Irina Bokova Former Director-General of UNESCO

Irina Bokova was born on 12 July 1952 in Sofia (Bulgaria). She has been two terms the Director – General of UNESCO from 2009 to 2917.  She graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations and was a Ford Foundation Fellow at the University of Maryland (Washington), and attended an executive program on leadership the John F. Kennedy School of Government (Harvard University). As Director General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova was actively   engaged in the efforts to adopt UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. She was  particularly active in defence of cultural heritage in conflict in Mali, Syria and Iraq and in denouncing extremists’ destruction of heritage as a tool of war, which lead to the adoption by the UN Security Council of several land mark resolutions on the link between maintaining peace, security and the protection of cultural heritage. Irina Bokova has received state distinctions from countries across the world and is Doctor honoris causa of leading universities.  In May 2020 she was elected as International Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for 2020. Currently, she is a Member of the Board of “Ban Ki Moon Centrefor Global Citizens”, Memb er of the Concordia LeadershipCouncil, New York, Lecturer on “Cultural Diplomacy”  at the Paris School of International Affairs /PSIA/, SciencePo, Visiting Lecturer at the University of Gene va, among other activities.

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