Profile of Nigeria’s new Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Gambari

The New Chief of Staff.

Professor Ibrahim Agboola Gambari, CFR, OCORT, a scholar-diplomat is the Founder/Chairman of the Board of Directors of Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, a non-governmental think-tank on research and policy studies on conflict prevention and resolution as well as democratization and development in Africa.

SCDDD seeks to promote the evolution of Africa into a prosperous, politically stable and globally respected continent which is motivated by the culture of good governance.

Prof Ibrahim Gambari has had an illustrious career, spanning academia, government and international diplomacy, culminating with his appointment as the first United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Africa (1999-2005).

In that capacity, he worked closely with heads of government, key policymakers as well as institutions in the continent to develop the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

During this period, he was concurrently the Resident Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Mission to Angola (2002-2003). He has been a delegate to the Assembly of the OAU/African Union as a national delegate (1984-1985) and as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s delegation (2000-2012).

Prof Ibrahim Gambari was the Chairman of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid (1990-1994) during which he worked closely with African governments to coordinate UN policy to eradicate apartheid, thereby building trust and confidence with governments and policymakers in member countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Ambassador Gambari was Under-Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Department of Political Affairs (2005-2007). In that period, he also operated as UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on Cyprus, Zimbabwe and Myanmar.
On 22 May 2007, the Secretary-General entrusted Prof Ibrahim Gambari with the Good Offices Mandate on Myanmar. He was also appointed in 2007 by the Secretary-General as Under-Secretary-General and Special Adviser on Iraq Compact and Other Issues, positions he held until 2009.

He served his country, Nigeria, as Director-General at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs; Minister of External Affairs (1984-1985) and subsequently Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations (1990-1999).

He also served as a delegate at the 2014 National Conference on the restructuring and promotion of national unity in Nigeria. At international level, Prof Ibrahim Gambari held numerous United Nations positions, including Chairman of the UN Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations and the UNSG’s Special Adviser on Africa.

Professor Gambari also served as Joint AU/UN Special Representative in Darfur and Head of UNAMID, which was then the largest international peacekeeping operation in the world and the first hybrid Mission. He had in different capacities, worked with four successive United Nations Secretary-General (Perez de Cuella, Boutros-Ghali, Kofi Annan and Ban Ki-moon).

He currently co-chairs the Commission on Global Security, Justice and Governance at the Hague Institute for Global Justice and the Stimson Centre at Washington D.C.

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