UNDP Around the world

Sima Sami Bahous

Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States

UNDP New York

United States
Arabic, English
Governance and peacebuilding, Poverty reduction and inequality, Sustainable development, Sustainable Development Goals, Women's empowerment, Youth

Sima Sami Bahous was appointed in February 2012 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States. In this post, Ms. Bahous leads UNDP’s 18 Country Offices in the Arab region in their efforts to develop national capacities for poverty reduction, democratic governance, sustainable development, crisis prevention and recovery, and women’s empowerment.

From 2008 to 2012, Ms. Bahous served as the Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the Social Development Sector at the League of Arab States, leading the work of the Arab League’s Departments of Social Policies, Health and Humanitarian Assistance, Youth, Women, Children and Family, Population and Migration, Human Rights, Civil Society, and  Studies and Research.

Previously, she served in two ministerial posts in Jordan: as President of the Higher Media Council and as Adviser to King Abdullah, respectively.  Other posts include Head of the Media and Information Division at the Royal Hashemite Court, Executive Director of the King Hussein Foundation, and Development and Communications Specialist and later Executive Director of the Noor Al Hussein Foundation.  She has taught development and communication at Yarmouk University and at Petra University, both in Jordan, and was a producer and host with the Jordan Radio and Television Corporation.

Ms. Bahous is deeply committed to promoting sustainable socio-economic development, alleviating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals in the Arab world.  She works passionately towards enhancing gender equality, youth empowerment, quality education and human rights.  She is a keen advocate of democratic governance and human development, and is a strong believer in international development cooperation.

Ms. Bahous is a national of Jordan and holds a PhD in mass communication and development from Indiana University, USA, a Master of Arts in literature and drama from Essex University, UK, and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Jordan University.