UN management chief Burnham resigns to return to private sector
United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Management Christopher Burnham, who played a key role in reforms, including a strengthened whistleblower protection policy, has resigned to return to the private sector, Secretary-General Kofi Annan announced today.
“His strong leadership will be missed at the United Nations,” Mr. Annan said in a statement issued by his spokesman, stressing that he had accepted his resignation “with great regret.”
Mr. Burnham, appointed 18 months ago, was “a driving force” in management reforms, Mr. Annan added, citing his role in the creation of the first-ever UN Ethics Office, rewriting the whistleblower protection policy and devising stronger financial disclosure requirements.
He also was deeply involved in creating the first UN Consolidated Report, the adoption of new international accounting standards, and the reform and modernization of the procurement service, where irregularities were uncovered by both the UN’s own oversight office and the independent panel investigating the Iraq Oil-for-Food programme.
Mr. Burnham, whose resignation becomes effective on 15 November, previously served as Acting Under-Secretary for Management of the United States Department of State and Assistant Secretary for Resource Management and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the State Department.
Before that, he worked in the private sector as Chief Executive Officer of PIMCO’s Columbus Circle Investors, Vice Chairman of PIMCO’s mutual fund group, and an investment banker with Crédit Suisse First Boston and Advest Corporate Finance.