Arab States

About us

Khalida Bouzar

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General
Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Khalida Bouzar has 35 years of international and national corporate leadership experience, including 25 years in the UN system. She is an expert in fragile states development and in conflict and post-conflict responses. She has worked extensively across a wide spectrum of development issues covering sustainable development, rural development, environment, climate change, migration, economics and industry, in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and mainly in the Arab region.

Her achievements include establishing the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability (FARMS); spearheading the current IFAD strategy for engagement in countries with fragile situations; negotiating the first ever country programme engagement with Iraq; and engaging in countries with limited fiscal space such as Yemen.

Before her appointment to lead UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States, Bouzar has served as the Regional Director for Near East, North Africa and Europe, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) since 2012. She served between 2008 and 2012 as Deputy Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, leading on strategy, policy and portfolio development, and established key partnerships. Between 2004 and 2008, she led the establishment of the IFAD’s Global Environment and Climate Change business operations, contributing to significant resource mobilisation and a wider mainstreaming of these issues throughout IFAD’s operations. She served as Regional Sustainable Development Advisor at UNDP Algeria; International Technical Expert in Drylands Development in the Bureau for Development Policy at UNDP; and Programme Director at the Global Mechanism of the UNCCD.

She holds a PhD in Science from the University of Sciences, Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, and she speaks English, Arabic and French.

Sarah Poole

Ms. Sarah Poole (USA) has been appointed as UNDP’s Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States (RBAS) as of February 1, 2018.

Prior to this appointment, Sarah served in UNDP as Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director of the Bureau for Programme and Policy Support (2015-2017). Previously, Sarah served as the Senior Regional Advisor (2014-2015) and Division Chief in the Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS (2011-2014); Senior Advisor for UN Reform, Partnerships Bureau (2007-2011); and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative for Programme and Operations in Turkey (2004-2007) and Resident Representative a.i (2006). She joined UNDP as the Team Leader for Reintegration and Recovery in the Emergency Response Division in 1999.

Before joining UNDP, Sarah was the Regional Refugee Coordinator with the US State Department’s Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia-Montenegro based in Zagreb, Croatia (1998-1999); and the Deputy Refugee Coordinator in Bosnia-Herzegovina, based in Sarajevo (1996-1998). She began her international career with USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, with extensive field work related to humanitarian response in Rwanda, Burundi, and Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1994 to 1996.

Sarah holds a Master of Sciences in Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Michigan, in Political Science with a minor in French. She served as an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs from 2000-2003, co-developing and co-teaching a graduate seminar on the linkages between conflict, development and peacebuilding; and is currently pursuing a Professional Certificate in Environmental Sustainability and Conservation at the Earth Institute, Columbia University. She is married with two children, and speaks English and French.

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