Tamrat Samuel

Adjunct Instructor

Center for Global Affairs

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Contact Info

Tamrat Samuel had a long service with the United Nations with a primary focus on the
areas of political affairs and peace and security and has held senior leadership positions in the
organization. In his most recent UN assignments, he served as Senior Adviser in the Office of
Special Adviser for Africa (OSAA) (2019-2021), and prior to that as Acting Director-General of
the UN Office in Nairobi (UNON) in 2018. In January 2017, he was appointed by Secretary-
General António Guterres to lead the review and restructuring the UN’s peace and security
architecture, leading to its reconfiguration into the current Department of Political and
Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Department of Peace Operations (DPO). Mr. Samuel has
twice served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in Liberia (2013-2015),
and in Nepal (2007-2008). Between 2009 and 2012, he was Director of the Asia and the Pacific
Division in the then Department of Political Affairs (DPA), where he had served since the early
1990s with responsibility for a number of active portfolios in the region. Between 1992 and
2000, he was the focal point for the Secretary-General’s good offices on the “Question of East
Timor”. He was actively involved in the lengthy negotiations under the Secretary-General’s
auspices, and the 1999 referendum, which led to Timor-Leste’s independence. In 2003, he
initiated the UN’s efforts to support a negotiated solution to the armed conflict in Nepal. He
played a major role in the design and establishment of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and
served as its first Deputy Head.
Mr. Samuel holds an LL.M. degree in international law from New York University.
He is the recipient of the Order Timor-Leste from the President Timor-Leste, and the
Order of Liberty of Portugal from the President of Portugal for his contribution to Timor-Leste’s