United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 7 January 2021 the appointment of Mette Knudsen of Denmark as his new Deputy Special Representative (Political) for Afghanistan in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
Ms. Knudsen succeeds Ingrid Hayden of Australia, to whom the Secretary-General expresses his gratitude for her dedicated service.
Ms. Knudsen brings to the position over 28 years of professional experience in diplomacy, international cooperation and economic development. Most recently, she served as Ambassador of Denmark to Afghanistan.
She has held several senior positions with Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as Ambassador of Denmark to Kenya, Seychelles, Eritrea and Somalia (2015 – 2020), Greece (2012-2015) and Cyprus (2014-2015), Ethiopia (2004-2007), and as the Deputy Head of Mission in Zambia (2002-2004). She also served as the Ministry’s Head of Africa Department (2007-2012) and as the Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Nairobi (2015-2020) and to the African Union and ECOWAS (2004-2007). Ms. Knudsen is a member of the Nordic Women Mediators – Denmark.
Ms. Knudsen holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from Aarhus University in Denmark and has a supplementary degree in Modern Greek language. She is fluent in Danish, English, and Greek.