Mr. Mitropoulos is Secretary-General Emeritus of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations specialized agency responsible for the regulation of international shipping from the safety, security, environmental protection and facilitation of international maritime traffic points of view.

After 23 years of service at IMO (ten of which as Director of the Maritime Safety Division), he was elected Secretary-General in 2003 and re-elected in 2007 for a total of eight years.

As a graduate of both Merchant and Naval Academies of Greece, he spent time at sea as a navigation officer and twenty-five years as a commissioned Hellenic Coast Guard officer, retiring as a rear admiral, having represented Greece at IMO and various other international fora dealing with shipping matters over a twelve-year period and having spent two years as Harbour Master of Corfu. 

While at IMO, he promoted the implementation of the International Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR) Convention while leading the campaign for the establishment of the Global SAR Plan through workshops, seminars and conferences (including in Lisbon, Seoul, Fremantle, Valencia etc.). 

Between 2004 and 2012, he was Chancellor of the World Maritime University, Malmö, Sweden and Chairman of the Governing Board of the International Maritime Law Institute in Malta.

He is the author of several books on shipping, including texts on tankers, modern types of merchant ships, safety of navigation and shipping economics and policy. 

He is Chairman of the Board of the “Maria Tsakos” Public Benefit Foundation – International Centre for Maritime Research and Tradition and Patron of two international maritime organizations, including IMRF. 

He is a member of several shipping societies in Greece and in the United Kingdom and a recipient of many awards and distinctions from Governments (including Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (UK); Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany; Grand Cross of the Order of the Phoenix of the Hellenic Republic; Grand Ufficiale, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, etc.), international organizations and universities. He is an honorary citizen of Galaxidi, Greece and Malmö, Sweden.