Our Team

Executive Secretary

Biography



Ms. Karl is the Executive Secretary of the UN Capital Development Fund. She started her career in the private sector as a Management Consultant with a focus on optimizing business operations in the US private banking and real estate sectors.

Ms. Karl moved to UNDP in 1988, starting as a management support officer in the Personnel division in New York. She has occupied management positions in UNDP Mali and Cambodia where she led programmes in local development finance, decentralisation, small and medium enterprise development, demining, and crisis response.

Ms. Karl served for six years as the head of strategy and policy for UNDP’s Crisis prevention and recovery, was the Deputy Director in UNDP’s Washington Liaison office, and served five years as head of UNDP’s operational performance group. Ms. Karl joined UNCDF as Executive Secretary in August 2014.

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Speeches and Statements

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2020

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, at the High Level Event "Global Fund for Coral Reefs"
New York, United States - September 4, 2020 - The UN Capital Development Fund is a specialized UN entity that makes public and private finance work for poor people at the household, small enterprise, and local infrastructure levels We are the only UN entity mandated to focus primarily on the Least Developed Countries and we also have a unique capital mandate, which allows us to use financial instruments such as loans and guarantees for small enterprises and small investment projects. This is the focus and expertise UNCDF will bring to our engagement with the Global Fund for Coral Reefs.

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, at the Second Regular Session of the Executive Board
New York, United States - September 4, 2020 - Midterm review of the United Nations Capital Development Fund, Strategic Framework, 2018-2021, including the annual report on results achieved by UNCDF in 2019. Mr. President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board, Excellencies, colleagues and friends, I am very pleased to join you today for the second regular session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board for 2020.

Statement by Judith Karl on the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Signing of the UN Charter
New York, United States - June 26, 2020 - In the summer of 1945, 850 delegates from 50 nations still reeling from World War II gathered in San Francisco, representing over 80 percent of the world’s population and seeking to establish an organization to preserve peace and build a better world.

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2020
New York, United States - March 8, 2020 - Greetings on International Women’s Day, a day when we can all declare that we are “Generation Equality” and express our commitment to creating the gender-equal world that we all deserve.

2019

Keynote Address by Judith Karl on Financial Health and its Relevance for the Developing World
Singapore, Singapore - November 14, 2019 - Good Morning. I am delighted to be here today in Singapore to open this important learning event. Before I start, I would like to take a moment to extend my gratitude to all of you for making the time to be here, and to consider what financial health truly means for the people and communities we serve, as well as what we can do to enhance their financial health.

Opening Remarks, Judith Karl, Executive Secretary, UNCDF at the DAC meeting on blended finance in LDCs
Kampala, Uganda - June 18, 2019 - Excellencies, Colleagues, Thank you for inviting me to join you today, and for including in your discussions a dedicated focus in blended finance in the LDCs. And thank you to the OECD – to Jorge, Haje and their team - for being such a great partner to UNCDF.

Opening Remarks by Judith Karl, Executive Secretary, UNCDF at the High level side event “Blended finance and leaving no one behind"
Kampala, Uganda - June 18, 2019 - Excellencies, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to join you all at this important regional event. This gathering is a wonderful example of how to share lessons and exchanges across countries in Africa and is exactly the kind of reflection we need at this point towards the SDGs.

Remarks by Judith Karl at the Signing Ceremony and Launch of “Leaving No One Behind in the Digital Era”
Kampala, Uganda - June 17, 2019 - Good Morning. Today’s signing is a powerful reflection of the work that UNCDF has done with its essential in-country partners to make the finance for development architecture work for Ugandans.

Remarks of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the Executive Board Annual session
New York, United States - June 6, 2019 - Thank you, Ambassador Cho, for chairing this session. And thank you, Mourad, for those introductory remarks. As you said, we are meeting at an important moment on the pathway to 2030.

Remarks of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the NAP EXPO 2019
Seoul, SOUTH KOREA - April 8, 2019 - Good morning. I deeply appreciate the privilege of officially opening NAP Expo 2019. I would like to extend my profound thanks to the LEG as well as the UNFCCC for organizing this critically important gathering.

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2019
NEW YORK, USA - March 8, 2019 - Greetings on International Women’s Day—a day that calls on us to Think Equal, Build Smart, and Innovate for Change—so that we can envision and work towards a truly gender-equal world.

