Secretary-General Appoints Gregory B. Starr of United States as Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security

6 May 2009

Secretary-General Appoints Gregory B. Starr of United States as Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security

6 May 2009
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note




United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced today the appointment of Gregory B. Starr of the United States as Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security.  Mr. Starr will replace David Veness.

The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Veness’ committed service and tireless dedication, even after his resignation as head of the Department of Safety and Security.  At that time, the Secretary-General asked Mr. Veness to stay on until such time as a stable succession could be ensured.

Mr. Starr brings to the job extensive experience managing global security operations of a civilian organization, developing security policy and setting organizational standards.  This decision was taken mindful of the immediate need to tackle the heightened serious security risks facing the Organization around the world and of Mr. Starr’s profile, which will enable him to take up the task immediately.

Bearing in mind the need to deliver on the difficult task, the Secretary-General intends to strengthen the performance-based accountability of this post.  In reaching this conclusion, additional consideration was given to the importance of a cooperative relationship between the Organization and the host Government during the crucial period of the Capital Master Plan at Headquarters.  Member States have been informed in advance of this decision.

Mr. Starr will be able to bring first-hand experience in the formulation of security policies and in the implementation of programmes to ensure the continued conduct of activities in a secure environment at Headquarters and overseas.  Mr. Starr has been working in a security capacity with the State Department since 1980; he has served in domestic and overseas assignments.

Mr. Starr is currently Director of the Diplomatic Security Service and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security, United States Department of State.  In that capacity, he is responsible for all international and domestic security programmes for the Department of State, protecting more than 285 United States embassies and consulates abroad, 100 domestic facilities and 85,000 employees, families and contractors.

He previously served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security Counter-measures.  His portfolio included development and implementation of physical and technical security programmes worldwide and serving as the senior diplomatic security representative for the Department’s Capital Security Construction Program.  This highly successful programme has to date resulted in the construction of over 60 new secure United States embassies and consulates, moving thousands of employees to safer facilities.  Overseas, he has served with the Department of State in Israel, Senegal, Tunisia and the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Mr. Starr earned a master’s degree in forensic science and a bachelor’s degree in political science from George Washington University.  Born on 3 February 1953, he is married and has two children. 

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For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.