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Arab States


Khalida Bouzar

UN Assistant Secretary General
UNDP Assistant Administrator
Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States

Dr. Khalida Bouzar (Algerian) currently serves as the UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States.

The Arab states region covers 17 states with national and local representation. The Bureau delivers in average a programme of 1 billion USD per year. During the previous UNDP Strategic Plan (2018-2021), the Regional Bureau for Arab States has helped to increase access to basic services for 25 million people, boosted access to justice for 8.5 million people and increase the number of women registered to vote by 2.3 million

Dr. Bouzar is serving currently as a Co Vice-chair of the UN Regional Collaborative Platform in the Arab States region uniting all UN entities working on development for the 2030 Agenda to address key challenges that transcend country borders such as health and environment. She also serves as a Co-chair of the UNDP High-Level steering committee leading the COP27 corporate efforts.

Dr. Bouzar has 35 years of international and national corporate leadership experience, including 25 years in the UN system, and brings strong knowledge and a lifelong passion for sustainable development, poverty reduction and delivering development impact.

Prior to her appointment as Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States, Dr. Bouzar served as Regional Director for Near East, North Africa and Europe, at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) since 2012, where she established and led large-scale programmes and operations with a total investment volume of USD 2.6 billion across 45 countries.

Her key achievements include establishing the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (FARMS); spearheading the current IFAD strategy for engagement in countries with fragile situations; negotiating the first ever country programme engagement with Iraq; and engaging in countries with limited fiscal space such as Yemen.

Earlier, Dr. Bouzar served as the Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, leading on strategy, policy and portfolio development, and established key partnerships (2008-2012).

Between 2004 and 2008, she led the establishment of the IFAD’s Global Environment and Climate Change business operations contributing to significant resource mobilisation and a wider mainstreaming of these issues throughout IFAD’s operations.

She has also served as Regional Sustainable Development Advisor at UNDP Algeria; International Technical Expert in Drylands Development in the Bureau for Development Policy at UNDP and Programme Director at the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD.

Dr. Bouzar started her career as a Researcher and as Business Development Manager for environment in the Oil and Gas private sector.

She holds a PhD in Science from the University of Sciences, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, and speaks English, Arabic and French.

Ms. Sarah Poole

Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director

Regional Bureau for Arab States
United Nations Development Programme

Ms. Sarah Poole (USA) has been appointed as UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) as of February 1, 2018.

Prior to this appointment, Sarah served in UNDP as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the Bureau for Programme and Policy Support (2015-2017). Previously, Sarah served as the Senior Regional Advisor (2014-2015) and Division Chief in the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (2011-2014); Senior Advisor for UN Reform, Partnerships Bureau (2007-2011); and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Programme and Operations in Turkey (2004-2007) and Resident Representative a.i (2006). She joined UNDP as the Team Leader for Reintegration and Recovery in the Emergency Response Division in 1999.

Before joining UNDP, Sarah was the Regional Refugee Coordinator with the US State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro based in Zagreb, Croatia (1998-1999); and the Deputy Refugee Coordinator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, based in Sarajevo (1996-1998). She began her international career with USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, with extensive field work related to humanitarian response in Rwanda, Burundi, and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994 to 1996.

Sarah holds a Master of Sciences in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, in Political Science with a minor in French. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs from 2000-2003, co-developing and co-teaching a graduate seminar on the linkages between conflict, development and peacebuilding; and is currently pursuing a Professional Certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Conservation at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. She is married with two children, and speaks English and French.