On 6 June 2016 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Omar Abdi, a Canadian national born in Somalia, as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). He will succeed Geeta Rao Gupta, whom the Secretary-General would like to thank for her exceptional service and commitment to UNICEF.
Currently UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Field Results, Mr. Abdi previously served the Fund as Comptroller (2011-2014), Deputy Executive Director, Management (2007-2010), Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa (2006-2007), Deputy Director, Programme Division (2000-2003), as well as Representative in Pakistan, Ghana and Liberia.
Mr. Abdi brings a deep understanding of UNICEF’s programmes and operations in both development and humanitarian settings. Additionally, he has helped pioneer streamlining systems to strengthen programmatic results and sound financial management.
The holder of a doctoral degree in development economics and a master’s in regional development planning, both from Cornell University in the United States, Mr. Abdi also has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the Somali National University in Mogadishu, Somalia.