IWF member profile

Nardos Bekele-Thomas

Nardos Bekele-Thomas

United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator | Head of the UN System in South Africa at United Nations

Nardos Bekele-Thomas is currently the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations (UN) and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa.

Prior to this, she served (2016-2017) as the Senior Director of the Office of the Secretary-General, in charge of the overall management of the Office of the Secretary-General, the Office of the Chef de Cabinet, and that of the Deputy Secretary-General.  Previously, she was the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Kenya.  She also served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Republic of Benin from November 2008 to September 2013.

Prior to her appointment by the UN Secretary-General as Resident Coordinator and as Resident Representative by the UNDP Administrator, in Kenya and Benin, she served for over four years in Kenya as Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP with responsibility for the formulation and implementation of UNDP programme of assistance to the Republic of Kenya.  

Over the last three decades, Ms. Bekele-Thomas has also lived and served in various capacities in Ethiopia (1974-1982), New York, USA (1983-1987 and 1998-2004), India (1987-88), Bhutan (1988-1989), Comoros Islands (1989-1990), Republic of Benin (l990-1993) and Uganda (1994-1998), promoting human development anchored on the principles of economic, social and political rights for all. Before her assignment to Kenya, Ms. Bekele-Thomas served in New York as Country Programme Adviser for East and Central Africa in the Regional Bureau for Africa of UNDP (2001-2004). She is the author of several papers and monographs and she is fully bilingual in French and English.

Speciality Area: Economist by profession. 


Master’s Degree and a Ph. D. Candidate Certificate in Economic Development, Monetary Economics and Econometrics from New York University.Bachelor of Arts: Economic Development and International Development, University of Addis Ababa.