Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel
Mr. Piper was designated UN Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel in March 2013. In this capacity he supports humanitarian work in nine countries across the Sahel region (Senegal, The Gambia, Chad, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mauritania, Northern Nigeria, Northern Cameroon and Mali). The position holds the rank of Assistant Secretary General.
Robert Piper's biography
Mr. Piper has dedicated most of his working life to understanding and addressing the development dimensions of peace-building and disaster risk reduction. He started his development career in 1989 with the Australian aid agency, AusAid, joining the United Nations in 1990, first in Thailand with the UN Population Fund and then Cambodia (1991-1994) and Fiji (1994-1997) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Piper held a number of key posts at UNDP headquarters including that of Special Assistant to the UNDP Associate Administrator and of Deputy Director of UNDP's Emergency Response Division (now the ‘Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery’). From 2002-2004, Mr. Piper served as the United Nations Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Kosovo.
Following the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Mr. Piper was appointed Chief of Staff to former US President Bill Clinton in his capacity as the UN’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery (2005-2006). Following the conclusion of the Special Envoy’s mandate, Mr. Piper served as the inaugural Director of the MDG Achievement Fund, a UNDP Fund established following a historic $700 million contribution from the Government of Spain, dedicated to accelerating progress on the Millennium Development Goals and advancing UN reform at the field level. He moved back to the field in early 2008, as the UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Nepal, until early 2013.
Mr. Piper has a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours, in Political Science, from the Australian National University. In 2004 he was a World Fellow at Yale University in the US and spent a semester on sabbatical in New Haven studying and teaching. He is married to Maggie and they have a daughter, Martha (24) and three sons, Jack (22), Finbar (19) and Hamish (14).
Mr. Piper takes over from David Gressly.