Mr. Thiaw will succeed Amina Mohamed of Kenya as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “His professional career spans the full spectrum of practical work at national and regional levels to leading global programmes and experience of United Nations inter-agency and intergovernmental processes,” Mr. Ban’s spokesperson’s office said in a statement announcing the appointment. With more than 30 years of experience in the fields of environment and sustainable development, Mr. Thiaw joined UNEP in 2007 as Director of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation. Prior, he held senior positions over the course of 15 years with the non-governmental organization, World Conservation Union (IUCN).A native of Mauritania, Mr. Thiaw started his career in his home country serving for a decade in the Ministry of Rural Development.Mr. Thiaw joins the agency amid the 1,000 days of action to reach the eight anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline. Goal 7, on environmental sustainability, includes reducing biodiversity loss, halving the proportion of population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, improving the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, and integrating the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes, and reducing the loss of environment resources.