The Secretary General is appointed by the Ministerial Council for a term of three years and derives his/her authority from the collective decisions of the participating States. He/she acts as the representative of the Chairman-in-Office, and as OSCE Chief Administrative Officer. The current Secretary General is Ambassador Lamberto Zannier.
The role of the Office is to support the tasks of the Secretary General as the OSCE chief manager and administrator. This includes diplomatic liaison, press and public information, legal services, internal auditing, conference and language services, gender issues and contacts with international and non-governmental organizations, and with Mediterranean and other Partners for Co-operation.