The World Secretariat

About the World Secretariat

With the creation of UCLG in 2004, the World Secretariat was located in Barcelona after an international call to member cities wishing to host the headquarters. After several proposals presented by cities, the members granted the headquarters to the city of Barcelona, which made the premises available to UCLG.

The World Secretariat houses a team of around 35 permanent staffers and is led by the Secretary General.

About the Secretary General

The Secretary General is the chief executive officer of the World Organization. She/he directs the daily activities of the World Organization, manages the Secretariat and carries out the activities, programmes, and finances of the organization under the guidance of the Presidency and the responsibility of the Executive Bureau.

The Secretary General of UCLG is appointed through an international selection process.

Emilia Saiz Carrancedo is the current Secretary General of UCLG since her appointment in Hangzhou in December 2017.  She has worked with the international movement of local and regional governments in different capacities since 1998, leading programmes and initiatives on institutional capacity building, the participation of women in local decision-making and decentralized cooperation. 


 Previous Secretaries General 

Josep Roig was Secretary General of United Cities and Local Governments since September 2011, and until November 2017. He previously held the position of Secretary General of Metropolis, from 1999-2011.

Elisabeth Gateau was the first Secretary General of UCLG, elected in 2004 at the Founding Congress of UCLG in Paris. She held this position from 2004-2010. She previously held the position of Secretary General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions until 2002.