United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Vera Songwe of Cameroon as the next Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. She will succeed Carlos Lopes of Guinea-Bissau, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his commitment and dedicated service to the Organisation.
Ms. Songwe brings to the position a longstanding track record of policy advice and results oriented implementation in the region, coupled with a demonstrated strong and clear strategic vision for the continent. She is currently Regional Director Africa covering West and Central Africa for the International Finance Corporation (since 2015) and non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institute: Global Development and Africa Growth Initiative (since 2011). She was previously Country Director for Senegal, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania at the World Bank (2012-2015), Adviser to the Managing Director of the World Bank for Africa, Europe and Central Asia and South Asia Regions (2008-2011) and Lead Country Sector Coordinator and Senior Economist, Philippines (2005-2008). She joined the World Bank as a Young Professional.
Born in 1968, she holds a Ph.D. in Mathematical Economics, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics, a Master of Arts in Law and Economics and a Diplôme D'Etudes Approfondies in Economic Sciences and Politics from the Université Catholique De Louvain, and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Michigan. She is also a graduate of Our Lady of Lourdes College in Cameroon.