Helen Clark, Co-chair
Helen Clark became the Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on 17 April 2009 and is the first woman to lead the organisation. She is also the Chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee consisting of the heads of all United Nations funds, programmes and departments working on development issues.
Prior to her appointment with UNDP, Helen Clark served for nine years as Prime Minister of New Zealand, serving three successive terms from 1999 - 2008. Throughout her tenure as Prime Minister, Helen Clark engaged widely in policy development and advocacy across the international, economic, social and cultural spheres. Helen Clark advocated strongly for New Zealand’s comprehensive programme on sustainability and for tackling the problems of climate change. Her objectives have been to establish New Zealand as being among the world’s leading nations in dealing with these challenges.
Helen Clark was also an active leader of her country’s foreign relations and policies, engaging in a wide range of international issues. As Prime Minister, Helen Clark was a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, an international network of current and former women presidents and prime ministers whose mission is to mobilise the highest-level women leaders globally for collective action on issues of critical importance to women and equitable development. Prior to entering the New Zealand Parliament, Helen Clark taught in the Political Studies Department of the University of Auckland.