Leitner

The IFLA Governing Board appointed unanimously Mr Gerald Leitner, currently Secretary General of the Austrian Library Association, to the post of IFLA Secretary General, effective from 1 June 2016. He will replace Ms Jennefer Nicholson as Secretary General of the Organisation who is retiring on 31 May 2016 after successfully leading the association through a period of growth in its influence and reach.

Mr Gerald Leitner brings a wealth of experience to the position of IFLA Secretary General. He has worked in senior positions at international organisations and in Austria’s culture, science and educational sectors. He is currently the Secretary General of the Austrian Library Association. Previously he held positions as a journalist and as head of the library education in Austria. He was president of the European Bureau of Library Information and Documentation Associations (EBLIDA) and represented IFLA at high level meetings with strategic partners. He is highly experienced in negotiating with politicians, authorities, lobby groups, publishers, artists, businesses and strategic partners.

IFLA President Donna Scheeder said:

We have seen in the last years a rapid transition of IFLA to a modern, professional working federation that can truly claim to be the global voice of libraries. We thank outgoing IFLA Secretary General Jennefer Nicholson for her vision and determination which has moved IFLA so far forward.  With Mr. Leitner we will continue to grow IFLA as a dynamic, powerful, real global information and library brand. With his outstanding managerial and entrepreneurial skills, with more than 25 years of working experience in the library field and with an in-depth knowledge of the global library scene Mr Gerald Leitner is the right person to lead us in this process.”

Gerald Leitner commented: 

In the face of the ever-increasing intensity of globalisation a powerful worldwide acting IFLA is needed more than ever. We will only be able to tackle the challenges with the global cooperation of all types of libraries, library associations and IFLA. We have to join our forces together under the motto 'Think global – act regional and local!' I am looking very much forward to fully unlock the enormous potential of IFLA with the worldwide library community.”

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) is the leading international body representing the interests of library and information services and their users. It is an independent, international, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization, which is the global voice of the library and information profession. With a secretariat based in The Hague, Netherlands and regional offices, language centres and strategic programme offices in other locations, IFLA is a worldwide federation of national library associations, libraries of all types, personal affiliates and bodies with consultative status.

IFLA has formal associate status with a number of international bodies such as UNESCO, the United Nations, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), World Trade Organization (WTO) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the Internet Governance Forum, and the World Summit for the Information Society.

The Secretary General is the Chief Executive Officer and the head of IFLA’s Secretariat, located in The Hague, Netherlands. The responsibilities of the Secretary General include the strategic and operational direction and financial management of IFLA, the IFLA Foundation and the conference holding companies within the policies determined by the General Assembly and the Governing Board.

Gerald Leitner curriculum vitae: [PDF]