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Executive Secretary

Ibrahim Thiaw

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Ibrahim Thiaw was appointed as Under Secretary General of the United Nations and UNCCD Executive Secretary on 31 January 2019. The Mauritanian brings 40 years of experience in sustainable development, environmental governance and natural resource management.  

Thanks to his extensive experience Thiaw is well-poised to lead the global effort on land restoration, build drought resilience; and improve food security, gender equality and land rights for vulnerable populations. 

Before joining UNCCD, he was Special Adviser to the Secretary-General for the Sahel, where he supported the implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) and the development of a UN Support Plan for the Sahel.  

From 2013 to 2018 he served as Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In this role, he shaped UNEP’s strategic vision and mandate, oversaw the development and implementation of the mid-term strategy, and strengthened collaboration with governments and global environmental governing bodies.  

Before that, Thiaw was the Director of UNEP’s Division for Environmental Policy Implementation, and he also served as the Regional Director for West Africa, and later Acting Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).   

Earlier in his career, Thiaw spent ten years in the Ministry of Rural Development in Mauritania. He holds an advanced degree in forestry and forest product techniques. 

Ibrahim Thiaw.jpg

Ibrahim Thiaw

Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

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