Director
2019–2021
Sarmad Khan has served as a policy and learning professional for over 16 years in the areas of development cooperation, policy coordination and senior leadership learning and training. He is currently the Team Leader and Policy Advisor at the UN Development Coordination Office in New York and leads its work on leadership solutions and reform. This work involves supporting the UN Sustainable Development Group in articulating and implementing the direction and capabilities required of the senior-most UN leaders across 129 countries to address complex, multidimensional leadership challenges of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals, grounded in the ‘leave no one behind’ imperative. Sarmad lends his expertise on UN leadership strategy and policy, analyzing and building senior leadership capabilities, and designing learning strategies targeting UN field leaders and next generation leadership. He served as one of the lead authors of the United Nation’s first Leadership Model promoting transformative and collaborative leadership, and as a member of the UN inter-agency steering committee charged with developing a UN system-wide leadership framework. Previously, he worked with the UN System Staff College in Turin, Italy, as instructor and Coordinator of its flagship programme on UN Leadership. At the College, he designed and delivered leadership development programmes for UN senior staff, as well as advised global UN Country Teams and facilitated their multi-stakeholder consultations with governments and national partners on strategic development planning and analyses. Prior to this, Sarmad spent over seven years working with senior leadership of UN operations in Iraq and Yemen focusing on development and transition strategies, and with UNDP’s Crisis Prevention and Recovery Bureau in Geneva working on complex emergencies. He has spoken on leadership and sustainable development, fragility and scaling on several expert panels and conferences, including most recent at the World Bank and Harvard University. He has a MSc. in Public Policy and Management from University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).