The World Food Prize Foundation

2019 Borlaug Dialogue Speakers

Mr. Mark Lowcock

Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, UN-OCHA

In May 2017, Mr. Mark Lowcock of the United Kingdom was appointed as the UN UnderSecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, and head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). With more than 30 years of humanitarian and development experience, Mr. Lowcock serves as the chief coordinator of the world’s humanitarian response in times of urgent crisis.  


In his most recent position as Permanent Secretary for the Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Lowcock led the United Kingdom’s humanitarian response to conflicts in Iraq, Libya and Syria, and to natural disasters in Nepal and the Philippines. 
Prior to his leadership of DFID, Mr. Lowcock served as DFID’s Director General for Africa and Asia, coordinating its response to humanitarian emergencies in Haiti, Myanmar and Pakistan. He served previously as Director General for both Policy and Corporate Performance, and as Director of Finance.  Having served for extended periods in Kenya, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and with a subsequent designation as a Qualified Accountant, Mr. Lowcock brings a personal and analytical approach to humanitarian challenges. His leadership of a large and complex public organization has provided critical experience for his work as the world’s chief humanitarian advocate. 


Mr. Lowcock holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of London and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and History from Oxford University. He is married to Julia Watson and they have two sons and a daughter. 

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