OECD appoints Mary Beth Goodman as new Deputy Secretary-General; Ulrik Knudsen appointment extended by two years

25/03/2024 – Mary Beth Goodman has been appointed as a new Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. She will assume her duties on 4 April 2024.

Mary Beth has rich and varied expertise, leadership experience and global networks in key areas of OECD policy work including economic development, trade, anti-corruption and democratic governance around the world.

As Deputy Secretary General Mary Beth will take on responsibility for the environment, public governance and development portfolios. This will include responsibility for sustainable development and climate finance and anti-corruption.

From 2021 to 2023, she was the United States Coordinator for Global COVID Response and Health Security, having previously served as Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and Senior Director for Development and Democracy at the US National Security Council. These roles included responsibility for shaping policy on economic governance and assistance for the Middle East and North Africa, the negotiation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the creation of the Open Government Partnership, and involvement in international forums including the G7 and G20.

Mary Beth has also been a leader in civil society, co-founding an organisation to investigate links between corruption, kleptocracy, and human rights abuses in Africa. Prior, she had a distinguished career in the Foreign Service, serving in diplomatic roles in Pakistan, Mali, and Washington, D.C. Her work involved addressing a wide range of international economic and development issues, including anti-corruption efforts and human rights.

Before her diplomatic career, Mary Beth practiced international trade law, where she participated in free trade agreement negotiations and advised on trade compliance matters.

Mary Beth is an American national with a Master of Law in International & Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, a Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from James Madison University. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Truman National Security Project. She is also a certified mediator in conflict resolution and is admitted to the bar in the state of Illinois.

The appointment of Ulrik Knudsen, a Danish national who took up his duties as Deputy Secretary-General of the OECD in January 2019, has been extended by two years. His current portfolio includes the digital and technological transformation, science and innovation, global relations, trade, and agriculture. Previously, he has held responsibility for employment, labour, social affairs, health, entrepreneurship, education, skills, and well-being, inequalities of opportunity and sustainability.

As OECD Gender & Diversity Champion since 2021, Ulrik has been an exceptional leader in driving forward the Organisation’s work on gender equality and diversity. Since January, Ulrik has also held responsibility for the strategic coordination of OECD activities with all UN institutions, supported by the Global Relations and Co-operation Directorate, the New York Office and the Washington Centre and working closely with all OECD Directorates.

He is an economist and diplomat with more than 25 years of experience in international cooperation. He previously served as Permanent Secretary of State/CEO of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2013-18), as Chief Foreign Policy and EU Advisor (EU Sherpa) to the Danish Prime Minister (2010-13), and as Group Director for International Policy at Vodafone 2013. Before that, he has held diplomatic postings to Moscow, Washington, London and Paris.

“Mary Beth and Ulrik bring a great wealth of experiences and knowledge to the senior leadership team at the OECD. I very much look forward to benefitting from their contributions and working with them closely, to ensure the OECD continues to deliver on its full potential. We are and remain committed to helping policy makers deliver better policies and find effective multilateral solutions to the shared global challenges of our time,” OECD Secretary-General Mathias Cormann said.

Mary Beth and Ulrik are part of the leadership team of Deputy Secretaries-General, which also includes Yoshiki Takeuchi and Fabrizia Lapecorella.

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