On 22 September 2008 Francis Gurry was officially appointed for Director General of WIPO. He was elected with only one vote in a tense voting day on 13 May 2008.

Francis Gurry joined WIPO in 1985 and was appointed to the post of Deputy Director General of the WIPO in 2003. He holds law degrees from the University of Melbourne and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Francis Gurry is also the founder and head of WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center.

In his first statement as a Director General Francis Gurry claimed that he will be working with, and for, all Member States and doing whatever he can to overcome divisions and to seek positions and decisions that can find the broadest possible support among the Member States of the Organization. According to him one of the main aims of WIPO should be the initiation of a global knowledge infrastructure, comprising public, freely available databases of technological and scientific information.