2018

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the 2018 Sustainable Investing Conference
NEW YORK, USA - September 11, 2018 - This meeting comes at a time of hugely exciting innovation that is happening to scale up the contributions towards the SDGs. Public agencies like mine, and private investors like you, are increasingly trying to figure out ways to work together to see more capital flow to projects that not only generate profit, but which help tackle poverty, empower women, and safeguard our environment.

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the Global Learning and Sharing Forum of Making Access Possible
NEW YORK, USA - June 26, 2018 - Good morning ladies and gentleman. It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to New York. This learning and sharing event comes at an opportune moment when we are starting to see the potential of financial inclusion in helping to achieve the SDGs.

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the 2018 Executive Board Annual Session
NEW YORK, USA - June 8, 2018 - Mr President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board, Colleagues. Thank you, Ambassador Park, for chairing this session. And thank you, Tege, for those introductory remarks. The ties that bind UNCDF and UNDP are more important than ever. Our work together at the country, regional, and headquarters levels builds on our distinct collaborative advantages.

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the International Women’s Day 2018
NEW YORK, USA - March 8, 2018 - Greetings on International Women’s Day, when the attention of the world focuses on the urgent need to achieve equal rights for women and girls. At the United Nations Capital Development Fund, we work to ensure that finance works for women in the world’s 47 poorest countries.

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the 2018 Executive Board First Regular Session
NEW YORK, USA - January 24, 2018 - Mr President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board, Colleagues, Thank you Ambassador Koonjul for chairing this session. Thank you, Associate Administrator, for your introductory remarks. As you highlighted, the new UNDP Strategic Plan and UNCDF Strategic Framework recognise the clear benefits of building on our comparative advantages.

2017

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the 2017 Executive Board Second Regular Session
NEW YORK, USA - September 8, 2017 - Thank you for joining us at this session to discuss the UNCDF operational reserve. The UNCDF operational reserve for regular resources was established in 1979 by the Governing Council, now the Executive Board.

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the 2017 Executive Board Annual Session
NEW YORK, USA - June 2, 2017 - Thank you Ambassador Petersen for chairing this session. And thank you to the UNDP Acting Administrator for those introductory remarks.

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive secretary, at the side event Urban Finance as a Game Changer for LDCs
NEW YORK,USA - May 24, 2017 - Thank you all for attending today’s side event on “Urban Finance as a Game Changer for LDCs”. I thank the Financing for Development Office of DESA and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) for co-organizing this discussion.

Remarks by UNCDF Executive Secretary at the 1st workshop with the Executive Board on UNCDF Strategic Framework, 2018-2021
NEW YORK, USA - April 24, 2017 - Ambassador Petersen, Delegates, Colleagues, Thank you, Ambassador Petersen, for those welcoming remarks, and thank you all for joining us today.

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the International Women’s Day
NEW YORK, USA Mar 08, 2017 - Two years ago, Member States of the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Opening Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the UNCDF’s 50th Anniversary
NEW YORK, USA, Jan 30, 2017 - Thank you very much for joining us this evening to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Capital Development Fund.

2016

Statement of Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of UNCDF’s 50th Anniversary
NEW YORK, USA, Dec 13, 2016 - "Today UNCDF celebrates its 50th anniversary. Much has changed in the world since UNCDF’s..."

Message from Executive Secretary on International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
NEW YORK, USA, Oct 17, 2016 - "The theme of this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is "Moving from..."

Remarks by UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the South-South and Triangular Cooperation on Scaling up
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 20, 2016 - "Excellencies, Distinguished panelist, I thank the Government of Bangladesh for organizing this..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary at the Concessional finance and UNCDF’s toolbox event
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 09, 2016 - "Welcome and thank you very much for attending today’s briefing on the role of concessional finance..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary at the 2016 UNDP Executive Board Annual Session
NEW YORK, USA, Jun 09, 2016 - "Mr President, Distinguished Members of the Executive Board, Colleagues, Thank you Ambassador..."

Opening remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the side event: Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions
ANTALYA, TURKEY, May 29, 2016 - "Ambassador Lambertini, Excellencies, Distinguished panelists, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlement..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary On the occasion of the side event: Getting to the Last Mile
ANTALYA, TURKEY, May 28, 2016 - "Excellencies, Distinguished panelists, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen, Thanks for joining us..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary On the occasion of the side event: Taking Technology to the Last Mile
ANTALYA, TURKEY, May 28, 2016 - "Excellencies, Distinguished panelists, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you all for attending..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary at the side-event:Development Finance in LDCs: Tackling Risk & Vulnerabilities
ANTALYA, TURKEY, May 26, 2016 - "Thank you for your question and for organizing this event on a very pertinent topic for the LDCs..."

