Dr. Noeleen Heyzer
Social Scientist and Former United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Noeleen Heyzer was an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the highest ranking Singaporean in the United Nations (2007-2014). She was recently the UNSG’s Special Adviser for Timor-Leste, working to support peace-building, state-building, and sustainable development.
She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding in 1947. Under her leadership (Aug 2007-Jan 2014), the commission focused on regional co-operation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity, and sustainable development. She was at the forefront of many innovations including for regional disaster preparedness, inclusive socio-economic policies, sustainable agriculture and urbanization, energy security and regional connectivity.
She was the first Executive Director from the south to lead the United Nations Development Fund for Women. She was widely recognized for the formulation and implementation of the landmark of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace, and Security.
She holds a BA (Upper Hons) and a MSc from Singapore University, a PhD from Cambridge University, and has received numerous awards for leadership.