Noeleen Heyzer

Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (2007-2015)

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Noeleen Heyzer is a Singaporean social scientist and political leader who served as Under-Secretary General of the United Nations from 2007-15. She was the first woman to serve as the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific since its founding, during which time she oversaw the formulation of a Connectivity Master Plan, exploration of an Asia-Pacific Energy Highway, an ICT super-highway and the negotiation supporting the new Silk Route of economic development in Central Asia. Dr. Heyzer worked extensively with ASEAN on socio-economic issues and disaster relief, and in 2009 she led an unprecedented dialogue with Myanmar's leaders on development and poverty reduction. Among other appointments, she has also served as the head of the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Dr. Heyzer holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Science from the University of Singapore, and a PhD in social sciences from Cambridge University.