Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General

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The Deputy Secretary-General of the Commonwealth assists the Secretary-General in managing the operations of the Commonwealth Secretariat, which is the central institution of the Commonwealth. The current Deputy Secretary-General is Dr Arjoon Suddhoo of Mauritius. Dr Suddhoo's appointment was announced in February 2019 after an open and competitive process, and he took up the post in April 2019.[1]


Until 2016, three Commonwealth Deputy Secretaries-General assisted the Secretary-General in running the Commonwealth Secretariat, each assigned an aspect of the Commonwealth's function to address particularly: one to economic affairs, one to political affairs and the other to corporate affairs.

They were elected by the Commonwealth Heads of Government, like the Secretary-General. However, as their terms overlap with those of the Secretary-General, and don't coincide with Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGMs), the Heads of Government are represented through their respective High Commissioners in London.[2] Originally, the Secretariat only engaged two Deputy Secretaries-General, whilst the Corporate Affairs portfolio was overseen by an Assistant Secretary-General. This changed in 2014 with the appointment of Gary Dunn from Australia to the post. However, by the end of March 2017, references to the role and Dunn had been removed from the Secretariat's website, indicating that the role may have been abolished though no announcement had been made to that effect.

Under Baroness Scotland's tenure as Secretary-General, the vacancies left by the departures of Dunn, Deodat Maharaj, and Josephine Ojiambo were not filled and the three roles merged into a single post.

Lists of Deputy Secretaries-General[edit]

Name Country Start End
Arjoon Suddhoo Mauritius 2019 Incumbent

Economic Affairs and Development[edit]

Deputy Secretary-General for Economic Affairs and Development of the Commonwealth of Nations

since 2017
StyleHis Excellency
AppointerCommonwealth Heads of Government
Term length3 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderTilak E. Gooneratne
Final holderDeodat Maharaj
AbolishedPossibly June 2017
Name Country Start End
Tilak E. Gooneratne  Sri Lanka 1965 1970
Geoffrey Wilson  United Kingdom 1971 1971
Hunter Wade  New Zealand 1972 1974[3]
C. John Small  Canada 1979 1983
Peter Marshall  United Kingdom 1983 1988
Peter Unwin 1989 1993
Humphrey Maud 1993 1999
Veronica Sutherland 1999 2001
Winston Cox  Barbados 2001 2006
Ransford Smith  Jamaica 2006 2013
Deodat Maharaj  Trinidad and Tobago 2014 2017

Political Affairs[edit]

Deputy Secretary-General for Political Affairs of the Commonwealth of Nations
Vacant (Appointments Suspended)

since 2018
StyleHis/Her Excellency
AppointerCommonwealth Heads of Government
Term length3 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderA.L. Adu
Name Country Start End
A. L. Adu  Ghana 1966 1970
M. A. Husain  India 1970 1977
Emeka Anyaoku  Nigeria 1977 19901
Anthony Siaguru  Papua New Guinea 1990 1995
Krishnan Srinivasan  India 1995 2002
Florence Mugasha  Uganda 2002 2008
Mmasekgoa Masire-Mwamba  Botswana 2008 2014
Josephine Ojiambo  Kenya 2015 2018

1 Initially served from 1977 to 1983, leaving his??[who?] post for a few months to serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs in Nigeria. He was re-instated later that year.

Corporate Affairs[edit]

Deputy Secretary-General for Corporate Affairs of the Commonwealth of Nations

since 2016
StyleHis Excellency
AppointerCommonwealth Heads of Government
Term length3 years, renewable once
Inaugural holderGary Dunn
Formation2014 - previously titled 'Assistant Secretary-General'
AbolishedUnclear - possibly 2017
Name Country Start End
Gary Dunn  Australia 2014 2016 [4]


  1. ^ "New Deputy Secretary-General appointed | The Commonwealth". 28 February 2019. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  2. ^ Doxey, Margaret (January 1979). "The Commonwealth Secretary-General: Limits of Leadership". International Affairs. 55 (1): 67–83. doi:10.2307/2617133. JSTOR 2617133.
  3. ^ McIntyre, W. David (November 2001). "'Viewing the Iceberg from Down Under': A New Zealand Perspective". Commonwealth & Comparative Politics. 39 (3): 95–112. doi:10.1080/713999565. S2CID 154047070.
  4. ^[permanent dead link]