United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today informed of his intention to extend Stephen O’Brien of the United Kingdom in his capacity as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and Emergency Relief Coordinator, until the end of August 2017.
The extension will enable Mr. O’Brien to conclude a number of initiatives and reforms he has been leading at OCHA, and the Secretary-General is grateful for his excellent work, dedication and commitment to the United Nations and global humanitarian action.
Succeeding him will be Mark Lowcock of the United Kingdom, who brings to the position more than 30 years of experience leading and managing responses to humanitarian crises across the globe, as well as wider strategic leadership in the international development arena. He is currently Permanent Secretary at the Department for International Development (DFID), a role he assumed in 2011.
Mr. Lowcock began his career at DFID (formerly the Overseas Development Administration) in 1985, and he served in a diverse range of roles — including overseas postings in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya — in addition to holding leadership positions at headquarters.
Born in 1962, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History from Oxford University and a master’s in Economics from the University of London. He is a chartered accountant.