UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Zena Ali Ahmed joined the team in 2019. With more than 20 years working in international development, Ms. Ahmed previously held the role of Regional Director for UN-HABITAT, Regional Office for Arab States (2017-2019), UNDP Deputy Director for the Regional Hub for Arab States in Amman (2016- 2017), UNDP Country Director in Jordan (2013-2016) and Syria (2008-2012), UNDP Regional Advisor on Local Governance for Arab States (2005-2008), and Assistant Representative in her native Lebanon (1997-2004).
Ms. Ahmed specializes in social change and agricultural economics and is co-author of several studies on poverty, gender, socio economic rehabilitation, and post-conflict reconstruction and recovery.
Her vision for Iraq is to support inclusive development pathways that strengthen societal resilience to better deal with social, economic, environmental and political shocks, and to sustain peace through stabilization. Ms. Ahmed, works closely with her team to ensure UNDP’s support is robust and impactful, contributing meaningfully to the recovery of post-conflict Iraq and supporting the nations journey toward Agenda 2030, through a five-pillar approach, developed under her new leadership in 2019:
- Provisions of critical services through rehabilitation of damaged infrastructure;
- Economic growth for sustainable livelihoods;
- Environmentally responsive planning to ensure resilience in the face of climate change;
- Transparent and inclusive governance with accountable institutions that protect the rights of vulnerable groups and;
- Increased social cohesion to restore civic political trust and forge a new social contract in Iraq.