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Ambassador Martin Kimani of Kenya Named Executive Director of the Center on International Cooperation

Press Release

Ambassador Martin Kimani will become the new Executive Director of the Center on International Cooperation (CIC), effective June 3, 2024. An accomplished diplomat and organizational leader, Ambassador Kimani will bring exceptional global peace, security, and development expertise to the institution.

Martin Kimani brings many years of experience in international diplomacy, crisis prevention, and the links between peace, justice, equality, and inclusion at the highest level. His ability to build bridges and identify strategic opportunities to strengthen multilateral action will be a great benefit to CIC, the United Nations, and the International Financial Institutions in the current period of high geopolitical tension.

Sarah Cliffe, outgoing Executive Director of CIC

Ambassador Kimani has been the Permanent Representative and Head of Kenya’s Mission to the United Nations (UN) since December 2020. In this role, he represented Kenya in the Security Council, serving as its President in October 2021, and chaired the Executive Board of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), and UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

Before that, he served Kenya as Special Envoy for Countering Violent Extremism as the Director of the National Counter Terrorism Centre. He made important contributions to securing peace and security in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and supported a successful initiative to accelerate East African Community integration. He has also served as the Permanent Representative to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat). As Director of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s (IGAD) Conflict Early Warning and Response Mechanism, he led cross-border conflict prevention and resolution efforts in the Horn of Africa.

Ambassador Kimani is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. He holds a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London, and his distinguished service to Kenya has been recognized twice by the President, with the awards of the Chief of the Order of the Burning Spear and the Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear.

CIC, a nonprofit research center within Arts and Science at NYU, is a prominent advocate for international cooperation to prevent crises and promote peace, justice, and inclusion and a leading global think tank on multilateralism. Ambassador Kimani’s appointment heralds a new era of innovation to produce practical, principled, and evidence-based action to address the world’s most pressing challenges.

It is a profound honor to join NYU’s Center on International Cooperation, an institution recognized for its significant contributions worldwide. Assuming leadership of the CIC at this crucial time is a privilege, as we stand at the crossroads of global challenges that demand robust, ambitious multilateral cooperation. I extend my deepest thanks to NYU and all involved for entrusting me with the opportunity to draw upon CIC’s expertise to develop innovative solutions and pursue meaningful change on a global scale.

Ambassador Kimani, incoming Executive Director of CIC

As part of this long-planned leadership transition, Sarah Cliffe will remain as a Distinguished Fellow at CIC alongside other former Executive Directors.

I am delighted about Ambassador Kimani’s appointment as the next director of CIC. His vast and diverse experience, coupled with his exceptional leadership qualities, make him a perfect match for one of the preeminent research centers serving multilateral institutions.

Jean-Marie Guéhenno, former UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations and a member of CIC’s Advisory Group

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