Secretary-General appoints Mr. Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, following consultation with the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) today announced the appointment of Ibrahim Thiaw of Mauritania as the next Executive Secretary of the UNCCD.   

He will succeed Monique Barbut of France to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her outstanding commitment and dedicated service to the Organization. 

Mr. Thiaw brings to the position almost 40 years of experience in sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management.  He is currently Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the Sahel. 

Prior to this position, from 2013 to 2018, he was Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), where he played a key role in shaping the organization’s strategic vision, mid-term strategy and programme of work, and strengthened collaborations with Governments and other environmental governing bodies, including the United Nations Environmental Assembly. 

Mr. Thiaw joined the United Nations in 2007 as Director of the Division for Environmental Policy Implementation in UNEP.  Prior to joining the United Nations, he worked at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as the Regional Director for West Africa and later as Acting Director General. Mr. Thiaw started his career in his home country, Mauritania, where he served for 10 years in the Ministry of Rural Development. He holds an advanced degree in forestry and forest product techniques.

Ibrahim Thiaw

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