United Nations Under-Secretary-General honoured by University

01 March 2018
United Nations Under-Secretary and Distinguished Alumni Jan Beagle

An Arts alumna who holds one of the most senior roles in the United Nations has received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland.

Jan Beagle has some 40 years' experience of multilateral diplomacy, working across the peace and security, human rights, development, management and gender sectors. She is currently the Under-Secretary-General for Management in the United Nations and leads the overarching management functions of the UN's Secretariat.

Jan grew up in Auckland and graduated from the University of Auckland in 1974 with a Master in Arts with First Class Honours in History.

She says she is honoured to receive a DAA award from her alma mater,"where I was inspired by some wonderful professors and made lifelong friends".

After university, Jan worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and spent five years as a delegate to the United Nations in New York where she specialised in human rights, disarmament and social development.

In 1979 she joined the United Nations Secretariat and has held a number of key senior positions including Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resources Management 2005–2007, Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva 2008
2009 and Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) 2009–2017.

In her new role, Jan is driving change management across the UN to enhance the organisation's capacity and efficiency to implement its mandate and vision. This comprises working with over 40,000 civilian staff and some 100,000 peacekeepers across hundreds of duty stations worldwide.

Jan is a committed advocate for gender equality. At UNAIDS she spearheaded the development and implementation of a Gender Action Plan for the Secretariat which serves as an accountability platform for concrete measures to increase gender parity in UNAIDS.

She was one of the early appointed International Gender Champions — a global leadership network that works to promote gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

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