Volume 18, No.02 - February 2014

Comings and goings


Shamshad_AkhtarShamshad Akhtar, Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development, left her post on 31 January to assume her new position as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific, UNESCAP.

Shamshad Akhtar joined the UN in July 2012. Her assignment was unique as she served concurrently as Secretary-General’s Senior Advisor on Economics and Finance and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development in UN DESA. One of her primary responsibilities was to coordinate the efforts on Accelerating the Millennium Development Goals and delineating the Post-2015 Development Agenda, involving many actors including the Secretary- General’s High Level Panel, UN agencies, Member States and diverse international and national stakeholders.

As co-chair of the UN System Task Team on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, Ms. Akhtar backed UN DESA and the UN System’s efforts to deliver as “ONE”. She also supported the execution of the department’s analytical, policy, normative and operational matters, leading the intellectual and technical work and the intergovernmental dialogue on different economic, social and environmental dimensions. She has provided oversight for UN DESA’s role in the production of reports for both the General Assembly and ECOSOC and she has also worked closely with UN DESA divisions, launching annual flagship reports such as the World Economic and Social Prospects and the World Economic and Social Survey.

By participating in a number of international events both at and outside of the UN, such as the World Economic Forum (WEF) where she is a member of the “New Economic Thinking” Governing Council, she has fostered and supported the advocacy of UN DESA’s ideas. She has also led the background work on sustainable financing and supported the intergovernmental 30-member committee of experts that has to look at diverse sources and options to ensure proper financing of the future sustainable development agenda. As the United Nations Sherpa to the G20, Ms. Akhtar has furthermore played a critical role in shaping and fostering the relationship between the UN and the G20, ensuring an effective representation and support for high priority issues of the United Nations.


The following staff members retired in January:

Marie O. Antoine, Senior Staff Assistant, Office of the Under-Secretary-General

Mary Jane Holupka, Statistician, Statistics Division

Mahendra Joshi, Senior Programme Officer, Secretariat of the United Nations Forum on Forests




The following staff members were promoted in January:

Caroline Lombardo, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Lisa Morrison, Programme Officer, Office of the Under-Secretary-General