Secretary-General, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR)

Margareta Wahlström was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as his first Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction in November 2008. She is also the head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR).

Ms Wahlström has over 30 years of experience in both disaster relief operations and disaster risk management with the United Nations system and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and has either worked in or undertaken missions to more than 100 countries. Her broad experience spans conflict and non-conflict emergencies, and addresses long-term issues of sustainable development.

Some of her previous appointments include: Coordinator of the Independent Panel on Safety and Security of UN Personnel and Premises, chaired by Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, 2008; Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator and Assistant-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 2004-2008; United Nations Special Coordinator for Humanitarian Assistance to the Tsunami-Affected Communities, 2004-2005; Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Relief, Recovery and Rehabilitation, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan , 2002-2004; and Under-Secretary-General for Disaster Response and Operations and Deputy Director Operations, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 1995-2000.

Ms Wahlström has an academic background in economic history, social anthropology, political science, archaeology and philosophy of science.

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