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Profile of Mr. Agwu Ukiwe Okali


1. Attended King’s College, Lagos, obtaining the Cambridge Higher School Certificate with distinction, 1963.

2. Graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science, earning degree of Bachelor of Law (LL.B) with honours, 1968.

3. Undertook higher studies at Harvard Law School, being awarded the degree of Masters of Law (LL.M) in 1969 and the degree of Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) in 1971, with specialization in jurisprudence.

Professional and Work Experience:

4. Member, Connecticut State Bar since 1974.

5. Undertook internship at Ropes and Gray, the largest law firm in Boston, 1970.

6. Served as Legal Advisor to Housing Innovations, Inc., a community-based U.S. Government supported inner city housing renewal enterprise in Boston, 1970/1971.

7. Served as Assistant Counsel at Connecticut General Insurance Corporation, a major US Corporation (now CIGNA corporation) with special responsibility for international commercial transactions, Artitrust and Trade Regulation matters and Agency Law, 1971 to 1975.

8. Joined the Office of Legal Affairs of the United Nations in 1975, serving in the Secretariat of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL), with responsibility for producing research studies on such diverse legal matters as international bank guarantees, international negotiable instruments, electronic funds transfers and international products liability, in addition to duties as legal advisor to various intergovernmental meetings.

9. Was appointed Secretary of the 58-member Commission on Human Settlements and Chief of External Relations of the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) soon after creation of these institutions, 1979.

10. Became Director, UNCHS (Habitat) New York Office, serving in this position from 1987 to 1991.

11. Was recalled to UNCHS (Habitat) Headquarters in Nairobi on promotion to the position of Director, office of the Executive Director and Special Programmes, providing senior-level management support to the Executive Director in addition to supervising major special programmes such as preparatory activities for the planned Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II).

12. Currently serving as Deputy Executive Head of Habitat undertaking day-to-day management functions, in addition to specific supervisory responsibility for Administration, Fund Management, relations with governments and general institutional and legal matters.

13. Has also undertaken a number of legal/political assignments for the United Nations, including a major investigation for OLA and DPA ordered by the Secretary-General in relation to the Somalia operations.


14. Born in Nigeria, 14 March 1943

15. Widowed, 2 children

16. Recreation/Hobbies: Tennis, Poetry, Politics, Philosophy.

For information only - Not an official document

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