Kanni Wignaraja

Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Development Programme

Ms. Kanni Wignaraja began her role as UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific on 18 November 2019. Before, Ms. Wignaraja served as the Acting Assistant Administrator and Director of UNDP’s Bureau of Management Services and as Special Adviser to the UNDP Administrator, roles that she performed throughout 2019 after working as the Director of the UN Development Operations Coordination Office from 2014 to 2018.

Ms. Wignaraja has over twenty-five years of experience of the UN’s mission and UNDP’s role in the sustainable development agenda. She has a deep knowledge of the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the global, regional and country level workings of UNDP, across policy, programme, management and operations.

Prior to joining the UN, Kanni worked with the Ford Foundation in New York. Kanni has contributed to numerous papers, articles and conferences in areas of public policy, institutional reform, capacity development, human rights and leadership.

Ms. Wignaraja holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration (Development Economics) from Princeton University and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Bryn Mawr College. She is married and has two children.