Mark Bowden CMG

Associate Fellow, International Security Programme


Mark Bowden retired from United Nations (UN) as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan where he was also the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RC), Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) and UNDP Resident Representative in charge of coordination of the United Nations System activities between 2012 and 2017.

For the previous five years he was the UN RC/HC and UNDP Resident Representative for Somalia where he was responsible for the coordination of the major famine relief efforts of 2011. He was previously assigned as the Director of Civil Affairs in the United Nations Mission in Sudan and was acting head of the political pillar of the mission.

From 2001 to 2005 Mr. Bowden was extensively involved in the design of humanitarian reforms as the Chief of the Policy Development and Studies Branch in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

From 1999 to 2001 he was the first Conflict Management Adviser for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

His areas of expertise include humanitarian policy, humanitarian diplomacy and negotiations, aid coordination, protection of civilians, conflict analysis, Afghanistan, Somalia, and South Sudan.

Past experience

2018 - present Senior Research Associate, Overseas Development Institute
2012-17 UN Asst. Secretary General, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, UNAMA, Afghanistan
2008-12 Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, United Nations
2001-06 Chief, Policy Development and Studies Branch, UN OCHA