Malaysian Takes Helm of UN Peace-building Office

The United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office has a new leader. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Judy Cheng-Hopkins to the post on Aug. 11.

The veteran U.N. civil servant's mandate is to help post-conflict countries jump-start development and rebuilding programs, according to a U.N. press release.

The office's main initiative for helping postwar states become stable nations involves a $309 billion fund that is being utilized in nine beneficiary countries across Africa and Asia. Significant contributors to the fund include Sweden, Norway, the U.K. and 41 other donor countries.

The office and fund were set up in 2006 to carry out the work of the newly established Peacebuilding Commission. The commission helps post-conflict countries determine the priority areas for rebuilding out of the vast array of challenges they face, the press release further state.

Cheng-Hopkins, a Malaysian national, previously worked as assistant high commissioner for operations at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, and has held other UN posts. She earned a graduate degree in economic development from Columbia University in New York .

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    Oliver Subasinghe

    Oliver joined Devex in late 2008 as an international development correspondent and researcher. He previously served as a microfinance fellow for Kiva in Kenya and Uganda. During his tenure, he worked with Kiva’s field partners to improve their operations and governance. Oliver holds a master's in business from the College of William & Mary.