United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Christian Saunders of the United Kingdom as Special Coordinator on improving the United Nations response to sexual exploitation and abuse. He will succeed Jane Holl Lute of the United States to whom the Secretary-General expresses his gratitude for her efforts and dedication in preventing and addressing sexual exploitation and abuse in the United Nations.
Mr. Saunders brings to the position over 30 years of experience in international affairs, much of it focusing on delivering results and overseeing major reforms leading to improved organizational effectiveness and efficiency. He served as a member of the high-level task force established by the Secretary-General to develop a strategy to improve the organization’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual exploitation and abuse.
He is currently Assistant Secretary-General in the Department of Operational Support and has previously served as Acting Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and Assistant Secretary-General for Central Support Services in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (2018-2019).
Mr. Saunders has broad experience from across the United Nations and significant humanitarian and field experience, having begun his career with the Save The Children Fund (United Kingdom) in the Sudan and then in Mozambique, and his United Nations career with UNRWA in Gaza. He also served in various other postings with UNRWA, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Peacekeeping and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
He is a graduate of Royal Holloway College, University of London and the University of Wales in the United Kingdom. In addition to English, Mr. Saunders speaks French, and some Arabic and Portuguese.
* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1894-BIO/5235-PAL/2232 of 1 August 2019.