Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

UNDP_Administrator_Achim Steiner

Achim Steiner became UNDP Administrator on 19 June 2017 and will serve for a term of four years. The United Nations General Assembly confirmed his nomination on 19 April 2017, following his nomination by Secretary-General António Guterres.

As UNDP Administrator, Mr. Steiner also chairs the UN Development Group, which unites the 32 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other bodies that work to support sustainable development.

Over nearly three decades, Achim Steiner has been a global leader on sustainable development, climate resilience and international cooperation. He has worked tirelessly to champion sustainability, economic growth and equality for the vulnerable, and has been a vocal advocate for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Prior to joining UNDP, he was Director of the Oxford Martin School and Professorial Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford. Mr Steiner has served across the United Nations system, looking at global challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective. He led the United Nations Environment Programme (2006-2016), helping governments invest in clean technologies and renewable energy. He was also Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. Achim Steiner previously held other notable positions including Director General of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and Secretary General of the World Commission on Dams.

Achim Steiner has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States. He graduated in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (MA) from Worcester College, Oxford University and holds an MA from the University of London/School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

Achim Steiner was born in Brazil and holds Brazilian and German nationality.

About the UNDP Administrator post

The UNDP Administrator is appointed by the Secretary-General and confirmed by the General Assembly for a term of four years.

Paul G. Hoffman was appointed as the first Administrator of UNDP in 1966 and served until retirement in 1972. David Owen, who led UNDP’s predecessor organization, the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance (EPTA), was appointed as Mr. Hoffman’s Co-Administrator.

Rudolph A. Peterson was appointed Administrator in 1972 followed by Bradford Morse in 1976; William H. Draper lll, 1986; James Gustave Speth, 1993-1999; Mark Malloch Brown, 1999-2005; Kemal Derviş, 2005-2009; and Helen Clark (2009-2017).


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