Mr. Lassina Zerbo
Executive Secretary, CTBTO
Lassina Zerbo is Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) since August 2013. He has been instrumental in cementing CTBTO’s position as the world’s centre of excellence for nuclear test-ban verification, as well as in driving forward efforts towards the entry into force and universalization of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). He oversaw a swift diplomatic response by the organization to the 2016 nuclear tests conducted by DPRK, through the provision of data and analysis of the events to CTBTO Member States in near-real time. He initiated the Group of Eminent Persons and more recently the CTBTO Youth Group to reinvigorate outreach efforts to achieve CTBT entry into force. Prior to his appointment, Dr Zerbo served as Director of the CTBTO International Data Centre where he spearheaded the responses to the 2006, 2009 & 2013 DPRK nuclear tests, and the 2011 triple disaster in Japan and established and led the CTBT Science and Technology Conferences series. Zerbo has a PhD in Geophysics from Paris XI University and worked in senior positions at BHP-Billiton and Anglo American Plc .In 2013, he was awarded “Arms Control Person of the Year”. He was also decorated as Commander of the National Order of Burkina Faso, and received the Grand Cross in the Chilean Order of Bernardo O’Higgins. Zerbo was also awarded the Presidential Medal on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Republic of Kazakhstan for his leadership in enhancing nuclear non-proliferation efforts. In August 2017, Zerbo received Special Honorary Citizenship of the City of Hiroshima for his initiatives to “preserve, disseminate and convey” the reality of atomic bombings, and his leadership efforts—including through the activities of the GEM—to promote the message of Hiroshima and the hibakusha. He is a member of several think tanks on energy, science, technology and development, and peace and security, and was a member of the World Economic Forum and Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Nuclear Security from 2014-2016.