Press Release

New Leadership at the United Nations University Centre for Policy Research

Dr David Passarelli has commenced his role as Executive Director of UNU-CPR in New York, while Adam Day will serve as UNU-CPR Director of Programmes.

The United Nations University (UNU) announced today that Dr David Passarelli has commenced his role as Executive Director of the UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU-CPR) in New York while Adam Day will serve as UNU-CPR Director of Programmes. This follows the announcement of their appointments to those roles in December 2019.

Established in 2014 in Tokyo, and merging with the UNU Office in New York in 2018, UNU-CPR combines research excellence with deep knowledge of the multilateral system to generate innovative solutions to current and future global public policy challenges.

Dr David Passarelli previously served as the Executive Officer of UNU and Secretary of the UNU Council. At UNU-CPR, he will oversee new institutional development, partnerships, and growth strategies, and will lead research and policy advisory programming in the areas of migration, inequality, and development. He holds a Doctorate in International Development from Oxford University and brings over a decade of experience in the UN and UNU systems.

“I’m delighted to be joining UNU-CPR as Executive Director. In these challenging times, the need to connect innovative and forward-thinking policy options to international processes has never been more important” he said. “I look forward to continuing to build on the great work of UNU-CPR, working with new and existing partners and stakeholders from around the world.”

Adam Day is an accomplished researcher with extensive knowledge of and experience in the UN policy community. He has served in several UN field missions — in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lebanon, and Sudan — and will continue to lead new and existing UNU-CPR programming streams around conflict prevention, transitions, and climate security. He holds degrees from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, the University of California, Berkeley, and Brown University, and is currently pursuing a doctorate in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London.

Dr James Cockayne, who has led UNU’s New York office for the last six years, will continue working at UNU-CPR as Senior Fellow (Non-Resident), leading the Liechtenstein Initiative for Finance Against Slavery and Trafficking.

UNU Rector and UN Under-Secretary-General David M. Malone commented: “We are deeply grateful to James for his tireless and very effective work in building up UNU’s policy contributions to the UN. Both David and Adam possess significant policy development capacity, as well as rare related research skills in complementary fields of UN endeavour. I am confident that they will achieve great success."

Media Contacts:

  • Anthony Dursi, Communications Manager, UNU Centre for Policy Research, New York,
  • Daniel Powell, Principal Communication Specialist, UNU Office of Communications, Tokyo,

About the United Nations University (UNU)

UNU, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a go-to think tank for impartial research on the pressing problems of human survival, development, and welfare. With more than 400 researchers worldwide, UNU’s core mission is to generate research that makes a difference on the big issues and encourages the rethinking of existing policies and perspectives.