Nelson Mandela Foundation

Amina J Mohammed was appointed Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) on 1 January 2017. Previously, as special adviser to former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Mohammed was instrumental in the UN’s setting of its Sustainable Development Goals. This set of 17 goals, aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring global peace and prosperity by 2030, was unanimously adopted by 193 UN member states on 25 September 2015.

They build on the general success of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and introduce new aims, such as addressing climate change and economic inequality, and promoting innovation, sustainable consumption, peace and justice.

In the years before Mohammed joined the UN, she worked for three successive Nigerian administrations, serving as special adviser on the MDGs and providing advice on issues such as poverty, public-sector reform and sustainable development. She coordinated programmes worth $10-billion annually for MDGs.

Mohammed has also served as coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project; founded and led a think tank, the Center for Development Policy Solutions; taught in Columbia University’s Development Practice Master of Public Administration programme; and worked in the engineering and surveying industry in Nigeria.

She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and served on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the Independent Expert Advisory Group on Data Revolution for Sustainable Development; the Global Development Program of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the African Women’s Millennium Initiative; Girl Effect; 2016 African Union Reform; and the ActionAid International Right to Education project.

Mohammed began her career in the Nigerian private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public-sector buildings.