Karen Koning AbuZayd

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Karen Koning AbuZayd (born 1941) is a senior official of the United Nations. She is currently serving as a Commissioner on the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.[1] On 5 January 2016, she was appointed United Nations Special Adviser on the Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants held on September 19, 2016.[2] The Summit resulted in the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.[3]

Prior to this she was a Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) from June 28, 2005 to January 20, 2010 appointed by Kofi Annan.[4] She was succeeded by her deputy Filippo Grandi.[5] She currently serves on the board of directors of UNRWA USA, a Washington-DC based 501c3 nonprofit which aims to educate the general American public about the situation of Palestine refugees and generate support for UNRWA's work.

United Nations career[edit]

AbuZayd worked as chief of mission for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War.[4] Before joining to the UN, AbuZayd lectured in Political Science and Islamic Studies.[4] She is married and has two children.[4] She graduated from DePauw University in 1963[6] and is an alumna of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.

Later career[edit]

AbuZayd is a current member of the Board of Directors at the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, D.C.


  1. ^ https://www.ohchr.org/en/hrbodies/hrc/iicisyria/pages/independentinternationalcommission.aspx. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Karen AbuZayd of United States Special Adviser". United Nations. 5 January 2016.
  3. ^ https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/new-york-declaration-for-refugees-and-migrants.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2008-12-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Secretary-General Appoints Filippo Grandi of Italy Commissioner-General of UNRWA - Meetings Coverage and Press Releases". United Nations. 20 January 2010.
  6. ^ "Karen Koning AbuZayd '63 Named Interim Commissioner-General of UN Agency". DePauw University. 21 April 2005.

External links[edit]

Positions in intergovernmental organisations
Preceded by
Peter Hansen (Denmark)
Commissioner-General for United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
June 28, 2005–January 20, 2010
Succeeded by
Filippo Grandi (Italy)