Abdallah Al Dardari appointed as new Assistant Secretary-General and new Director for the Regional Bureau for Arab States

March 14, 2023


New York, 14 March 2023. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Mr. Abdallah Al Dardari as the next Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Currently serving as UNDP Resident Representative in Afghanistan, Mr. Al Dardari previously served as Senior Advisor with the World Bank where he led the “Building for Peace” project that advanced a new approach to post-conflict reconstruction in the Middle East and North Africa region.

Following the announcement, UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner said, “I am delighted to congratulate Mr. Abdallah Al Dardari on his new appointment to lead UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States. At an immensely challenging moment for the region -- from conflicts and climate change to a finance and cost-of-living crisis -- communities are looking to the UN family and UNDP to co-create much-needed solutions that will advance peace, drive forward human development, and make leapfrogs across all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

Mr. Al Dardari began his professional career as an international affairs writer and bureau chief for the Al Hayat newspaper and then went on to become an economist for the London Office of the Arab League. From 1994 to 1997, he served as UNDP Programme Officer in its Country Office in Syria and then joined the Arab Trade Financing Program/Arab Monetary Fund group as Chief of the Trade Promotion section. In 2003, he was appointed Chairman of the State Planning Commission in Syria until August 2005 when he became Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs. In 2011, he moved to the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) as Chief Economist and later, as Deputy Executive Secretary, where he led efforts to enhance global comprehension of conflict economics in the Arab region.

Mr. Al Dardari succeeds Ms. Khalida Bouzar, who has retired after more than three decades with the UN family. “I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to Khalida for her dedicated UN service -- marked by an exceptional understanding of development issues -- and wish her the very best in the next phase of her life,” added Steiner.

Mr. Al Dardari holds a master’s degree in international relations from the University of Southern California, and an interdisciplinary PhD in post-conflict reconstruction from Università Iuav di Venezia . He also studied international relations at the London School of Economics. He speaks Arabic, English and French, and understands Russian and Turkish.