Dr James Cockayne to Step Down as UNU-CPR Director

  • 2019•10•03     New York

    The United Nations University (UNU) announced today that Dr James Cockayne will step down from his role as Director of the UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) in mid-2020.

    Dr Cockayne joined UNU in 2013 as its representative to the UN in New York, and comprehensively re-cast UNU’s Office in New York (UNU-ONY) as one in the service of the UN and other constituencies rather than merely a representative one. In 2018, Dr Cockayne assumed the role of UNU-CPR Director, following the merger of the UNU’s representational office in New York and UNU-CPR, which had been operating from Tokyo since 2014 under the leadership of Sebastian von Einsiedel. UNU-CPR was created to generate research and connect the UN University’s academic expertise more directly to policy processes within the United Nations system.

    “It is thanks to James Cockayne’s strategic leadership that UNU’s presence in New York has so fundamentally changed since 2013. UNU-CPR’s strong relationships with the UN Secretariat and also Funds, Agencies and Programmes, national delegations accredited to the UN,  a wide range of academic institutions and many interlocutors from other sectors, notably business and non-profit, have underpinned its thriving projects. UNU-CPR outputs produced by the strong, resilient, hard-working and diverse team James assembled and grew over the years have made UNU significantly more relevant to the UN itself and to many member states”, said UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary General David M. Malone.

    Under Dr Cockayne’s leadership, UNU-CPR has successfully created evidence-based policy impact, contributed to UN policy reforms (on, inter aliadrug policyanti-slaverycyber policy and sanctions policy), and been commissioned by the UN for a variety of projects, including drafting the Code of Ethics for the President of the General Assembly.

    Today, UNU-CPR team members regularly brief UN Security Council representatives and recently, Dr. Cockayne briefed the Council as a whole. UNU-CPR works closely with UN entities such as the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, the International Labour Organization, and the World Bank.

    “UNU is uniquely positioned to help the UN unite behind science-based policy, and to engage beyond Member States with researchers, civil society, and the private sector,” said Dr Cockayne. “I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity I have been afforded to contribute to this effort over these past six years, and for all that I’ve learned from working with the team at UNU – in Tokyo, New York and our other locations.”

    Dr Cockayne will remain in the role of Director of UNU-CPR until summer 2020, after which he will continue with UNU-CPR for an additional year as Senior Fellow (Modern Slavery), leading two ongoing projects: Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking and Delta 8.7, a knowledge platform focused on SDG target 8.7 to eradicate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labour.

    Applications for the position of Director at UNU-CPR are open now, and will close on 8 November, 2019. For more information, see the vacancy announcement