The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


UNOPS welcomes the appointment of a new Deputy Executive Director

UNOPS welcomes United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ announcement today that Ms. Sonja Leighton-Kone has been appointed Assistant Secretary-General and UNOPS Deputy Executive Director.

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Ms. Leighton-Kone will take office on 1 October. A dual national of the United States of America and Jamaica, she has held the role of Director of the Corporate Services Division at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya, since 2018. In 2022 she assumed the role of Acting Deputy Executive Director of UNEP and has led the organization’s strategic engagement with Member States, UN agencies and partners, as well as overseeing global environmental financing mechanisms, resource mobilization, financial and human resources management.

Ms. Leighton-Kone has more than 30 years of experience in international development overseeing operations in complex environments, including emerging and fragile states. Ms. Leighton-Kone began her UN career with the World Food Programme in Afghanistan in 1999 and subsequently held a series of senior operations positions at UNICEF in Ethiopia, Myanmar, Jordan and South Sudan.

Read the press release from the Executive Office of the Secretary-General here.

I am very pleased to welcome Sonja Leighton-Kone as Deputy Executive Director. Sonja has solid UN experience in the implementation of sustainable development. Her role will be fundamental at this crucial moment for UNOPS reform journey as well as our support to the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda,”

Jorge Moreira da Silva - UNOPS Executive Director

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