This paper reports on the results of an expert survey to solicit views on what WTO members and the international trade community consider the most important attributes of the Director‐General of the WTO and the substantive policy and institutional reform priorities confronting the WTO. The results suggest strong support for a leader with managerial and political experience, and a professional network that spans international organizations, major capitals, and international business. Competence, political experience, a network that spans major capitals, international business and international organizations, knowledge of the WTO negotiating process and a background in economics are all characteristics that are ranked highly. Resolving the dispute settlement crisis is the highest priority for most respondents. There is broad agreement on the importance of addressing a range of negotiating topics and institutional reforms, but substantial variation in the rankings assigned by different groups of respondents to specific issues.