Expert Profile

Mr Alan Doss
Position(s) Executive Director, Kofi Annan Foundation

Mr Alan Doss is an Associate Fellow within the Global Fellowship Initiative of the GCSP. Alan Doss spent his entire professional life in the service of the United Nations working on peacekeeping, development and humanitarian assignments in Africa, Asia and Europe as well as at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

In late 2007 he was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the UN peace keeping mission (MONUC).

Immediately prior to his assignment to the DRC, he was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Liberia and head of the UN mission (UNMIL).

Mr Doss had previously served as the Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Côte d’Ivoire and deputy head of the United Nations Mission (ONUCI). Prior to that appointment he was the Deputy UN Special Representative in Sierra Leone and deputy head of the UN Mission (UNAMSIL) while serving concurrently United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative.

Until his appointment in Sierra Leone Mr Doss held the position of Director of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), where he managed the implementation of reforms aimed to improve the performance of UN operational activities around the world. During that period he coordinated the UNDG’s work on the follow-up to the UN global conferences of the nineties, which led to the pioneer publication “A Better World for All” published jointly by the UN, World Bank, IMF and OECD and subsequently, at the end of the decade, to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

Prior to his UNDG assignment, he was Director of the UNDP European Office in Geneva, Switzerland, where he was charged with strengthening UNDP’s outreach and fund raising work in Western Europe, focusing on UNDP’s advocacy for human development. He represented the UNDP at the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD in Paris and was a member of the DAC group that drew up the landmark study on conflict, peace and development cooperation in 1997.

Mr Doss had previously served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Regional Representative of the UNDP in Bangkok, Thailand and Director of the United Nations Border Relief Operation (UNBRO), in charge of United Nations assistance to hundreds of thousands of displaced Cambodians on the Thai-Cambodia border before their repatriation to Cambodia. During this period he also represented the UN at the Mekong River Committee and was part of the negotiating team that restructured the institution into an inter-governmental commission with the re-admission of Cambodia to the group.

Other appointments included assignments as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Benin and the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) responsible for UN operational activities in those countries.

In 1979, he was appointed as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Beijing setting up the first international development office and cooperation programme in China. Previously in 1977 he had developed the first UNDP cooperation program for Vietnam and helped establish the UNDP office in Hanoi.

Earlier posts included field assignments in Niger and Kenya and posts at UNDP Headquarters in New York where he served in the Africa and Asia regional offices and in the Management Bureau.

Mr Doss has written numerous articles on development, peace keeping and peace building. He delivered the 2009 Nelson Mandela Lecture on Africa at the Royal United Services Institute in London and the 2010 Count Folke Bernadotte Memorial Lecture on Protection and Peacekeeping at the United Nations Association of the United Kingdom. He has been a guest speaker and lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson Centre in Washington D.C, the International Peace Institute in New York.