Volume 16, No.02 - February 2012

Comings and goings



Ms. Hania Zlotnik, Director of UN DESA’s Population Division, retired at the end of January 2012. A Mexican national, Ms. Zlotnik studied mathematics at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) and holds a Ph.D. in Statistics and Demography from Princeton University. 

During her long career at the Division, which she joined in 1982, Ms. Zlotnik has worked in all the major areas of population research, serving as Chief of the Mortality and Migration Section (1993-1999), chief of the Population Estimates and Projections Section (1999-2003), and Assistant Director (2003-2005), overseeing work on fertility, mortality and migration. She was appointed Director of the Population Division in February 2005; she is the tenth person to serve as Director of the Division and the first woman to do so.

Ms. Zlotnik has edited or written numerous reports published by the United Nations, including studies of international migration and development, trends in international migration, female migration, population distribution and migration, population estimates and projections, population ageing, and levels and trends of urbanization. Her work has contributed in particular to provide better estimates of international migration worldwide and to the improvement of statistics on international migration.

Ms. Zlotnik has been an active member of several professional associations, serving as Board Member for the Population Association of America from 2001 to 2003 and as Vice-President of the International Union for the Study of Population (IUSSP) from 2001 to 2005.

The following staff members also retired in January:

Muhammad A Chaudhry, Chief of Branch, Division for Sustainable Development

Teguest Debebe Haile, Programming Assistant, Statistics Division


Ms. Wenyan Yang has been appointed Chief of the Social Perspective on Development Branch (SPDB) within the Division for Social Policy and Development (DSPD). Previously Senior Social Affairs Officer in DSPD, she is the Division’s focal point supporting the work of the Commission for Social Development and plays a key role in the preparation of the publication Report on World Social Situation.

As Acting Chief of the Coordination and Outreach Unit, she was responsible for implementing overall outreach and communications activities in the UN Division for the Advancement of Women and for facilitation of the Non-Governmental Organization participation in the UN intergovernmental processes, especially the Commission on the Status of Women and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women.

She started her UN career as an Economic Affairs Officer in the Macroeconomic and Development Policy Analysis Division, contributing to the major departmental publication World Economic and Social Survey.

Ms. Wenyan is a graduate of Peking University in China and New York University in the US.