The Secretary-General António Guterres wrote to the President of the General Assembly, following consultations with the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), requesting the General Assembly to confirm Achim Steiner of Germany as the new Administrator of UNDP for a term of four years. The General Assembly confirmed the nomination on 19 April.
Mr. Steiner succeeds Helen Clark of New Zealand, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her leadership over the past eight years as UNDP Administrator and Chair of the United Nations Development Group. A highly effective communicator and champion of development, environmental protection, democratic governance and institutional reform, she has advocated for the rights of the poor and marginalized, particularly women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex persons, refugees and migrants, and people with HIV/AIDS.
Currently Director of the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford and Professorial Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford (since 2016), Mr. Steiner brings to the position extensive senior leadership experience, both at the grass-roots and highest levels of international policymaking addressing environmental sustainability, social equity and economic development.
Mr. Steiner’s professional experience includes assignments with governmental, non-governmental, as well as international organizations around the world, most recently Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme between 2006 and 2016. He previously served as Director-General of the United Nations Office in Nairobi from 2009 to 2011, Director-General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature from 2001 to 2006, and as Secretary-General of the World Commission on Dams, in South Africa, from 1998 to 2001.
Born in 1961, Mr. Steiner’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oxford, as well as a Master of Arts degree from the University of London, with specialization in development economics, regional planning and international development and environment policy. He also studied at the German Development Institute in Berlin, and at Harvard Business School.