International Data Centre Division
Lassina Zerbo has served as Director of the International Data Centre (IDC) at the CTBTO since November 2004. In October 2012, he was elected as the next Executive Secretary of the CTBTO, a position which he will assume in August 2013.
Zerbo is a national from Burkina Faso who completed his higher education in France, obtaining a PhD in Geophysics from the Université de Paris XI in 1993. He then embarked on an international career with both BHP-Billiton and Anglo American Plc. He joined BHP Minerals International in 1993 as a research geophysicist, subsequently working as project geophysicist for its Africa programmes from the Herndon office in Virginia, USA. He provided technical expertise to all BHP Minerals projects in airborne electromagnetics prior to joining Anglo American Exploration in 1995. Zerbo was promoted to Divisional Principal Geophysicist for Africa while supervising research and development projects in his field of expertise for most of the Anglo American projects in Africa, Asia and Australia. In this role, he managed all Africa operations through projects across the continent.
During a professional career spanning nearly 25 years, Zerbo has developed expertise ranging from scientific and technical competencies to results based management and multilateral diplomacy. He spearheaded the technical discussion of the agreement on CTBTO assistance to tsunami warning centres through the UNESCO-Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
As the focal point on CTBT issues related to the nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2006 and 2009, the triple disaster in Japan in March 2011 (the earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power plant accident), and technical assistance for tsunami warning systems, Zerbo serves as the custodian of all technically sensitive information of the organization. He remains responsible for the release of this information to Member States and their institutions in compliance with the Treaty’s requirements.
He has chaired and participated in many international seminars, conferences and panels on a range of issues including nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation, international security and arms control, and science and technology. He is a member of think tanks on energy, science, technology and development, and peace and security for Africa.
As its Project Executive, Zerbo led the CTBT: Science and Technology 2011 Conference and the successful deployment of the CTBT virtual Data Exploitation Centre (vDEC), which provides an innovative framework for interacting with the wider scientific community. He remains Project Executive for the Science and Technology 2013 Conference and Chairman of the scientific committee.
Zerbo is married and has three daughters.