First woman elected PACE Secretary General

First woman elected PACE Secretary General

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) elected Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis to the post of Secretary General of the Assembly, the first woman to hold the post in the Assembly’s 72-year history, according to the Organization.

She will serve for a five-year term starting on 1 March 2021. The election took place by electronic voting, with a very large participation rate of 96.46%.

Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis has been working for 21 years with and for parliamentarians from all over Europe in the Parliamentary Assembly, leading, in turn, its Monitoring and Political Affairs Committees. She started her career at the Council of Europe in 1993 at the European Commission of Human Rights.

She is a Doctor in Law, holding a PhD on the European Convention of Human Rights from the European University Institute in Florence, Italy.

Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis was born in Athens, Greece, on 28 February 1967.

In line with the Assembly's Rules of Procedure, the Secretary General ensures the proper functioning of PACE, implements its decisions and co-ordinates the work of the committees. She will head a secretariat of around 90 staff which assists the President and the Assembly members to carry out their work, and ensures the proper conduct of parliamentary proceedings.