On 6 June 2018 United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Asako Okai of Japan as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Response Unit, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Ms. Okai succeeds Izumi Nakamitsu of Japan, who was appointed as Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for Disarmament Affairs. The Secretary-General wishes to extend his appreciation to Bruno Lemarquis who has been serving as Acting Assistant Administrator and Director of the Crisis Response Unit.
Ms. Okai has over 30 years of experience in the Japanese Foreign Service and in the United Nations, most recently serving as Consul-General of Japan in Vancouver, Canada. She possesses an extensive track record in development, humanitarian response, disaster management and peace building work, at both the strategic and operational levels.
Throughout her career, she has closely engaged in the evolution of international cooperation frameworks in different capacities, including the forging of historic institutional reforms of the international cooperation apparatus in Japan, and implementing innovative financial mechanisms to support reliable humanitarian funding model as Japan’s Director of Humanitarian Assistance. Ms. Okai has held several diplomatic senior positions worldwide and closely worked with the United Nations Headquarters, both in the Permanent Mission of Japan to the UN and as a Senior Member of the Office of the President of the 66th UN General Assembly. She holds a Master’s of Arts in History of Art, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University and a Bachelor’s degree in Law, Hitotsubashi University, Japan. Born in 1966, she is married.