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Achim Steiner Portrait

Achim Steiner

Administrator

Achim Steiner
Achim Steiner
Administrator

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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.

Mr. Steiner is also the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group, which unites 40 entities of the UN system 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).

Mourad Wahba

Mourad Wahba

Acting Associate Administrator;
Regional Bureau for Arab States

Mourad Wahba
Mourad Wahba
Acting Associate Administrator of UNDP
Regional Bureau for Arab States

As of May, 2019 Mr. Mourad Wahba (Egypt) is Acting Associate Administrator of UNDP. He also serves as the UNDP Regional Director for Arab States.

Mr. Wahba has had many years of distinguished service at the United Nations and UNDP. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Haiti. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Director and Deputy Assistant Administrator in the Regional Bureau of Arab States, UNDP, in New York (2013-2015); Director, Security Office, UNDP Bureau of Management, New York (2009-2013); UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative (2006-2009) in Morocco; Director, United Nations Affairs, UNDP New York (2001-2006); and Deputy Resident Representative in Guyana (1999-2001).

Mr. Wahba began his career with the United Nations in 1993, as a Senior Officer in the Office of the Secretary-General. Before joining the UN, Mourad was an Associate Professor of Economics at the American University in Cairo, and a Visiting Lecturer on International Political Economy at the Institute for Diplomatic Studies, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt (1987-1993).

Valerie Cliff

Valerie Cliff

Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Director of the Bangkok Regional Hub

Valerie Cliff
Valerie Cliff
Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Director of the Bangkok Regional Hub

Valerie Cliff of the United States was appointed as UNDP Deputy Regional Director for Asia & the Pacific in 2017.

Valerie served as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Djibouti from 2014 to 2017. Her earlier assignments included senior management roles in UNDP New York, and UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kuwait, as well as earlier assignments in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cambodia. Prior to joining the United Nations in 1991, Valerie worked in the financial sector and served as a Volunteer for the International Rescue Committee in Peshawar, Pakistan. She holds a Masters of Business Administration degree (MBA) from Harvard Business School and undergraduate degrees from the London School of Economics and Amherst College.

Mirjana Spoljaric Egger

Mirjana Spoljaric Egger

Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

Mirjana Spoljaric Egger
Mirjana Spoljaric Egger
Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States

Ms Spoljaric Egger previously served as Head of United Nations and International Organisations Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, where she has been instrumental in shaping Swiss UN policies and priorities in support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

Ms. Spoljaric Egger combines a strong policy background with field experience and has had several assignments in the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, in New York, Cairo, and with the Office of UNRWA's Commissioner-General.

Ms Spoljaric Egger holds a Master's Degree in Philosophy, Economics and International Law from the University of Basel and the University of Geneva. She is married and has two children.

ahunna

Ahunna Eziakonwa

Regional Bureau for Africa

Ahunna Eziakonwa
Ahunna Eziakonwa
Regional Bureau for Africa

Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa officially began her role as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa on August 15th, 2018. In this role she leads UNDP’s work supporting 46 countries in Africa to achieve Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Eziakonwa succeeds Abdoulaye Mar Dieye who now leads UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

Prior to taking up this post, Ms. Eziakon­wa-Onochie was UN Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Humanitarian Coor­dinator in Ethiopia (2015-2018), UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Uganda (2012-2015), and before that held the same position in Lesotho (2008-2012). She has also worked as Chief of the Africa Section for Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) where she managed over 15 country operations in Africa. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Eziakonwa held a series of senior positions with civil society organisations in Africa.

Ms. Ahunna Eziakon­wa-Onochie holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs with a focus on economic and political development in Africa from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs in New York. Ms. Eziakonwa-Onochie is personally passionate about broadening the space for engaging youth and women in sustainable development.

Luis Felipe López-Calva

Luis Felipe López-Calva

Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean

Luis Felipe López-Calva
Luis Felipe López-Calva
Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean

Luis Felipe López-Calva has nearly 30 years of professional experience, advising several Mexican governments in addition to UNDP and most recently the World Bank, where he served as Practice Manager of the Poverty and Equity Global Practice (Europe and Central Asia). He was the co director and lead author of the World Development Report 2017 on “Governance and the Law”. He was previously Lead Economist and Regional Poverty Advisor in the Bank’s Europe and Central Asia Region, and Lead Economist at the Poverty, Equity and Gender Unit in the Latin America and Caribbean PREM Directorate, also at the World Bank.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as Chief Economist for Latin America and the Caribbean at UNDP-RBLAC in New York. Mr. López Calva has been Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Development and Capabilities and he is Fellow of the Human Development and Capabilities Association. He has also been Chair of the Network on Inequality and Poverty in the Latin America and Caribbean Economic Association.

