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Secretaries-General of the ABU



Mr Ahmed Nadeem 2023 – Present

Mr Ahmed Nadeem is the Secretary-General of the ABU. He was appointed on 24 November 2022 and assumed office on 1 April 2023. Nadeem is an experienced electronic and ICT engineer with over 25 years of experience in the field of Broadcasting and Telecommunications. He joined the ABU in 2008 as Head of Studio Technology and Training at ABU Technology Department. He assumed the position in Director ABU Technology in 2018. Before joining the ABU, he worked as a Project Engineer at LSV Enterprises in Singapore (2007-2008) and before that he worked as Chief Engineer at Television Maldives, the public broadcaster in the Maldives (1996-2007).


Dr Javad Mottaghi 2010 – 2023

Dr Javad Mottaghi was Secretary-General from May 2010 to March 2023.

He has nearly four decades of national and international experience in broadcasting. Before joining the ABU, he was Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) for 12 years, where he has received the “Special Lifetime Achievement Award” in recognition of his contribution towards the Institute.

Dr Mottaghi has also been awarded the Elizabeth R. Award for Exceptional Contribution to Public Service Broadcasting in 2009. He is a Member of the Board for the World Radio & Television Council (WRTVC) since 2001, Associate Member of “The International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in New York” since December 2002 and Member of the Standardization Committee for ISAS BC 9001 and ISO 9001.

Earlier, Dr Mottaghi served Iran’s national broadcaster, IRIB, in various capacities in the field of sports, culture and production.   Other previous responsibilities in his dossier include: Vice Minister of the Sports for Sports & Federations, Deputy to President of the National Olympic Committee of Iran in international Affairs, Chairman of the Technical Swimming Committee for the Asia Amateur Swimming Federation and Secretary–General of the Iranian Swimming Federation.

Since becoming Secretary-General, Dr Mottaghi has overseen many changes to the ABU with the introduction of these projects and activities:

ABU Media Academy, ABU Online Training Initiative, ABU Asia-Pacific View, ABU Cloud System (APV), ABU Covid-19 Content Database, #ABUdigital, ABU Global News Forum, ABU Sports and Entertainment Network | ASEN, ABU Music Exchange Network (AMX), ABU Programme Exchange Network, ABU Media Summit on Climate Action and Disaster Preparedness, ABU Pacific Media Partnership Conference, ABU Radio Song Festival, ABU TV Song Festival, ABU Media CEO’S Talk, ABU RAI Day, ABU Media Lab Days, Asia- Europe Media Dialogue, Media 2020, ABU Gender Equality and Women With the Wave Movement, ABU Intellectual Property & Legal Committee | IPLC Media 2020, ABU Campaign Saving Lives: Building Resilient Communities, ABU International Dance Festival, ABU/UNESCO Diversity and Inclusion Project, ABU/UNESCO Together For Peace (T4P) and ABU Peace building Awards and Initiatives, ABU Children Media Hub

David Astley 2002 – 2010

David Astley was Secretary-General from 2002 to 2010.

He started his career as a print media journalist in the UK and moved into the electronic media whilst working in Australia where he managed several regional television and radio networks, including six years as Managing Director of two listed media companies.

In 1997 he moved to Asia where he worked in management services and business development in the pay-TV sector before joining the ABU.

Hugh Leonard 1985 – 2002

Hugh Leonard was Secretary-General from 1985 to 2002.

This was a period of immense change in broadcasting worldwide, which was reflected in corresponding change in the ABU itself.

He was involved with the ABU for nearly 30 years. He attended his first General Assembly in 1974, representing FBC-Fiji, of which he was General Manager at the time.

He was later elected a Vice President of the ABU before becoming Secretary-General.

Mr Leonard is the author of Four Decades of Unity, a history of the ABU published in 2005.

Roku Ito 1979 – 1985

Roku Ito was Secretary-General from 1979 to 1985.

He had a long association with the ABU. As a senior executive of NHK-Japan, he was employed in the Tokyo office of the ABU as an Assistant to the Secretary-General from 1965 to 1967.

Mr Ito attended all the General Assemblies from 1972 to 1979 and was Chairman of the Sports Working Party for its first two years, 1978 and 1979.

At the time of his appointment as Secretary-General, Mr Ito held the position of Controller, General Broadcasting Administration, in NHK.

Dr Kambiz Mahmoudi 1977 – 1979

Dr Kambiz Mahmoudi was Secretary-General from 1977 to 1979.

He had been associated with the ABU since the 1969 General Assembly as a delegate of National Iranian Radio and Television (NIRT).  NIRT is now known as Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

He served as an Administrative Councillor and at the time of his appointment was the Chairman of the Programme Committee.

Sir Charles Moses 1964 – 1977

Sir Charles Moses was the first Secretary-General, serving from 1964 to 1977. He was formerly General Manager of ABC-Australia, a foundation member of the ABU.

He was one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Union and chaired the first General Assembly in 1964.

Sir Charles was also the ABU’s first historian, writing Diverse Unity, a history of the Union published in 1978.