Former Minister of Environment of Nigeria, Amina Mohammed was born in Nigeria in 1961. The eldest of five daughters, her mother is British, while her father is a Nigerian.
In a 2017 article in the Guardian Ms Mohammed once confided that she had to raise money when she wanted to study hotel catering management in Italy:
I said to my father: ‘I’m leaving.’ He said, ‘OK, but I have no money to give you’. So I challenged everyone and said I am walking from Kaduna to Zaria – which is 76km – to raise the cash. They all said ‘You can’t do it!’ But I raised £4,000, and that was it, I was off. For me, it has been a long journey, step by step, using the education I had to make a difference.
After years in the private sector in an architectural design office in northern Nigeria, Mohammed served three Nigerian presidents before becoming adviser to Ban Ki-moon, Guterres’ predecessor as secretary general, on the post-2015 development agenda.
As Minister of Environment of Nigeria, she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.
Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed served as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.
As the current Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations she was instrumental in bringing about the unprecedented 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development including the Sustainable Development Goals.
In her current role at the United Nations, Ms. Mohammed supports the Secretary-General in performing his function as “chief administrative officer” of the Organisation with a special focus on sustainable development, the management of the review of the United Nations development system, financing for development, humanitarian-development nexus, climate change, migration, global health and related issues.
She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and served on numerous international advisory boards
United Nations deputy secretary general Amina J. Mohammed has been instrumental in shaping the organisation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
However, as she tells the publication “New African Woman”, achieving these goals amid the current global anxieties raises some red flags, which call for action but not quick fixes.
Behind the Scenes at UN Week
(25 September 2018)
During high-level meetings of the United Nations General Assembly in September 2018, the highest-ranking woman in the UN, Nigeria’s Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, took Instagram followers along with her as she met with presidents, prime ministers, CEOs and celebrities.
With a commanding presence, she guides the organisation’s response to some of the most pressing issues facing youth, women and communities today, including the Sustainable Development Goals.
Interview with Excellency Mohammed
Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations has been recognised as one of the ‘World’s Greatest Leaders’ by Fortune magazine, ‘Diplomat of the Year’ by Foreign Policy magazine, and a ‘Climate Warrior’ by Vogue magazine.
Excellency Mohammed is also recognised as a ‘Social Media Champion’ by the UN Social 500 for using her personal social media accounts to share the work of the UN with the public.
In this #SharingTheSuccess interview, Simone Dominique asks Ms Mohammed about her passion in life, her path to the UN, any obstacles that she faced in her career, tips for effective social media messaging, and her views on the world today.