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Secretaries-General of the ABU


Dr Javad Mottaghi


Dr Javad Mottaghi assumed office as Secretary-General in May 2010.

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
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 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


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


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


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


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


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.