23 March 2012 - On Friday, UNITAR Executive Director Mr. Carlos Lopes was appointed by the UN Secretary-General to be the next Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
The ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development. Based in Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia and with around 300 economists and 800 staff, it is the largest body devoted to the Africa. Mr. Lopes' main objective will be to enhance African strategic capacity by making ECA the largest think tank on the continent.
A national of Guinea-Bissau, Mr. Lopes is a specialist in development and strategic planning. With this expertise, he has actively contributed to research on development issues, helped establish various non-governmental organizations and centers for social research, authored or edited numerous books and taught at Universities and academic institutions worldwide. He currently serves as Member of Governing Boards or advisory and editorial committees of various UN and other institutions and journals. Mr. Lopes has 24 years of UN experience, and has vast knowledge of the African continent.
Mr. Lopes has been the UNITAR Executive Director since 2007 and has successfully led the organization in becoming the leading UN Training and Research institute. He also currently has held responsibility as the Director of the UN System Staff College, in Turin, Italy.
Prior to joining UNITAR, he worked in the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), occupying various positions including Deputy Director at the Office of Evaluation and Strategic Planning, Resident Representative in Zimbabwe, as well as Deputy, and later Director of the New York-based Bureau for Development Policy. Mr. Lopes was a member of UNDP’s executive team, in recognition of the role he played in developing UNDP’s decentralized policy advisory services and knowledge networking systems. He also managed UNDP’s global programme, with a portfolio of $1 billion. In June 2003, he became the United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Brazil, the largest UNDP programme in the world at that time.
Mr. Lopes holds a PhD in history from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a research master from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. He has also received an Honorary PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Cândido Mendes, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.