Lassina Zerbo is the Executive Secretary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), a position which he assumed on 1 August 2013.
As a director of the CTBTO’s International Data Centre (IDC) from 2004 to 2013, he was the focal point on CTBT issues related to the nuclear tests conducted by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in 2006, 2009 and 2013 and 2013 and oversaw the organisation’s activities related to the one in early 2016 and 2017 as Executive Secretary.
Dr. Zerbo has been instrumental in cementing the 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).
Soon after assuming his current post, Zerbo initiated the establishment of the Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), comprising internationally recognized personalities and experts to promote the Treaty’s entry into force and to reinvigorate international endeavours to achieve this goal.
In 2016, he announced the creation of the CTBTO Youth Group to also engage the younger generation in advancing the aims of the Treaty.
Zerbo secured China’s resumed technical cooperation with the CTBTO, signalling a new phase of cooperation.
The success of the Integrated Field Exercise 2014 in Jordan, a simulated on-site inspection, reflected the CTBTO’s capabilities under his leadership.
Zerbo was chosen by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to receive its 2018 Award for Science Diplomacy in recognition of his commitment to eliminating nuclear testing.
In recognition of his work at the CTBTO and in the disarmament and nuclear proliferation field in general, Zerbo was awarded the 2013 “Arms Control Person of the Year” by the Arms Control Association, USA.
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.