Former Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations
“War, Peace and Climate Change: A Billion Lives in the Balance”
“... this is work where the difference between
excellence and mediocrity is measured in human lives.”
Jan Egeland was Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator for the United Nations from August 2003 to December 2006. From 1999 to 2002, he was the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Adviser. As Under-Secretary, Egeland led joint efforts in providing relief in the wake of a number of disasters – including the devastating earthquake in Bam, the Indian Ocean earthquakes and tsunami, the South Asia earthquake, drought and flooding in Africa and the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. He traveled to the frontlines of conflicts to bring world attention to suffering in Darfur, Sudan, Colombia, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories.
Earlier in his career, Egeland served as state secretary in the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990 to 1997). He co-initiated and co-organized the Norwegian channel between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1992, which led to the Oslo Accord of September 1993. He initiated the two Norwegian Emergency Preparedness Systems, which have provided more than 2,000 experts and humanitarian workers to international organizations. He was head of development studies at the Henry Dunant Institute in Geneva and secretary general of the Norwegian Red Cross.
Egeland holds a magister artium in political science from the University of Oslo. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, and a fellow at the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo and the Truman Institute for the Advancement for Peace in Jerusalem. Egeland was chair of Amnesty International, Norway and vice chair of the International Executive Committee of Amnesty International.
Egeland is currently director of the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs and Special Adviser to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on conflict prevention and resolution.
Updated on 3/4/2008