New UNDP Resident Representative takes office

Azusa Kubota presented her credentials on 9 January 2023 to the Ali Sabry, Minister of Foreign Affairs, officially taking office as the new Resident Representative for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Sri Lanka.

Prior to her appointment in Sri Lanka, Ms. Kubota served as the Resident Representative at UNDP in Bhutan for 4 years, where she led the work of the Bhutan Country Office to transform UNDP into a more nimble, innovative thought leader, more effective and efficient at delivering results as a trusted partner.

Before her tenure at UNDP in Bhutan, Ms. Kubota served as the Manager and Head of Office of UNDP in the Solomon Islands and the UN Joint Presence Manager for UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA and UNWOMEN. She has previously served as the Deputy Resident Representative (Programme and Operations) of UNDP Lao PDR (2014-2016) and the Maldives (2011-2014). She was also with the UNDP Evaluation Office in New York (2006-2011), where she led country-level evaluations of UNDP’s contribution in several countries as well as global thematic evaluations.

Ms. Kubota has also worked in UNDP in Malawi and she has also worked for NGOs in Senegal, Lesotho and Washington D.C.

With close to 25 years of experience in international development, Ms. Kubota has been instrumental in shaping policy and programming for development planning and evaluations along with strategic partnerships.

A national of Japan, Ms. Kubota holds a Master’s Degree in International Affairs in Economic and Political Development from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, USA; and a Bachelor’s Degree from Smith College, Northampton, USA. She has spent a semester at Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Dakar, Senegal and studied French at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA.

While presenting her credentials to the Minister, Ms. Kubota stated, “UNDPs new Country Programme (2023-2027) comes at a critical juncture when Sri Lanka is experiencing severe socio-economic hardships. UNDP will continue to support Sri Lanka’s development efforts by pushing boundaries on interlinked and complex issues to drive transformational change. As we enter a new chapter, the priorities for UNDP are clear: we need to bring about integrated development and lasting solutions for a sustainable, green and inclusive recovery for Sri Lanka, to not only build a better world for tomorrow – but to build that better world today.”

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