UNCDF, the United Nations agency that promotes economic development in the least developed countries through local development finance and inclusive finance, today announced the appointment of Marc Bichler as Executive Secretary.
Bichler served most recently as Director for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg and had accreditation as Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, with residence in Luxembourg. Under his leadership, Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation implemented roughly 85% of the bilateral and multilateral aid programmes financed by the Luxembourg government, managing a portfolio exceeding 240 million Euros.
"UNCDF is a UN agency with a unique mandate and I am very excited about the prospect of working with a team with such high technical expertise to deliver UNCDF's next round of development results," Mr. Bichler said. "UNCDF has a rich history and a solid foundation to build on. My immediate focus will be on getting to know the entire team and working closely with UNCDF’s two programme areas – Local Development Finance and Inclusive Finance and cross-cutting Units, and diving deeply into our products and programmes to learn more about what the more than 40 least developed countries UNCDF is active in find most engaging and useful."
“As Executive Secretary, I will work closely with the Executive Board and all our development partners as we continue the strategic review process to be more effective in our work and make a real difference in people’s lives – from strengthening financial sectors to make them more inclusive, to helping local governments improve socio economic infrastructure and delivery of basic services,” added Bichler.
Prior to serving as Director for Luxembourg’s Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs in the, Bichler was Deputy Permanent Representative of Luxembourg to the United Nations in New York (2000-2005); and Deputy Director for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs (1995-2000). He began his diplomatic career as Chargé de mission and Secrétaire de Légation, European Affairs (1990-1995). He has served in a variety of capacities dealing with Microfinance issues including inter alia as Chair of the Luxembourg Round Table on Microfinance; Chair of the UN Advisors Group on Inclusive Financial Sectors; and Chair of the European Microfinance Platform. He holds a Maîtrise en droit des affaires from the University of Paris, Sorbonne.
UNCDF is the UN's capital investment agency for the world's 48 least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their small businesses by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF programmes help to empower women, and are designed to catalyze larger capital flows from the private sector, national governments and development partners, for maximum impact toward the MDGs.