The Board of Trustees is the Institute’s governing body. Composed of a small, yet highly diverse group of distinguished trustees, the Board approves the Institute's work programme and adopts its budget, as well as formulates principles and policies that govern UNITAR activities and operations.
The Board meets in session at least once per year. Apart from meeting regularly in Geneva, where the Institute maintains its headquarters, the Board has also convened in Rabat (2007), Paris (2009), Beijing (2010), Brazzaville (2011) and New York (2012).
Board members are appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General, in consultation with the Presidents of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council.
- Mr. Alexey BORODAVKIN
- Ms. Shirin EBADI
- Ms. Geraldine Joslyn FRASER-MOLEKETI
- Ms. Radha KUMAR
- Mr. Henri LOPES
- Mr. Nicolas MICHEL
- Ms. U. Joy OGWU
- Mr. Alfonso QUIÑÓNEZ
- Ms. Portia SIMPSON MILLER
- Ms. Anne Kristin SYDNES
- Mr. Alfredo G. A. VALLADAO
H.E. Mr. Alexey Borodavkin is Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, and Permanent Representative to the Conference of Disarmament. Ambassador Borodavkin has a long-standing diplomatic career in the Russian Foreign Service. Prior to his present assignment which he has occupied since December 2011, Ambassador Borodavkin served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and was responsible for relations with Asian countries and multilateral cooperation in Asia and the Pacific from 2008 to 2011. Previous assignments include Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (2008-2011); Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Slovak Republic (2002-2004); Director, Fourth CIS Department (1998-1999); and Minister-Counselor, Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Thailand (1993-1997). Ambassador Borodavkin holds the diplomatic rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. He is married with three sons.
Dr. Shirin Ebadi is an Iranian lawyer specializing in human rights. In 2003, Dr. Ebadi was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her significant efforts to promote democracy and human rights and particularly women’s and children’s rights. She served as president of the city court of Tehran from 1975 to 1979 and was the first Iranian woman to achieve Chief Justice status. She, along with other women judges, was dismissed from that position after the Islamic Revolution in February 1979. She was made a clerk in the court she had once presided over, until she petitioned for early retirement. After obtaining her lawyer's license in 1992, Dr. Ebadi set up private practice. As a lawyer, Dr. Ebadi has taken on many controversial cases defending political dissidents and as a result has been arrested numerous times. Dr. Ebadi has taught at the University of Tehran and has delivered lectures in Belgium, Iran, France, South Africa, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. She has authored many books, articles and other publications.
Ms. Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi is the Special Envoy for Gender at the African Development Bank. Prior to taking up this assignment in September 2013, she acted as Democratic Governance Practice Director of the UNDP Bureau for Development Policy since January 2009. Ms. Fraser-Moleketi served the Government of South Africa for 14 years, most recently as Minister for Public Service and Administration (1999 to September 2008). From 1994 to 2008, she was a Member of Parliament and served in a number of leadership roles, including as Chairperson of the Sub-Committee on Rules of the National Assembly of the Parliament of South Africa. From 1996-1999, she was Minister of Welfare and Population Development. During the course of her career, Ms. Fraser-Moleketi has been instrumental in mainstreaming gender in government policies and has led South African delegations to a number of regional and international conferences.
Professor Radha Kumar is currently a trustee of the Delhi Policy Group and Director of its Peace and Conflict Programme. A specialist on ethnic conflicts and peacemaking and peace building processes, Dr. Kumar is a former Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1999-2003) and former Executive Director of the Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly in Prague (1992-1994). She is a member of the Council on Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP India). Dr. Kumar is one of three Kashmir interlocutors named by the Government of India.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Ambassador Henri Lopes is a diplomat, politician and writer. He is currently Congo-Brazzaville’s Ambassador to France and holds the rank of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. Prior to his appointment, Ambassador Lopes was Assistant Director General for Culture and Communication and then Deputy Director for Africa at UNESCO from 1981 to 1998. Formerly, he was Prime Minister of the Republic of Congo (1973-75) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1972-1973). In 1993, Ambassador Lopes earned the Grand Prix de la Francophonie de l’Académie Française for his overall contribution to literature.
Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Dr. Nicolas Michel is Professor in International Public Law at the University of Geneva and at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva). Before taking up this position in September 2008, he served as Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and United Nations Legal Counsel from 2004-2008. From 1987 to 2004, he was Professor in International Public Law and in European Law at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and was partially seconded, between 1998 and 2003, to work as an International Public Law Director of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Photo by: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
Ambassador Uche Joy Ogwu is Permanent Representative of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Nations. She is the immediate past Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria (2006-2007). A professor of political science and international relations, she served as the first female Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA). From 2002, she served as a Member of the Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters, culminating in her appointment as the first African female Chairperson of the Advisory Board in 2006. As a member of the Presidential Advisory Council of Nigeria on International Relations from October 2000 – 2006, and now as Permanent Representative to the United Nations, she continues to contribute to the advancement of Nigeria’s foreign policy and has written extensively on foreign policy issues. In 2004, Professor Ogwu was honoured with an award of OFR- Officer of the Federal Republic for exemplary contribution to Nigeria. She also currently serves as the First President of the First Executive Board of UN Women.
Ambassador Quiñónez is Secretary for External Relations of the Organization of American States. Previously at OAS, Ambassador Quiñónez served as Executive Secretary for Integral Development and Director General of the Inter-American Agency for Cooperation and Development (ICAD). Prior to joining OAS in 2001, Ambassador Quiñónez served as Executive Director of the Alvaro Arzù Foundation for Peace in Guatemala and as advisor to the Mayor of Guatemala City. As a diplomat in the Guatemalan Foreign Service, he served as Ambassador for ten years and held postings in Spain and the United States. From 1998-2000, he served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Guatemala to the Organization of American States.
The Most Honorable Simpson Miller is Prime Minister of Jamaica. Prior to her ascension to the prime ministership on 5 January 2012, she was Member of the Jamaican Parliament and President of the People’s National Party. From 2006-2007, Ms. Simpson-Miller was Prime Minister (and the first female Prime Minister in Jamaican history). During her career in government, Ms. Simpson Miller has had a number of ministerial portfolios, including Minister of Local Government and Sport (2002-2006); Minister of Tourism and Sports (2000-2002); Minister of Labor, Social Security and Sports (1995-2000); Minister of Labor and Welfare (1993-1995); and Minister of Labor, Welfare and Sports (1989-1993). In 2006, she was invested with the Jamaican Order of the Nation, giving her the title “The Most Honorable.” She is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders and was previously a trustee of CIFAL Atlanta.
Ms. Anne Kristin Sydnes is Director for Corporate Social Responsibility at the Norwegian Ministry of Trade and Industry. Prior to taking up this assignment in 2012, she acted as an independent advisor and consultant within the field of energy, climate and development. Until January 1, 2011 she was Director of International Programs at Norwegian Church Aid. Previously, she served as Minister of International Development Cooperation of Norway from 2000 to 2001. She also occupied various senior positions at Statoil ASA, including Principal Advisor for country analysis and social responsibility (2002-2004) and Vice President - country analysis and social responsibility (1998-2000). From 2004-2005, Ms. Sydnes served as Senior Advisor to UNDP in its Division for Business Partnerships while on leave from Statoil. She graduated in political science in 1985 and worked as research fellow and programme director at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute from 1985 to 1998, specializing in international energy, climate and development issues.
Dr. Valladão is Professor at the Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po); President of the Advisory Board of EUBrasil; Senior Research Fellow of the European Union Institute for Security Studies; and a member of the Scientifc Committee of the Centre d'Etudes Sociales, Economiques et Managériales (CESEM) of the Institut de Hautes Etudes du Management (HEM), Morocco. Dr. Valladão is also a columnist on international affairs for Radio France International, former Director of the Mercosur Chair of Sciences Po and former Coordinator of the Working Group on EU-Mercosur Negotiations and of the International Annual Conference of the Fort Copacabana on "Defense and Security European-South American Dialogue" and a former diplomatic and defense correspondent of the French daily "Libération".
- Secretary-General of the United Nations
- President of the General Assembly
- President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council
- Executive Director of UNITAR