Kamal Amakrane

Special Adviser for Strategic Partnerships, United Nations and Adjunct Professor for International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, Morocco and USA

Kamal is currently Special Adviser for Strategic Partnerships supporting United Nations’ efforts to advance innovation technology towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He spearheaded efforts leading to the establishment of the first UN Innovation & Technology Accelerator for Cities – UNITAC Hamburg. He is a member of the Global Board of Trustees of the Commons Project, a non-profit public trust dedicated to unlocking the full potential of technology and data for the common good.

Kamal also serves as Adjunct Professor of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and is working on advancing a people-centered approach to climate action as well as supporting efforts on addressing climate-forced migration.  Kamal served as Senior Adviser at Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative in 2018, where he directed the Migration Consensus Initiative. During the intergovernmental negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration, he successfully led a coalition that pressed for countries to recognize the need to protect those forced to leave their countries due to climate change, as well as for commitments to real action to address climate-forced migration (2018- ).

From 2015 to 2017, Kamal served as Political Director to Presidents of the UN General Assembly, where he led the Office’s instrumental contribution on migration and asylum issues, including the processes resulting in the New York Declaration for Refugees & Migrants and the Global Compact for Migration.

Prior to his work for the UN General Assembly, Kamal served as Chief of Staff of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Cote d’Ivoire (UNOCI), where he advanced UN peacekeeping, political, electoral and rule of law activities. He also directed UNOCI’s Ebola response efforts (2013-15).

Before taking up his appointment in Abidjan, Kamal led the Office of the Head of UN-AU Joint Peacekeeping Mission for Darfur, where he oversaw the crafting and execution of UNAMID’s strategy for the protection of civilians in Darfur (2011-13). From 2008 to 2011, he served as Head of the Office of the UN Envoy to Myanmar, tasked to advance the democratic transition in Myanmar.

Previously, Kamal had spent five years supporting the UN’s engagement towards the stabilization of Iraq. He was part of the early UN team working on the political transition in Iraq and tasked with organizing the country’s first elections (2004-07) and facilitating the establishment and implementation of the International Compact with Iraq (2007-08).

His international career began in the Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2002), after which he joined the Office of Arab League’s Secretary-General Amr Moussa, advising on Iraq issues (2003). Prior to devoting himself to international cooperation, Kamal was working on sustainable development and urban planning issues in Morocco (1998-2001).

Kamal has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Tällberg Foundation since 2018. He was also elected to the Executive Board of Sciences Po Paris in 2002 & 2003 and was appointed Yale World Fellow in 2012. He is an Architect and a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Columbia’s SIPA. He speaks fluent Spanish, English, French, Arabic and Amazigh.

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