Biographical Information in Profiles

Every biographical entry contains at least:

  • the biographee’s surname
  • his or her position in an international organization included the Yearbook of International Organizations database

Biographical entries may also contain all or some of the following items of information:

  • Name
    • Complete name, including titles
    • Aliases: Names by which the biographee is also known, such as aliases or pen names
  • Personal information
    • Date and place of birth. Where relevant, the date and place of death are also given.
    • Country or countries of citizenship. In a few cases, nationality, as distinct from citizenship, has been included at the biographee’s request. Note: This information is derived from information provided by the biographees themselves. According to general policy, the editors took people at their word and made no effort to check the accuracy of the claims. The geographical names and continental groupings used here are chosen for the sake of brevity and common usage. Wherever possible, the country (or territory) name preferred by the biographee concerned is used, providing this is possible within the limits of standardization required for statistical purposes. It is not the intention of the editors to take a position with regard to the political or diplomatic implications of geographical names or continental groupings used.
    • Languages spoken, written, or read. The order in which the languages are listed may be presumed, in most cases, to indicate a descending degree of proficiency. In general, the order used by the biographee in his or her reply has been maintained.
    • Marital status, spouse’s name, and date of marriage
    • Number of children
    • Religious affiliation
  • Career information
    • “Organizations (Yearbook)”: previous and current positions in organizations included in the Yearbook of International Organizations, with the dates of service where known.
    • “Organizations (Other)”: previous and current positions in organizations not included in the Yearbook, such as local or national bodies.
    • Career: previous and current positions in commercial enterprises, civil service, educational or research institutions, or other employment. Generally, only those positions not directly related to (functions in) international organizations are included here.
    • Publications: titles and dates of recent or significant published works. This information is not intended to be exhaustive or bibliographic but rather to give an idea of the biographee’s field and interests.
    • Conferences: participation at recent significant conferences. Note that, in general, the conferences of the organization(s) of which the biographee is an officer are not included, it being assumed that the officers of an organization attend, and take an active part in the preparation of, its meetings.
    • Field of work: as described by the biographee.
  • Educational background
    • Academic degrees, the dates they were obtained, and the names of educational institutions attended.
  • Other information
    • Honours: awards, honorary degrees, and civic or military honours conferred upon the biographee.
    • Interests: non-professional interests and hobbies.
    • Date: the year in which information was last received.
    • Gender: This information, abbreviated as “f” for female and “m” for male, is given on the last line of the entry, following the date if a date is given. Note that this information is usually given only when:
      • the biographee has included it in his or her reply
      • the biographee has included it in his or her reply


The use of abbreviations in the biographical entries has been kept to a minimum to facilitate reading. Abbreviations used are either commonly known, self explanatory in the context of the entry, or else unknown to – and therefore not to be clarified by – the editors.


The subject classification system used for the Who's Who is derived from the system used for Yearbook organizations (see an explanation of the classification system, and the matrix on which it is based under Subject classification). A detailed discussion can be found in the essay “Functional Classification”.