Profile: Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group.

Amina Mohammed

Prior to her appointment, Ms. Mohammed served as Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action and efforts to protect the natural environment.

Ms. Mohammed first joined the United Nations in 2012 as Special Adviser to former Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the responsibility for post-2015 development planning. She led the process that resulted in global agreement around the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the creation of the Sustainable Development Goals.  

Amina Mohammed

Ms. Mohammed began her career working on the design of schools and clinics in Nigeria. She served as an advocate focused on increasing access to education and other social services, before moving into the public sector, where she rose to the position of adviser to four successive Presidents on poverty, public sector reform, and sustainable development.

Ms. Mohammed has been conferred several honorary doctorates and has served as an adjunct professor, lecturing on international development. The recipient of various global awards, Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory boards and panels. She is the mother of six children and has two grandchildren.

Between 1981 and 1991, Amina J. Mohammed worked with Archcon Nigeria, an architectural design firm in association with Norman and Dawbarn United Kingdom. In 1991, she founded Afri-Projects Consortium, and from 1991 to 2001 she was its Executive Director.

From 2002 until 2005, Amina Mohammed coordinated the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project.

Amina later acted as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In 2005, she was charged with the coordination of Nigeria’s debt relief funds toward the achievement of the MDGs. Her mandate included designing a Virtual Poverty Fund with innovative approaches to poverty reduction, budget coordination and monitoring, as well as providing advice on pertinent issues regarding poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development.

A. Mohammed later became the Founder and CEO of the Center for Development Policy Solutions and as an Adjunct Professor for the Master’s in Development Practice program at Columbia University. During that time, she served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

She also chaired the Advisory Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Monitoring Report on Education (GME).[15]

From 2012, Amina Mohammed was a key player in the Post-2015 Development Agenda process, serving as the Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 development planning.

In this role, she acted as the link between the Secretary-General, his High Level Panel of Eminent Persons (HLP), and the General Assembly’s Open Working Group (OWG), among other stakeholders. From 2014, she also served on the Secretary-General’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.

Amina J. Mohammed

Amina served as Federal Minister of Environment in the cabinet of President Muhammadu Buhari from November 2015 to February 2017.

During that time, she was Nigeria’s representative in the African Union (AU) Reform Steering Committee, chaired by Paul Kagame.

She resigned from the Nigerian Federal Executive Council on 24 February 2017.

Controversy:

In 2017, Amina Mohammed was accused by an advocacy group of granting illegal permits to Chinese firms to import endangered Nigerian timber during her term as Nigeria’s environment minister. The Nigerian government has denied the claims.


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