OECD - Organisation for economic co-operation and development

To provide a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies.


The OECD’s mission – Better Policies for Better Lives – promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world. It provides a unique forum in which governments work together to share experiences on what drives economic, social and environmental change, seeking solutions to common problems.

Within the OECD Executive Directorate (EXD), Conferences and Security Division, the Interpretation Unit provides interpreting in simultaneous and consecutive modes for OECD meetings.  English and French are the official languages of the OECD.  Interpretation into other languages is also provided on request.


The OECD is an international governmental organisation, first established in 1948 as the Organisation for European Economic Co-operation in order to administer the Marshall Plan. It now has 36 member states representing democratic market economies as well as an active outreach programme involving many emerging economies. It is governed by a Council representing all member countries, which meets at ministerial level once a year. Throughout the year, its many committees and working groups meet to exchange best practices and engage in peer review exercises in their areas of expertise. Global forums on topical issues are held with increasing frequency.

Interpretation Service

The Interpretation Unit falls within the Conferences and Security Division of the Executive Directorate. It is not directly linked to translation or terminology services. The Chief Interpreter is Olivier Péan. (olivier.pean@hgbn2czcsv.oecd.org – 0033 (0)1 45 24 83 10)

Staff Numbers

There are at present (2018) 12 staff interpreters. Of these, 7 are AIIC members.

Nature of work

The official working languages are English and French, so all staff interpreters must work into and from both of these languages. Third languages are also useful and have been a requirement in recent recruitment campaigns. At the present time, Spanish, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese (in that order) are used regularly. As the OECD is not a rules-making body, it devotes most of its expertise to developing the analytical work used as a basis for policy recommendations to its member countries and partners. Consequently, meetings tend to be of a technical nature rather than negotiating sessions. However, numerous ministerial-level meetings and forums have a more political dimension. Media events are held in conjunction with major conferences or to launch the organisation's many publications, and video or audio links with distant participants may occur. 

More than 90% of interpreted sessions take place at headquarters in Paris (or in Boulogne-Billancourt). Infrequently, staff interpreters serve meetings abroad. Work is almost exclusively simultaneous and interpreters work bi-actively for a maximum of 8 half-day sessions per week. Staff interpreters have no translation duties but are required to take on administrative duties and managerial responsibilities within the Division.

Recruitment conditions and benefits

When a position becomes vacant, it is advertised and eligible candidates are tested by a panel of staff interpreters from within the Organisation. Short-listed candidates are then interviewed by an OECD selection panel (comprising two interpreters and at least two non-interpreters from within the Organisation).

As international civil servants, all OECD staff members benefit from tax-free income, medical coverage, education allowances for their children, and, for those hired from abroad who do not have French citizenship, expatriation allowance and home leave once every two years. 

About 50% of interpreting needs are covered by freelance interpreters. The OECD recruits almost exclusively on the Paris market, mainly for French-English both ways, but also for Spanish, Chinese, German, Japanese, Russian, Italian, Arabic and other languages. In 2018 some 170 freelance interpreters were recruited by the OECD. 


2, rue André Pascal
FR-75775 Paris Cedex 16, France
Tel: 33 (0)1 45 24 82 00

Some 3,500 staff members work at the Paris headquarters located in the Château de la Muette, a building steeped in history, or in the new premises in Boulogne-Billancourt. The Conference Centre at La Muette, located in the 16th arrondissement in western Paris, was inaugurated in 2008. The Boulogne-Billancourt site also has brand new conference facilities inaugurated in 2017. 

Life in Paris: housing, transport

There is probably little need to describe Paris, the City of Light. But what is it like to live there? Affordable housing is not always easy to find, but public transit is excellent. Look for something on the subway line 9 or bus route 63 or head for the near suburbs of Boulogne or Saint Cloud. Or choose another charming neighbourhood and accept a 45-minute commute. The French education system generally has an excellent reputation, but international schools are available as well, mainly in the west side of the city. And of course Paris has been a university town since the 13th century.

Recommended citation format:
Staff Interpreters. "OECD - Organisation for economic co-operation and development". aiic.net June 8, 2012. Accessed July 6, 2020. <http://aiic.net/p/6207>.

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