Sir Mark Andrew Lowcock KCB (born 25 July 1962) is a British economist and accountant who has been serving as the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator and the Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs since 2017. Prior to his appointment by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the 12 May 2017, Lowcock was the Permanent Secretary of the Department for International Development (DFID) from June 2011 to September 2017.
Early life and education
Lowcock attended Culford School in Suffolk before attending Oxford University, where he graduated with a degree in Economics and History. He was later awarded a Master’s degree in Economics from Birkbeck College, University of London, before moving to Boston to study economics and business as a graduate fellow. He is a qualified accountant and a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.
Career in the UK
Lowcock joined the then Overseas Development Administration in 1985. He was the Private Secretary to Minister for Overseas Development Baroness Chalker of Wallasey from 1992 to 1994, the Deputy Head and Head of the Department for International Development Regional Office for Central Africa from 1994 to 1997, the Head of European Union Department from 1997 to 1999, the Head of the Regional Office for East Africa, the Director of Finance and Corporate Performance from 2001 to 2003, the Director General of Corporate Performance and Knowledge Sharing from 2003 to 2006, the Director General of Policy and International from 2006 to 2008, the Director General of Country Programmes from 2008 to 2011.
He has made speeches on development, in Delhi (on the future of international development), Karachi (on how to get economic growth in a changing world), Berlin (on development agencies and conflict) and Addis Ababa (on economic development in Ethiopia). As of 2015, Lowcock was paid a salary of between £160,000 and £164,999 by the department, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time.
Lowcock oversaw the Department during the period in which the UK increased its aid budget to 0.7% of Gross Domestic Product. World leaders first pledged to meet the 0.7% target 35 years ago in a 1970 General Assembly Resolution.
Career with the UN
As the Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) he is responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance. He also acts as the central focal point for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental relief activities. The ERC also leads the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian partners. In a country affected by a disaster or conflict, the ERC may appoint a Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to ensure response efforts are well organized. The HC works with government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and affected communities
In 2011, Lowcock was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). In the 2017 New Year Honours, he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB) for public service, particularly to International Development.
Lowcock is married with children
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- "Senior officials 'high earners' salaries as at 30 September 2015 - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. 2015-12-17. Retrieved 2016-03-13.
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- World Economic Forum 2019 Annual Meeting launching a new Humanitarian Investing Initiative World Economic Forum, press release of January 18, 2019.
- "LOWCOCK, Mark Andrew". Who's Who 2017. Oxford University Press. November 2016. Retrieved 30 December 2016.
- "No. 61803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2016. p. N3.
|Positions in intergovernmental organisations|
Stephen O'Brien ()
| Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator