The appointment, which was confirmed by the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, was announced via a statement issued in New York by the global body on Friday.
According to the statement, Ms. Adesola, who is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Nigeria and Paul Polman, of the Netherlands and Chief Executive Officer of Unilever, were appointed to serve as the two Vice-Chairs of the Board.
“Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman succeed out-going United Nations Global Compact Board Vice-Chair, Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, Former Chairman of Royal Dutch/Shell Group of Companies and of Anglo American plc.
“The Secretary-General extends his great appreciation to Sir Mark for serving in the position for the past ten years and shepherding the United Nations Global Compact into a new era.”
The statement added that both Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman have served on the Board of the United Nations Global Compact previously, “and will bring to the position a wealth of experience in the private sector, in the corporate sustainability space and specifically with the United Nations Global Compact itself.”
“Ms. Adesola has served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd since 2011. She has over 25 years of banking experience, including at First Bank of Nigeria and at Citibank. Ms. Adesola holds degrees from Harvard Business School and Lagos Business School, as well as a law degree from the University of Buckingham.
“Mr. Polman has served as Chief Executive Officer of Unilever since 2009. Prior to joining Unilever, he worked at Nestlé S.A., and at Proctor and Gamble, where he spent 26 years. Mr. Polman holds degrees from the University of Groningen and from the University of Cincinnati.
“As Chair of the Board of the United Nations Global Compact, the Secretary-General looks forward to working closely with Ms. Adesola and Mr. Polman, along with United Nations Global Compact Executive Director, Lise Kingo, as they lead the United Nations Global Compact, the entry point for business within the broader United Nations system,” the statement read.
It will be recalled that a former Nigerian minister of environment, Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, was appointed the UN Deputy Secretary-General early last year.