Catriona Laing has been named the next Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.
Laing will succeed James Swan.
“She succeeds James Swan of the United States of America, to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his dedication and steadfast leadership of UNSOM during his tenure,” said the Secretary-General in a statement.
Laing previously served as the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, a position she held from 2018 to April 2023.
She was the British ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2014 to 2018.
“Ms. Laing brings to this position over 35 years of experience in diplomacy, development, and international relations, including positions in various departments of the United Kingdom government at the national and international levels.”
Laing has worked in government policy and international development, most notably as Deputy Head of the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit (2000-2004), Director for Human Rights at the Ministry of Justice (2009-2012), and Head of Sudan’s Department of International Development (2006-2009).
From 1993 to 1994, she was also the chief of the United Nations Development Office in Somalia.