United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on 13 December 2016 the appointment of David Shearer of New Zealand as his new Special Representative for South Sudan and Head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Mr. Shearer succeeds Ellen Margrethe Løj of Denmark, who completed her assignment at the end of November 2016. The Secretary-General is grateful for Ms. Løj’s dedication and excellent leadership of UNMISS over the past two plus years, under extremely challenging political, security, humanitarian and human rights circumstances in South Sudan.
Mr. Shearer brings to this position extensive political and humanitarian experience. Currently a Member of Parliament in New Zealand, he will take up his new position as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in 2017, following his resignation as a Member of Parliament effective 31 December 2016.
Prior to taking up elected office in New Zealand (2009), Mr. Shearer served as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) (2007-2009). Previously, he held several senior positions with the United Nations, including head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, senior humanitarian adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Chief of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Belgrade, among others. He has conducted various assignments with the International Institute for Strategic Studies, the Save the Children Fund, and the International Crisis Group, and is the author of numerous publications in the areas of conflict resolution, effective interventions for peace and humanitarian affairs.
Mr. Shearer holds a master’s degree in resource management from the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand.
Born in 1957, he is married and has two children.