UN System Chief Executives

The United Nations System consists of the central political organization, its 11 subsidiary entities, 15 autonomous Specialized Agencies and two related bodies, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Trade Organization.  The Chief Executives Board  (CEB) of the UN System meets twice a year under the chairmanship of the UN Secretary-General to consider policy and management issues of general concern. Its membership  is as follows (last updated December 2017): 

United Nations (UN):Secretary-General  Antonio Guterres (Portugal) took office on 1 January 2017 for a five year term ending on 31 December 2021.  HQ: New York, United States.

International Labor Organization (ILO):  Director-General Guy Ryder (Britain) Took office in 2012 and began a second term on 1 October 2017.  HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO): Director-General José Graziano da Silva (Brazil) . Re-elected in June 2015 to a second term (31 July 2015 to through July 2019). HQ Rome, Italy.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO): Director-General Audrey Azoulay (France) was appointed to a five-year term beginning on 15 November 2017, following her selection on 13 October by UNESCO's 58-member Executive Board. Details here.  HQ: Paris, France.

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO):Secretary-General Fang Liu (China). Serving three-year term (1 August 2015 to 31 July 2018) HQ: Montreal, Canada

World Health Organization (WHO):Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesusof Ethiopia assumed office on 1 July 2017.  HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

World Bank (IBRD): President Jim Yong Kim (United States). Serving second five-year term that began on 1 July 2017).  HQ: Washington, United States.

International Monetary Fund (IMF): Managing Director Christine Lagarde (France). Second five-year term beginning 5 July 2016. HQ: Washington, United States. 

Universal Postal Union (UPU): Director-General Bishar Abdirahman Hussein (Kenya) was appointed to a second four-year term beginning 1 January 2017. The reappointment was by acclamation at the 26th Universal Postal Congress in Istanbul, Turkey in October 2016. The UPU web site is the worst in the UN System. It is badly organized and quite a few links seem to be broken. HQ: Berne, Switzerland.

International Telecommunications Union (ITU):Secretary-General Houlin Zhao (China) Serving his first four year term (2015-2018). HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

World Meteorological Organization (WMO): Secretary-General Petteri Taalas  (Finland) Serving a four-year term that began on 1 January 2016. HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

International Maritime Organization (IMO): Secretary-General Kitack Lim  (Republic of Korea) Began a four-year term on 1 January 2016. HQ: London, United Kingdom.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO): Director-General Francis Gurry(Australia) Has been in office since 1 October 2008 and his second six-year term will see him through September 2020; but there have been charges of corruption and calls by UN Staff unions for his ouster. HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD): President Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo(Togo). Began his first four-year term on 1 April 2017. HQ: Rome, Italy 


UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO):Director-General Li Yong(China). Serving a four year term that ends in 2017. Eligible for reappointment.  HQ: Vienna, Austria 

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA): Director-General Yukiya Amano(Japan) is serving his third four-year term that began on 1 December 2017. HQ: Vienna, Austria. 

World Trade Organization (WTO): Director-General Roberto Carvalho de Azevêdo (Brazil). Serving second four-year term that began on 1 September 2017. Azavedo is standing for re-election and is the sole candidate. HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

World Tourism Organization (UNWTO): Secretary-General Taleb Rifai (Jordan) ends his second four-year term at the end of 2017. His successor Zurab Pololikashvili of Georgia was appointed to the 2018-2021 term on 17 September 2017. HQ: Madrid, Spain  

 UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD): Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi (Kenya) First term began on 1 September, 2013. In June 2017, the Secretary-General asked the General Assembly to confirm Mr. Kituyi's appointment for a second term. HQ: Geneva, Switzerland. 

UN Development Program (UNDP): Achim Steiner (Germany), former head of UNEP, was nominated on 13 April 2017 to replace Helen Clark of New Zealand as  Administrator of UNDP.  See story. HQ: New York, United States.

UN Environment Program (UNEP): Executive Director Erik Solheim(Norway) Serving first four-year term beginning June 2016. HQ: Nairobi, Kenya.

 UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR):High Commissioner Filippo Grandi  (Italy) Serving first five-year term beginning 1 January 2016. HQ: Geneva, Switzerland.

UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine (UNRWA): Commissioner-General Pierre Krähenbühl (Switzerland). Serving a four-year term that began on 30 March 2014.  HQ: Amman, Jordan and Gaza City, Gaza.

UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF): Executive Director Henrietta Fore (United States) was appointed to a five-year term in December 2017 after her predecessor stepped down prematurely. Details here  HQ: New York, United States.

UN University (UNU): Rector David M Malone Appointed initially in 2013 and reappointed in the summer of 2017 to a second term (2018-2023).  The UNU is comprised of 13 institutes and programmes located in 12 countries each with its own Director, advisory board and staff. The Rector is based in Tokyo.

UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA)Executive Director Natalia Kanem (Panama) Appointed Acting Executive Director on the death of her predecessor in June 2017 and confirmed  in that position on 3 October 2017. HQ: New York, United States. 

World Food Program:Executive Director David Beasley (United States) First term began in April 2017. Eligible for reappointment HQ: Rome, Italy

UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): Executive Director Yury Fedotov  (Russian Federation) Serving second term that began in July 2015. HQ: Vienna, Austria

​UN Habitat - Human Settlements Program: Executive DirectorMaimunah Mohd Sharif (Malaysia) was elected by the General Assembly on 22 December to a five-year term, replacing Jon Clos of Spain before the end of his term. Details here HQ: Nairobi, Kenya.  

UN Women:Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (South Africa) Term began on 19 August 2013. HQ: New York, United Nations

UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS):Executive Director Grete Faremo  (Finland) Serving five year term that began in August 2014

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Director-General William Lacy Swing (United States). Serving second five-year term that began on 1 October 2013. IOM formally joined the UN System in September 2016.




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