Olav Kjørven

Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator on Post-2015 Development Agenda

Publish Date: February  03,  2014

Olav Kjørven became the Special Advisor to the UNDP Administrator on the Post-2015 Development Agenda in UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy in October 2013.

Prior to that, he was Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Bureau for Development Policy where he led UNDP’s substantive contribution to accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals and advancing the post-2015 agenda.  He co-chaired the UN's system wide efforts to prepare for a post-2015 development framework, including initiating a global conversation on “the world we want” to live in through national, regional, and global dialogue organized by the UN Development Group, representing all UN development agencies.

He was a senior advisor to the Secretary-General on the Sustainable Energy for All initiative and is also leading the UN’s engagement with the G20 Development Working Group.  During his time as UNDP’s Director of Policy, Mr. Kjorven has advanced UNDP’s integrated approach to sustainable development, bridging social, economic, and environmental concerns, and was a key figure behind the establishment of the Commission on the Legal Empowerment of the Poor, supported by UNDP.

Before his appointment as Assistant Secretary-General in 2007, Mr. Kjørven was the head of UNDP’s Environment and Energy Group for two years.  While there, he spearheaded the group’s work on mainstreaming environmentally sustainable solutions in development plans and programmes, enhancing capacities to both access and sequence environmental financing and adapt to climate change.  He also helped forge a closer working relationship between UNDP and the United Nations Environment Programme.

From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Kjørven was State Secretary for International Development with the Government of Norway.  From 2000 to 2001, Mr. Kjørven was Director of International Development at the ECON Centre for Economic Analysis, an applied economics research and consulting firm in Oslo.  Before that, he spent three years as political adviser to Norway’s Minister of International Development and Human Rights.  Between 1992 and 1997, Mr. Kjørven was Environmental Specialist with the World Bank.

Born and raised in Norway, Mr. Kjørven has a Master’s in International Affairs from George Washington University.