Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed British humanitarian expert Mark Lowcock to be the next U.N. humanitarian chief. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced yesterday that Lowcock will replace Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien in September. He said O’Brien, who is also British, will stay until the end of August to complete several initiatives and reforms.
Lowcock is currently the top civil servant in the government’s Department for International Development. He has worked in that department and its predecessor since 1985 and has held diverse jobs including postings in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Kenya and leadership posts at headquarters in London. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs mobilizes and coordinates humanitarian action with international, national and civil society partners to provide aid during disasters, emergencies and conflicts.