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The Next Development Agenda: An Opportunity for Renewed Multilateralism

The Academic Council on the United Nations System inaugurated the John W. Holmes Memorial Lecture Series in 1989 in honor of a founding member of ACUNS. Mr. Holmes had served on the planning committee for the founding conference of ACUNS and the provisional committee in 1987-88. The talk he prepared for the first ACUNS Annual Meeting in 1988, Looking Backwards and Forwards, was the first publication in the Council’s series of Reports and Papers.

Amina J. Mohammed was born in 1961, in Nigeria. She was appointed in July 2012 by the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning. Ms. Mohammed brings to the position more than 30 years of experience as a development practitioner in the public and private sectors, as well as civil society.

She was the CEO/Founder of the Center for Development Policy Solutions, a newly established think tank to address the policy and knowledge gaps within the Government, Parliament and private sector in development and civil society for robust advocacy materials. Ms. Mohammed was also Adjunct Professor of the Master’s Programme for Development Practice at Columbia University in New York.

Prior to that, Ms. Mohammed served as the Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals after serving three Presidents over a period of six years. She was charged, in 2005, with the coordination of the debt relief funds (USD 1 billion per annum) towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria. Her mandate included designing a Virtual Poverty Fund with innovative approaches to poverty reduction, budget coordination and monitoring, as well as providing advice on pertinent issues regarding poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development. Ms. Mohammed served as coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project, from 2002 to 2005. Prior to this, she served as Founder and Executive Director of Afri-Projects Consortium, a multidisciplinary firm of Engineers and Quantity Surveyors (1991-2001) and worked with the architectural engineering firm of Archcon Nigeria in association with Norman and Dawbarn UK (1981-1991).

Ms. Mohammed has served on numerous international advisory panels and boards, including the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Secretary General’s Global Sustainability Panel, the Hewlett Foundation on Education, African Women’s Millennium Initiative, the ActionAid International “Right to Education Project”, the Millennium Promise Initiative, and the Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China. She is a Governor of the International Development Research Centre in Canada, and currently chairs the Advisory Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Global Monitoring Report on Education.

Ms. Mohammed received the National Honours Award of the Order of the Federal Republic in 2006 and was inducted in the Nigerian Women’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ms. Mohammed has four children.