Gillian Sorensen

Senior Advisor and National Advocate, United Nations Foundation

Gillian Sorensen, now senior advisor and national advocate at the United Nations Foundation, has had a long career working with and for the UN. From 1997–2003, she served as assistant secretary-general for external relations on appointment by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She was responsible for outreach to civil society, including NGOs committed to peace, justice, development, and human rights. From 1993–1996, she served as special adviser for public policy on appointment by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, where she led the global commemoration of the UN's Fiftieth Anniversary and the coordination of the UN50 Summit at Headquarters in New York with 180 Heads of Government participating.

From 1978–1990, she was the New York City Commissioner for the United Nations, head of the city's liaison with the world's largest diplomatic community, on appointment by Mayor Edward Koch. Her responsibilities related to diplomatic security and immunity, housing and education, and other cultural and business contacts between the host city and more than 30,000 diplomats. She was referred to by the New York Times as "The Diplomat's Diplomat" for her work during that time.

Sorensen is a graduate of Smith College and she studied at the Sorbonne. She has been a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government (Institute of Politics) at Harvard University. She is a frequent speaker on United Nations issues and the US-UN relationship. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Women's Foreign Policy Group. In addition to her public service, she has been a delegate to three national Presidential conventions.

Focus: Business, Cities, Culture, Development, Diplomacy, Education, Governance, Human Rights, Peace, United States, Americas, Global


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Last Updated: Aug 06, 2010

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