Mr. Wu Hongbo assumed the office of Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 August 2012, following his appointment to this position by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 31 May. “I am honoured for the opportunity to serve the United Nations and I look forward to working closely with DESA colleagues in the coming years,” Mr. Wu said in a message to DESA staff on his first day in the office.
Prior to joining the United Nations as head of DESA, Mr. Wu was Ambassador of China to Germany. Mr. Wu brings over 30 years of experience in international relations. A veteran diplomat with his broad experience and numerous leadership roles, Mr. Wu will guide DESA’s normative, analytical and capacity development work, especially as it advances towards a post-2015 development framework with sustainable development at its core.
Mr. Barney Cohen joined the Population Division in the position of Chief of the Population Studies Branch. Mr. Cohen comes to the UN from the National Academy of Sciences, where he was Director of the Committee on Population, designing and executing a programme of work aimed at strengthening science-based population policy both domestically and internationally.
He has worked on a very wide variety of domestic and international topics, covering the full range of demographic issues. In addition to supervising the organization of countless scientific meetings and workshops of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and the publication of over thirty books and numerous shorter reports, he has also co-authored close to three dozen journal articles or chapters in books.
The following staff members were promoted in August:
Michael Behrman, Information Systems Officer, Statistics Division
Xinxin Cai, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management
Fred Doulton, Social Affairs Officer, Division for Social Policy and Development
Marie Oveissi, Chief, Capacity Development Office
Michael Platz, Economic Affairs Officer, Financing for Development office
Maria Stella Simpas, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management
Man Mohan Soni, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division