John Hendra

John Hendra (Canada) recently established his own consulting practice after retiring from a dynamic 32 year UN career as a development leader in both Headquarters and the field. Most recently he served as UN Assistant Secretary-General and Senior UN Coordinator, helping the UN Development System (UNDS) become more “fit for purpose” to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In this role, he served as the UN Development Group’s (UNDG) ASG Co-Chair of the QCPR Coordinating Team, working directly with UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on broader UN Development System reform.

As such, he played a key role in the preparation of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ two seminal reform reports on “Repositioning the UN Development System to Deliver on the 2030 Agenda” - Ensuring A Better Future for All (July 2017) and “Our Promise for Dignity, Prosperity and Peace on a Healthy Planet” (December 2017). He also substantively supported the intergovernmental negotiations in the General Assembly on the repositioning of the UNDS which resulted in the landmark GA Resolution 72/279 (May, 2018). John also provided advisory and change management support to the UN Development Group, as well as to UN Resident Coordinators and UN country teams around the world on support to implementation of the SDGs. 

John’s 32 years of experience also spans leadership roles as UN ASG and Deputy Executive Director at UN Women (2011-14), and “in the field”, including 13 years as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Latvia (1993-1997), in Tanzania (2002-2006) and in Vietnam (2006-2011). He also served as UNDP’s Director of Resource Mobilization (1998-2002) and concurrently as Deputy Director/Deputy Assistant Administrator (2000-2002) of UNDP’s Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships (BRSP), as Programme Analysis Officer in UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States (1989-1993) and as a UNDP Programme Officer in Democratic Yemen (1986-1988). 

John has an MA in Development Studies from the University of Toronto and an Honours BA from Queen’s University. He has published numerous articles including on a “theory of change” for making the UNDS fit to support the 2030 Agenda, opening up national budgets for more accountable SDG financing and the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. John is also currently serving as a member of: the High-Level Group to review the governance of the Commonwealth; the Advisory Council to Canada’s Development Finance Institute (FinDev) and the board of Women Deliver Canada.