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Executive Secretary

Ms. Rima Khalaf 

Ms. Khalaf, a national of Jordan, has a deep passion for, and knowledge of, the region and its challenges and opportunities. Four new member States, Tunisia, Libya, Morocco and Mauritania, have joined the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia under her stewardship. Key reports launched in that time include those on the repercussions of the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory and the landmark publication on Arab Integration – A 21st Century Development Imperative.

During her tenure, from 2000 to 2006, as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), she launched pioneering projects to promote good governance, human rights and human development in Arab States. Her work received international recognition and honours, including the Prince Claus Award and the King Hussein Leadership Prize. In December 2009, the Financial Times listed Ms. Khalaf among the top 50 people to have shaped the first decade of the 21st century.

Prior to joining UNDP, Ms. Khalaf held senior policymaking positions in Jordan, as Minister for Industry and Trade (1993-1995), Minister for Planning (1995-1998) and Deputy Prime Minister (1999-2000). As head of the ministerial economic team, she led the drive to reform and modernize the economy, and rolled out a social package for building human capacity, alleviating poverty and strengthening the social safety net.

A regular contributor to regional and international policy forums on global governance and development in the Arab world, Ms. Khalaf has participated in a number of international commissions, including the High-Level Commission for the Modernisation of the World Bank Group Governance (2008-2009).

Ms. Khalaf holds a Bachelor of Arts in economics from the American University of Beirut and a Doctorate of Philosophy in system science from Portland State University.

Born in 1953, she is married and has two children.      

Executive Secreterary's Speeches          

10 March 2016 - Beirut, Lebanon
20 January 2016 - Mascat, Oman
14 January 2016 - Beirut, Lebanon
30 November 2015 - عمان، الأردن
5 March 2015 - Beirut
14 November 2014 - UNESCO, Beirut
19 June 2014 - Beirut
8 March 2014 - Beirut
9 May 2012 - Beirut, Lebanon
30 March 2012 - Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University
20 September 2011 - Beirut, Lebanon
12 January 2011 - Beirut, Lebanon
13 December 2010 - بيت الأمم المتحدة، بيروت