Nairobi 20 January 2022 – Following the recommendation of the United Nations Secretary-General, after consultation with Member States, the General Assembly confirmed Maimunah Mohd Sharif of Malaysia as Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) for a further two years beginning 20 January 2022 to 19 January 2024.  

Before becoming Executive Director, Ms. Sharif served as Mayor of Penang in Malaysia and was the President of the Malaysian Association of Local Authorities (MALA).  She has over 30 years of experience in urban planning, urban regeneration and community-led development.  A town planner by profession, Ms. Sharif was Co-President of United Cities and Local Government for Asia Pacific (UCLG-ASPAC).  She was also elected to represent South East Asia in the Global Executive Committee of ICLEI (Local Government for Sustainability).  She spear-headed gender participatory budgeting in Malaysia and led heritage conservation work in the George Town UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Since joining the United Nations in 2018, Ms. Sharif has re-positioned UN-Habitat as a thought leader in sustainable urbanization.  She is the Co-Chair of the Secretary-General’s Task Force on the Future of Cities and Co-Chair of the Local 2030 Coalition.  She is an advocate for local voluntary reviews and champions the urban perspective in the World Economic Forum, never forgetting her humble beginnings in the rubber plantations of Malaysia.