His research interests focus on labour markets, poverty and inequality, institutions and microeconomics of development, having presented his research at top institutions including: Harvard University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Diego; and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Centre. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Boston University, as well as a master’s and a doctorate in economics from Cornell University.

Born in Mexico, he is married and has three children.

Ulrika Modéer

Ulrika Modéer

Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy

Ulrika Modéer
Ulrika Modéer
Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy

Ms. Ulrika Modéer began her role as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy on 20 August 2018. In this role she leads the organization in nurturing and growing key relationships with Member States and new and emerging partners. She steers UNDP’s communications and advocacy, as it works to realize the vision of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Modéer previously served as Sweden’s State Secretary for International Development Cooperation and Climate and has been instrumental in reshaping the country’s international development cooperation to support the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

She combines a strong policy background with parliamentary and civil society experience and has had several assignments in Latin America (Bolivia, Guatemala) and Africa (Mozambique, South Africa).

Ms. Modéer holds a BA in International Relations from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Born in 1969, Ms. Modéer is married with three children.

Asako Okai

Asako Okai

UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau

Asako Okai
Asako Okai
UN Assistant Secretary General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Bureau Speeches, blogs, media coverage

Ms. Asako Okai officially began her role as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director for the Crisis Bureau on August 22, 2018. In this role, she leads UNDP’s corporate crisis-related work and drives UNDP’s vision and priorities for crisis prevention, response, and recovery.

Ms. Okai has over 30 years of experience in the Japanese Foreign Service and in the United Nations. She possesses an extensive track record in development, humanitarian response, disaster management, and peace building work at both the strategic and operational levels.

Throughout her career, she has closely engaged in the evolution of international cooperation frameworks in different capacities, including the forging of historic institutional reforms of the international cooperation apparatus in Japan, and implementing innovative financial mechanisms to support reliable humanitarian funding model as Japan’s Director of Humanitarian Assistance. Ms. Okai has held several diplomatic senior positions worldwide and worked closely with the United Nations Headquarters, both in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN and as a Senior Member of the Office of the President of the 66th UN General Assembly, most recently serving as Consul-General of Japan in Vancouver, Canada.

She holds a Master’s of Arts in History of Art, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University and a Bachelor’s degree in Law, Hitotsubashi University, Japan. Born in 1966, she is married.

Kanni Wignaraja

Kanni Wignaraja

Director ad interim, Bureau for Management Services

Kanni Wignaraja
Kanni Wignaraja
Bureau for Management Services

Kanni takes up her assignment as BMS Director ad interim as of 1 May 2019. She is currently serving as Senior Advisor to the UNDP Administrator focusing on development policy and reform, and leadership development.

Prior to this, she was the Director of the Office for UN Development Coordination (UNDOCO) for five years, leading a team that brought together the forty UN Development System entities to deliver results in over 170 countries.

Kanni has significant experience in leading UNDP’s global, regional and country programme portfolios. She served as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Zambia 2010-2013; Director of UNDP’s Capacity Development Group in the Bureau of Development Policy; Deputy Resident Representative in Viet Nam, and ad interim in Indonesia; Chief of Regional Programme for the Asia Pacific, in RBAP; and Policy and Evaluation Officer in UNV HQ.

Prior to joining the UN, Kanni worked with the Ford Foundation in New York, and with the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Sri Lanka. Kanni has contributed to numerous papers, articles and conferences in areas of public policy, institutional reform, capacity development, human rights and leadership.

Kanni holds a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts (Economics) from Bryn Mawr College.

Haoliang Xu

Haoliang Xu

UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Haoliang Xu
Haoliang Xu
UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support

Haoliang Xu was appointed UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director for the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support by the United Nations Secretary-General in July 2019.

Previously, Mr. Xu was UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific since September 2013.

Prior to this, he served as Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in New York since 2010; UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kazakhstan (2007-2010); Country Director in Pakistan (2005-2007); Deputy Resident Representative for Programme, Pakistan (2004-2005); Country Manager and Senior Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Timor-Leste (2002-2004); Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Iran (2000-2002); Programme Manager, Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, New York (1997-1999); Programme Officer/Junior Professional Officer, UNDP Kazakhstan (1997-1999).

Before joining the UN, Mr. Xu was a computer-aided design engineer with Louis Berger International Inc. in New Jersey and an assistant lecturer at Tongji University in Shanghai, China.

Mr. Xu, a Chinese national, holds a Bachelors in Engineering from Tongji University in Shanghai, and a Masters’ of Science in Management from the Stevens Institute of Technology (USA). He also holds a Masters’ of International Affairs in Economic Development and Policy Analysis from Columbia University (USA).

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