The Argentine Rafael Grossi was re-elected Monday as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear agency. Grossi is an experienced diplomat who stood out in the last four years for his active management, marked especially by the Iranian nuclear conflict and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He had assumed in 2019 the first mandate as director general of the IAEA -the agency of the United Nations system in charge of ensuring the peaceful use of atomic technology-, becoming the first Latin American to head the Vienna-based international body.
He was previously Argentina's ambassador to Austria, Slovenia and Slovakia, as well as to the international organizations based in the Austrian capital, including the IAEA itself, to whose general directorate he arrived with a career largely linked to the world of nuclear energy.
Between 2009 and 2013 he was Deputy Director for Political Affairs and Chief of Staff to his predecessor at the IAEA Director General, Japan's Yukiya Amano, who passed away in July 2019.
Born in 1961 in Buenos Aires, Grossi graduated in Political Science from the Catholic University of Argentina and completed his diplomatic studies at the National Foreign Service Institute.
Grossi in a meeting with Vladimir Putin
. Photo: AP.
He also holds a master's degree in International Relations and a doctorate in History and International Politics from the University of Geneva (Switzerland).
Grossi worked in the Directorate of Nuclear Affairs of the Argentine Foreign Ministry and represented Argentina in different international forums on security, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation issues.
In 2002 he was appointed Chief of Staff of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), based in The Hague.
In 2015, he chaired the Diplomatic Conference on the Convention on Nuclear Safety, convened to review atomic safety issues following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant (2011).
His second term, confirmed this Monday by the agency's general conference, will begin next December 3 and end on December 2, 2027.
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency with the President of Ukraine, Volodymir Zelenski. Photo Reuters.
Until now, the management of the high Latin American official has been marked by the tensions surrounding the conflict over Iran's nuclear program, in which the IAEA and its inspectors have the mission of verifying that Teheran does not use atomic technology for military purposes.
Added to this was the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with the Russian army occupying the Zaporiyia nuclear plant since March 2022.
To reduce the risks of a nuclear accident in the midst of the fighting, Grossi has since been trying to negotiate with the warring parties to create a safety and security zone around the atomic power plant, which with its six reactors is the largest in Europe.
The 62-year-old Grossi is the father of eight children and speaks English, French, Italian and German.