Mr Jan Mattsson, former Executive Director

Mr Jan Mattsson was UNOPS Executive Director from 2006 to 2014, during which he led the organization through a major transformation.

Retiring from the United Nations after 30 years of service, Mr Mattsson gave his final speech to the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board during the 2014 first regular session. In his address, Mr Mattsson outlined the significant progress UNOPS had made during the almost eight years he led the organization.

During this period, UNOPS mandate and role in the UN system were clarified by the General Assembly, its core competencies firmly established in line with international best practice standards of performance and the organization was returned to financial sustainability.

Just prior to UNOPS, Mr Mattsson spent eight years as Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau of Management of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he was a leader of change management and organizational reform. His responsibilities included strategic planning, human resources, finance, budget management, IT, legal, procurement, security, and general administration.

Mr Mattsson entered the United Nations as a Junior Professional Officer for the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in 1982 and spent two-and-a-half years in Sri Lanka. He went on to a number of posts in the Asia region, including working as a Resident Coordinator and Country Representative for UNDP, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Before joining the United Nations, Mr Mattsson worked in academia as a university lecturer, researcher and administrative dean at the University of Linkoping's Department of Management and Economics. He also worked for the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, covering science and technology development in areas such as energy and work environment.

He has a PhD in Engineering from 1983 as well as an MSc in Industrial Economics from 1976. His doctorate thesis dealt with management of technological change and was based on field work in Sweden, India and Tanzania. He is also a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS). Mr Mattsson is a Swedish national. He is married and has one daughter.

Tributes to Jan Mattsson at the UNOPS Executive Board farewell ceremony

In its first regular session of 2014, the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board thanked retiring Executive Director Jan Mattsson for his outstanding service, vision and leadership – adopting a special decision entitled 'Expression of appreciation to Mr. Jan Mattsson, Executive Director of UNOPS, 2006-2014'.

Peter Thomson, President of the Executive Board said: "Mr Mattsson took charge of an organization facing severe problems. He is leaving an organization that is strong, focused and firmly established as a central resource for the United Nations and its partners."

"I have seen how UNOPS has supported its partners in some of the most challenging environments imaginable, by delivering tangible benefits on the ground. UNOPS gets things done," he added.

Mr Thomson's views were echoed by other Board members, including delegates from the United States, China and Denmark (on behalf of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark). Full statements are available here:

In a video statement to the meeting, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also thanked Mr Mattsson for the contribution he has made in his many roles with the UN.

"I have seen around the world the effective work that UNOPS has carried out in support of peacebuilding, humanitarian and development operations, often in some of the most challenging environments," he said.

"Under Jan Mattsson's leadership UNOPS has developed world class expertise in sustainable project management, procurement and infrastructure," he added.

Statements and speeches