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Gillian Martin Sorensen, Senior Adviser at the United Nations
Foundation, is a national advocate on matters related to the United
Nations and the United States-United Nations relationship, addressing
audiences as diverse as Rotary International and the Air Force Academy;
University students; staff and Members of Congress; newspaper editorial
writers and television correspondents.
From l997 to 2003, she served as Assistant Secretary-General for
External Relations on appointment by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. She
was responsible for outreach to civil society including non-governmental
organizations around the world. She was the contact point for the
Secretary-General in relations between the UN and parliamentarians, the
academic world, religious leaders and other groups committed to peace,
justice, development and human rights. As a member of the
Secretary-General’s inner circle, she had a role in his communications
strategy as well as schedule planning. She was also the contact point
for certain Host City matters.
Prior to that assignment Mrs. Sorensen served for four years
(1993-1996) as Special Adviser for Public Policy to Secretary-General
Boutros Boutros-Ghali where her duties included directing the UN’s
worldwide Fiftieth Anniversary observances in l995. As the official
overseeing the global commemoration, she led the planning of
conferences, debates, documentaries, concerts and exhibits; the
preparation of books and curricular materials, and the coordination of
the UN50 Summit at Headquarters in New York in which l80 Presidents and
Prime Ministers participated.
Mrs. Sorensen earlier served for over 12 years (1978-1990) on
appointment by Mayor Edward I. Koch as New York City Commissioner for
the United Nations and Consular Corps, head of the City’s liaison with
the world’s largest diplomatic community. Her responsibilities included
matters related to diplomatic security and immunity, housing and
education, and other cultural and business contacts between the host
city and over 30,000 diplomats. She secured Federal reimbursement to New
York for costs of diplomatic protection, which continues to this day.
In the fall of 2002, on leave of absence from the United Nations, she
was a Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government (Institute of
Politics) at Harvard University.
Mrs. Sorensen is a graduate of Smith College and studied at the
Sorbonne. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the
Women’s Forum and the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. She previously
served as a Board Member of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting on
appointment by the President of the United States. In addition to her
public service, she has been active in politics and was a delegate to
three national Presidential conventions.
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