Opening remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary On the occasion of the: Forum on investment opportunities in LDCs
ANTALYA, TURKEY, May 26, 2016 - "Excellencies, Distinguished panelists, Colleagues, Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you for inviting..."

Remarks by UNCDF Ex. Secretary on the occasion of Leveraging Digital Innovation in Humanitarian Response to Build Resilience
ISTANBUL, TURKEY, May 24, 2016 - "Excellencies, colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, distinguished co-hosts and panelists. It is my..."

Remarks by Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, at the 'How financial inclusion strategies support inclusive growth
NEW YORK, Mar 30, 2016 - "Thank you all for attending today’s side event on “How financial inclusion strategies support..."

Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the International Women’s Day
NEW YORK, USA, Mar 08, 2016 - "Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the International Women's Day..."

2015

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the Strengthening Resilience and Adaptation to CC through Local Governments.
SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA, Nov 03, 2015 - "Welcome to this important event on “Strengthening Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Change..."

Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the World Cities Day 31 October 2015
NEW YORK, USA, Oct 30, 2015 - "This year, the theme for the World Cities Day, “Designed to live together”, reminds us of the..."

Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
NEW YORK, USA, Oct 17, 2015 - "This year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty comes on the heels of the adoption..."

Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the World Food Day, 16 October 2015
NEW YORK, USA, Oct 16, 2015 - "Three weeks ago, 193 Member States of United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals,..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of “Mobilization of Additional Resources for the SDGs”
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 29, 2015 - "My thanks go to the United Arab Emirates and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary at Interactive Dialogue 6 during the UN Sustainable Development Summit
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 26, 2015 - "I would like to highlight three areas where, in UNCDF’s experience, local and global partnership..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the No Transformation Without Localization side event
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 26, 2015 - "We are honored to have Josep Roig, Secretary General, United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG)..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the Opening of the Pacific Microfinance Week
HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, Sep 22, 2015 - "Thank you for inviting me to join you at the fifth Pacific Microfinance Week, for which UNCDF..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the Launch of the Solomon Islands Financial Services Demand Side Survey
HONIARA, SOLOMON ISLANDS, Sep 22, 2015 - "Thank you for inviting me to join in the launch of the Solomon Islands financial services Demand..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the Launch of the Fiji Financial Services Demand Side Survey Report
SUVA, FIJI, Sep 17, 2015 - "Thank you for inviting me to join in the launch of the Fiji financial services Demand Side Survey..."

Remarks of UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the “Leaving no one behind: Supporting LDCs to achieve the SDGs”
NEW YORK, USA, Sep 02, 2015 - "Thank you for joining us today. Thanks to Switzerland for conceiving of this side event..."

Remarks by Judith Karl UNCDF Executive Secretary at the Expanding the frontier side event at the FfD3
ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA, Jul 13, 2015 - "The emerging post-­2015 development agenda goes beyond the MDGs in scope and ambition..."

Remarks of Judith Karl UNCDF Executive Secretary on the occasion of the International Ebola Recovery Conference
NEW YORK, USA, Jul 10, 2015 - "The United Nations Capital Development Fund played an important role in the Ebola response..."

Statement of UNCDF Executive Secretary to the Annual Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board on Report on 2014 results
NEW YORK, USA, Jun 08, 2015 - "It is an honor for me to address you today at this June Executive Board session and to report..."

Opening Remarks by Judith Karl UNCDF Executive Secretary at the Roundtable on Financial Inclusion – Innovation and Impacts
CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, May 26, 2015 - "I welcome you to this roundtable on “Financial Inclusion – Innovation and Impacts” ..."

Statement by Judith Karl UNCDF Executive Secretary at the CSW59
NEW YORK, USA, Mar 11, 2015 - "Excellency, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen. It is a pleasure to be with you..."

Statement by Judith Karl UNCDF Executive Secretary to the First Regular Session UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board 2015
NEW YORK, USA, Jan 30, 2015 - "Mr. President (Chairman), Distinguished Members of the Executive Board. Allow me to begin..."

2014

Speech by Judith Karl, Executive Secretary, UNCDF “Expanding Digital Financial Services MM4P expansion to Benin, Senegal and Zambia. BENIN, SENEGAL AND ZAMBIA, Oct 23, 2014 - "I welcome you to this event on “Expanding Digital Financial Services” hosted by UNCDF..."

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