Kelly T. Clements becomes UN Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees

Kelly T. Clements, previously Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) in the United States, on Monday assumed the duties of Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees at UNHCR.

"It is a great pleasure to welcome Ms. Clements to UNHCR," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "These are challenging times for our organization, given the record numbers of forcibly displaced persons worldwide. Her proven leadership and rich combination of skills will be a key asset for UNHCR."

Clements had been Deputy Assistant Secretary of State since 2010, with responsibility for humanitarian issues in Asia and the Middle East. She previously led PRM's Office of Policy and Resource Planning, where she oversaw the Bureau's strategic planning, policy development and financial resources to protect and assist refugees, conflict victims and vulnerable migrants worldwide. She also served as Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon during 2014.

The new Deputy High Commissioner has been closely involved with refugee and displacement issues throughout her 25-year career, including a secondment from the US Government to UNHCR in Bangladesh in the 1990s. She is well known to many UNHCR staff.

Clements, whose appointment was announced by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in June, succeeds T. Alexander Aleinikoff.