Learn more about General secretary
The term General Secretary (alternatively First Secretary) denotes a leader of various unions, parties or associations. The most notable usages are the following.
- The official title of the de-facto leader of the Soviet Union was the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Joseph Stalin is known to be the first to elevate the position from the former meaning to the latter. For a time the position was known as the First Secretary. See List of leaders of the Soviet Union for other bearers of these titles.
- The term General Secretary often refers to the Secretary-General of an organization such as the Secretary-General of the United Nations or Secretary-General of the League of Nations. Also called the Executive Secretary in the case of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
- The General Secretary (or First Secretary) may also be the title used by the head of a political party or group. This meaning is often associated with communist organizations. However, in some Communist parties such as the Communist Party of China under Mao Zedong, the highest position was that of Party Chairman though in other Communist parties this was a titular position.
- The General Secretary may also be the head of a trade union, particularly in the United Kingdom or another association such as a federation of agriculture or farmer's union or a co-operative.
The General Secretary's office or department is often referred to as the Secretariat.