William L. Swing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
William Lacy Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration during visit to Indonesia, April 2013.

William Lacy Swing (born September 11, 1934 in Lexington, North Carolina) is the Director General of the International Organization for Migration. He is a diplomat and former United States Ambassador, and United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Under Secretary General.


Swing graduated from Catawba College in North Carolina (Bachelor of Arts). He received his Bachelor of Divinity from Yale University. He did post-graduate studies at the University of Tübingen in Germany. He was a Fellow at Harvard University from 1976 to 1977.

He holds an honorary degree from Hofstra University (Doctor of Humane Letters), and is an Honorary Fellow of Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

He speaks fluent French and German.

Ambassadorial posts[edit]

United Nations[edit]

Western Sahara[edit]

Swing served as UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Western Sahara from 2001–2003. He was Chief of Mission for the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).

Democratic Republic of the Congo[edit]

Swing then successfully led all facets of the largest UN peacekeeping operation in history in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (May 2003 - January 2008).[1] He was appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary General to the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), with the rank of Under Secretary General. MONUC, now known as MONUSCO (United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo), is the UN’s largest peace operation. The Mission is engaged in the peace process and providing security support to the country as it seeks to end armed conflict in the war torn eastern part of the Congo.[2]

International Organization for Migration[edit]

In June 2008 he was elected Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).[3]

The IOM works to ensure that the estimated 1 billion international migrants and internally displaced persons – roughly one out or every seven persons in the world - are treated with dignity and recognized for the contributions they make. In the face of rising anti-immigrant attitudes and policies at home and abroad as a result of the global financial crisis, the IOM seeks to educate leaders, governments and the general public about the positive roles immigrant populations can have to address demographic, labor market and economic trends.


He is a member of the American Academy of Diplomacy. In 2012, he received the American Foreign Service Association’s Award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy.

See also[edit]