His diplomatic career began in 1964 in the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign affairs, where he served on two occassions in the Permanent Missions of Egypt to the United Nations in New York and Geneva. In 1980 he became a senior fellow in charge of the International Law Program at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.
Since 1984, ElBaradei has been a senior member of the IAEA Secretariat, holding a number of high-level positions. Before his current position of Director General, he has been the agency's legal adviser (1984 - 1993) and Assistant Director General for External Relations (1993 - 1997).
ElBaradei is also a member of the International Law Association and the American Society of International Law. He is married to Aida Elkachef and has two children, Laila and Mostafa.