Karin Sham Poo Biography

Karin Sham Poo

UNICEF Deputy Executive3 Director (ret.)


 Ms. Sham Poo retired from UNICEF in December 2004 as Deputy Executive Director at the Assistant Secretary General level having been appointed to this position in 1987 after joining the organization in 1985 as Comptroller.  Ms. Sham Poo has served as UNICEF Special Envoy to the Caribbean on a part-time basis from 2005 to 2009 residing in Trinidad and Tobago. Karin Sham Poo served in the fall of 2005 as Interim Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict at the Under Secretary General level. She has after retirement been a key note speaker at several international conferences on child rights issues and on children affected by armed conflicts.

Before joining UNICEF, she served as General Manager, Marketing Division and Senior Vice President of the Christiania Bank in Oslo from 1982 to 1985 after holding several other managerial positions with the bank, which she joined in 1962.  She has also held managerial posts with Bergens Kreditbank and A/S Kjobmandsbanken in Oslo.

Ms. Sham Poo has been active in professional, civic, and political organizations, and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of NGO Sustainability, New York. She is also its treasurer. Up till recently she was a member of the Board of Directors of the Norwegian American Chamber of  Commerce in New York. and a member of the Foreign Policy Group, based in Washington D.C., the Women’s International Forum, New York and the Board of Trustees of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, New York.

From 1997-1998 Ms. Sham Poo was a member of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations International School, 1991-1996 she was Chairperson of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Steering Committee for the Improvement of the Status of Women in the United Nations Secretariat.  Ms. Sham Poo was formerly a Board Member of Euro Travellers Cheque, Brussels, representing the Norwegian Bankers’ Association, and a council member of the Norwegian Board of Leadership Education.  She was elected Deputy Member of the Oslo Hoyre (conservative party) in the Oslo City Council; was Board Member of the Association of Bank Economists; and was Deputy Member of the Board of the Handicraft and Small Industries Association.  At Christiania Bank, she was Chairperson of the Employees’ Selection Committee and a member of the Gender Equality Committee.

Born in Oslo, Norway, Ms. Sham Poo is a graduate of the Norwegian College of Banking, where she earned a degree with majors in economics, law and banking.

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