Prior to his appointment, H.E. served as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of South Africa, Kingdom of Eswatini, Republic of Botswana and Kingdom of Lesotho from 2018 to 2022.

H.E. Al Farisi has enjoyed a remarkable career as a diplomat, having joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia in 1990. He holds a Doctorate in Policy Studies from the University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia and a Master Degree in International Relations from Tufts University, USA.


H.E. Al Farisi handles economic diplomacy, bilateral cooperation on fisheries, science and technology, defense cooperation agreement, and the joint trade commission. Further, he coordinates humanitarian assistance with NGOs, promotes multilateral cooperation on political, security, economic and social development; advocates for human rights; promotes global trade; champions governance;

pushes for climate change and other environment issues; and manages technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC) for the Asia-Pacific region.

H.E. Al Farisi has served different posts at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia from 1990 to 2018:
  • 2017 to 2018 - Senior Advisor for Institutional Relations
  • April 2015 to September 2017 - Acting Director General for Multilateral Affairs
  • June 2015 to July 2016 - Acting Head of Policy Analysis and Development Agency
  • 2012 to 2014 - Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the United Arab Emirates
  • 2008 - 2012 - Chief of Mission (DCM), Embassy in Washington D.C.
  • 2005 - 2008 - Director for Economic and Environmental Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • 1999 - 2003 - First Secretary/Councellor, Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York
  • 1996 - 1999 - Head of Section for Asia Pacific, Sub Directorate for Double Taxation Avoidance
  • 1992 - 1995 - Third Secretary/Second Secretary, Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand
  • 1990 - 1992 - Acting Head of Section for Asia Pacific, Sub Directorate for Technical Cooperation

His published the book “Indonesia – South Africa: A South-South Partnership in the Making” towards commemorating 25 years of Indonesia – South Africa Diplomatic Relations (2019).

He is married with two children.

Appointment Process

The Secretary-General is appointed by the Council of Ministers (COM) for a term of three years, renewable for one additional term, from among the candidates nominated by the Member States. The selection is guided by parameters of qualification, experience and suitability as laid down in the staff regulations of the IORA Secretariat.

He/She is responsible to the COM for all activities of the Association. The Secretary-General participates in all meetings of the Council and performs such other functions as are entrusted to him by these organs. He/She provides an annual report to the Council of Ministers on the work of the Association.

His predecessors were: 

Ambassador (Mr) Kailash Ruhee (Mauritius), January 1998 to August 2000
Ambassador (Mr) Devdasslall Dusoruth (Mauritius), November 2000 to January 2004
Ambassador (Mr) Tuan Zarook Amjadeen Samsudeen (Sri Lanka), September 2004 to July 2008
Ambassador (Mr) Morteza Sarmadi (Islamic Republic of Iran), August 2008 to December 2011
Ambassador (Mr) K.V. Bhagirath (India), January 2012 to January 2018
Ambassador (Dr) Nomvuyo N. Nokwe, February 2018 to February 2021
Dr Gatot Gunawan (Indonesia), Acting Secretary-General, February 2021 to December 2021
Dr Salman Al Farisi (Indonesia), current Secretary-General, January 2022 to present.