3 January 2006

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica as Director of UN Development Programme's Latin America and Caribbean Bureau

NEW YORK, 30 December (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Rebeca Grynspan of Costa Rica as Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Director of UNDP's Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ms. Grynspan will succeed Elena Martinez of Cuba, who will step down after leading the Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean since 1999.  Ms. Grynspan will lead a professional staff of 800 covering UNDP's 24 country offices in the region.

Ms. Grynspan, Director of the Subregional Headquarters in Mexico of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), has recently also served as a member of the UN Millennium Project's Task Force on Poverty and Economic Development and of the UN High-Level Panel on Financing for Development.

She was Vice-President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998 and concurrently served as coordinating minister of the Government's social and economic sectors, housing and human settlements minister.  Ms. Grynspan studied economics and sociology at the Hebrew University, holds a B.S. in economics from the University of Costa Rica, and an M.S. in economics from Sussex University.

"I am a great admirer of Rebeca's work in poverty reduction, democratic governance and gender equality, and I have high confidence in her ability to continue UNDP's legacy in helping to shape public policy in Latin America and the Caribbean", said UNDP's Administrator Kemal Dervis following her appointment.

The new Director of the Regional Programme for Latin America and the Caribbean is a widely published author and a former professor at the University of Costa Rica and researcher at the Instituto de Investigaciones de Ciencias Económicas de Costa Rica.  She is a Member of the Board of the Inter-American Development Bank's Programa de Apoyo al Liderazgo y Representación de la Mujer, and served as Vice-President of the Board of the International Food Policy Research Institute.

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