United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 24 March 2020 the appointment of Deborah Lyons of Canada as his new Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Ms. Lyons succeeds Tadamichi Yamamoto of Japan, who has served in this critical role since 2016. The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Yamamoto’s important contribution and service to UNAMA since taking up his role as Deputy Special Representative in 2014 and then Special Representative.
Ms. Lyons is a diplomat with 21 years of professional experience in political affairs, international cooperation and economic development. Most recently she served as Ambassador of Canada to Israel and from 2013 until 2016 as Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
She has held several senior positions with Canada’s Department of Global Affairs, including as Deputy Ambassador at the Embassy of Canada in Washington, Assistant Deputy Minister for Strategic Policy and Planning and Chief Strategist, and directorships covering commercial relations, international finance and technology. She has also worked with Canada’s Department of Natural Resources and Privy Council Office. Prior to joining the Government of Canada, Ms. Lyons owned and managed an environmental consulting firm.
Ms. Lyons holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Brunswick and completed studies at the Canadian National Defence College.