E15 Experts are leading thinkers and practitioners from developed and developing countries reflecting a wide range of perspectives on trade and sustainable development. The experts’ participation in any E15 activity is on a personal basis and does not represent an official commitment of the organisations they are affiliated with.
Sigrid Kaag worked for Shell International in London between 1988 and 1990 and at the UN Political Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1990 to 1993. She subsequently held a series of international positions. From 1994 to 1997 she was the Programme Manager and Head of Donor Relations at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Jerusalem. She then worked at the International Organization for Migration in Geneva from 1998 to 2004.
In 2004 and 2005 Mrs Kaag was senior UN adviser in Khartoum and Nairobi. She continued her career at UNICEF, where she held various positions between 2005 and 2010, including Deputy Director of the Programme Division and Chief of Staff in New York, and Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Amman. Mrs Kaag then served as Assistant Secretary-General for the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York.
From October 2013 to September 2014 Mrs Kaag, as UN Under-Secretary-General, led the mission to eliminate chemical weapons in Syria. After this mission was completed, in 2015, she became Under-Secretary-General in Lebanon with responsibility for all UN activities in the country, specifically the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
In 2015 she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Exeter. She was awarded the Carnegie Wateler Peace Prize in 2016 in recognition of her efforts and the results of her work in the Middle East.
On 26 October 2017, Sigrid Kaag was appointed Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation in the third Rutte government.