Carlos Lopes is a Bissau-Guinean development economist, author, educator and civil servant.
The Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) since March 2007 and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa since September 2012, he has previously served the United Nations as Director for Political Affairs (2005 to 2007) in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General and Director of the United Nations System Staff College (March 2007 to August 2012). An international educator, Lopes serves or advises the boards of the Bonn International Center for Conversion, Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute, Instituto Ethos, Kofi Annan Foundation and the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning. He advises or serves on the editorial boards of the journals Géopolitique Africaine, African Sociological Review, and African Identities. He is also a member of the King Baudouin International Development Prize Selection Committee.
In 1988, Lopes began working with the United Nations Development Programme, serving various administrative roles there, with focus in Zimbabwe and New York before, in 2003, taking the role of United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Brazil.
Lopes received his PhD from the Panthéon-Sorbonne University and was granted an honorary PhD from the Universidade Cândido Mendes. He has a Master of Research degree from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. His research and writing specialize in development and strategic planning.