On October 17, 2016, H.E. Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri officially took over the presidency of ECO Cultural Institute.
Following the recommendation of the extraordinary meeting of the Council of Permanent Representatives of ECO Cultural Institute (ECI-CPR) (April 17, 2016) and the endorsement of the extraordinary meeting of ECO Council of Ministers (COM) held on the sidelines of the General Assembly of United Nations held in New York on September 23, 2016, Dr. Mohammad Mehdi Mazaheri was officially appointed as the President of ECO Cultural Institute.Underscoring the significance of all-out collaboration of all ECO Member States for the organization of the upcoming, international cultural plans and programs which the Institute have on its agenda, the new ECI leadership reiterated: "We intend to broaden our horizon towards a more regional and international approach and ECI shall devote earnest and particular efforts to take the necessary measures for the realization of this fundamental objective".
Enjoying brilliant, outstanding experiences in the field of culture and an established backdrop in the area of scientific and academic management, Dr. Mazaheri is an illustrious cultural figure of the region. Presently, he holds the position of the senior advisor to the Minister Culture and Islamic Guidance, advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Association of Iranian Cultural Figures & Works.
He has obtained his postgraduate degrees in management and philosophy and due to his vast scope of studies in different disciplines, he has been awarded several honorary Post PhD degrees by renowned international universities and scientific centers and has been invited to teach at specialized seats as well.Establishment of universities and related academic institutes including the Research Center for Intercultural Studies and authoring tens of books and scholarly research papers are but a few of his academic and executive achievements as a result of which he was awarded the title of the "Memorable Scientific Figure of Iran" in 2007. Furthermore, he was designated the "Outstanding Cultural Figure of Iran" in 2012.
There is a triennial change of position of the Presidency of ECO Cultural Institute by rotation among the Member states. H.E. Prof. Iftikhar Husain Arif, a prominent cultural and literary figure of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, held the position of ECI President in 2013-2016.