David Passarelli

Director of UNU-CPR

Doctorate, International Development, University of Oxford
MA International Relations, Waseda University

Dr David Passarelli is Director of UNU’s Centre for Policy Research where he bears overall responsibility for the direction, organization, and administration of the Centre’s research.

He is also a member of UN University’s Senior Management Group, and serves as UNU’s representative to the UN High-Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP).

Between 2022-2023, Dr Passarelli led the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Advisory Board on Effective Multilateralism (HLAB). His research has been commissioned by several influential organizations, including UNICEF, the UN Environment Programme, the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO), and the UK Ministry of Defence’s Development, Concepts, and Doctrine Centre (DCDC) with financial support from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC).

His research and policy work predominantly focus on global governance, migration, strategic foresight, international development, and global finance. He holds a Doctorate in International Development from the University of Oxford.

He has held several roles at UNU, including as Executive Officer and Secretary of the governing board (2017-2020) and Chief of Staff to UNU’s Under-Secretary-General (2013-2016). He established and led the University’s Office of Academic Affairs between 2011-2013.

He has also held research positions at the Institute on Globalization, Culture, and Mobility, and at the Global Institute for Asian Regional Integration, and lectured at Temple University, Tokyo. His recent publications include:


Media Coverage

The World Needs an International Decade for Data

The Global Digital Compact, to be agreed at the Summit of the Future, presents an opportunity to expand the benefits of data for all.

14 Feb 2024


Reforming the Global Financial Architecture to Address the Challenges of Refugee Hosting as a Global Public Good

Unpacking the ways reforms of the global financial architecture can support efforts to address the challenges of forced displacement.

26 Jan 2024

Working Paper

An International Decade for Data: Multistakeholder Cooperation in a Data-Driven World

A global vision for data cooperation to bridge the digital divide and spur international investment.

08 Nov 2023


Child Migrants and Their Rights in Context

Recent jurisprudence, operational guidance, treaty body decisions and lawmaking related to children, climate and mobility.

12 Dec 2023

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