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She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr College and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Kane has served in many positions during her career at the United Nations. She was named as new UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs on 8 March 2012, replacing Sergio de Queiroz Duarte. Between May 2008 and 2012, she was Under-Secretary-General for Management, and prior to that she was Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, focusing on preventing and resolving conflicts. In this capacity, she was in charge of two regional divisions, decolonization, the question of Palestine, and supported several special political missions in Iraq, Nepal and the Middle East.
She also served as Assistant Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management, where she concentrated on the implementation of reform initiatives, integrated global management, the use of information technology tools and the repositioning of the Department as a proactive and efficient service provider.
From 1999 to 2003, she acted as director in the United Nations Department of Political Affairs.
From 1995 to 1999, Kane held a managerial position in the Department of Public Information, where she was responsible for United Nations publications. In this capacity, she administered the putting in place of the online documentation system through the UN website available in all official UN languages.
She has also held a number of other positions at the United Nations, including Principal Officer for Political Affairs in the Office of former Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and assistant to the Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the Central American Peace Process with the negotiation to end the conflict in El Salvador. Additionally, she has worked in several UN missions including United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Bangkok, Thailand.
Before she joined the UN Secretariat, she worked for the World Bank in Washington, D.C. and for the private sector in Europe.
As of 2016, Kane teaches at Sciences Po Paris School of International Affairs on disarmament issues. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation. In 2016 she also received the High award from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Austria.
In April 2016, Kane was appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Director-General Irina Bokova of the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to the governing council of the United Nations University.
In addition, Kane holds various paid and unpaid positions, including the following:
- European Leadership Network, Member
- Group of Eminent Persons (GEM), Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBTO), Member
- Dialogue Advisory Group, Member of the Advisory Board
- Foreign Policy Association, Advisory Fellow
- "UN chief outlines five-year action plan to build 'the future we want'". United Nations. January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012.
- Secretary-General Appoints 12 New Members to Council of United Nations University United Nations, press release of 27 April 2016.
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