Supporting excellence: How UNOPS' Grete Faremo plans to 'walk the talk'

Grete Faremo, executive director of the U.N. Office for Project Services. Photo by: Arbeiderpartiet / CC BY-ND

As a leader, Grete Faremo focuses on supporting great people to affect change — no matter how small.

Appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in July, the new executive director of the U.N. Office for Project Services brings government as well as private sector experience to the operational arm of the U.N., which helps partners deliver approximately $1 billion worth of aid in development projects every year.

“To me, it’s important to pick the right people, to motivate and to guide,” she told Devex of her leadership style at the Second Annual Career Development Roundtable in Oslo, Norway.

Leaders must “walk the talk,” Faremo stated, and cited the agency’s goal of providing all staff — 7,000 personnel working in over 80 countries — with awareness that they need to adapt to wishes and requests from partners, but do so in a responsible and sustainable manner.

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About the author

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    Kelli Rogers

    Kelli Rogers is a global development reporter for Devex. Based in Bangkok, she covers disaster and crisis response, innovation, women’s rights, and development trends throughout Asia. Prior to her current post, she covered leadership, careers, and the USAID implementer community from Washington, D.C. Previously, she reported on social and environmental issues from Nairobi, Kenya. Kelli holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, and has since reported from more than 20 countries.