9 July 2014

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Christian Friis Bach of Denmark Executive Secretary


of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Christian Friis Bach of Denmark as the next Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (ECE).

He will replace Sven Alkalaj of Bosnia and Herzegovina, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organisation.

Mr. Friis Bach brings to the position a combination of deep knowledge in international economic and development affairs coupled with innovative and results-oriented leadership.  He is currently Head of the Parliamentarian Group for the Danish Social/Liberal Party.

Mr. Friis Bach previously served as Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation (2011-2013) and Special Adviser to the European Union Commission for the United Nations Global Sustainability Panel (2010-2011).  He is Honorary Professor of International Economics and Development at the University of Copenhagen (2009-2014) and has been Associate Professor in International Economics and Development Economics at the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University (1999-2005).  Mr. Friis Bach has a long history with civil society, notably as the International Director for the DanChurchAid (2005-2010) and as Chairman of the Danish Association for International Cooperation (1997-2001).

Mr. Friis Bach holds a doctorate degree in international economics (1996) and a Master of Science in agronomics (1992) from the Royal Danish Agricultural University in Copenhagen.

Born in 1966, Mr. Friis Bach is married and has three children.

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For information media • not an official record