Kamal Amakrane

Adjunct Professor of International Relations, School of International and Public Affairs

Climate Envoy of the President of the UN General Assembly

Managing Director of the Global Centre for Climate Mobility


Kamal is currently the Climate Envoy of the President of the UN General Assembly, overseeing efforts on addressing the existential threats posed by sea-level rise and on enabling people positive adaptation journeys amidst the climate crisis.

He also leads the Global Centre for Climate Mobility, a global partnership enabled by the United Nations, the World Bank and respective regional organizations to address climate-forced migration & displacement in the world’s most climate vulnerable regions. In this regard, Kamal spearheads the Rising Nations Initiative, a UN Member States-led effort focused on protecting the statehood, sovereignty & heritage of Pacific atoll countries facing existential threat from sea-level rise.

Kamal has been a faculty member of Columbia University since 2018, where he co-chairs the University’s Climate Mobility Network and works on advancing efforts to address climate forced migration. In 2018, he directed the Migration Consensus Initiative at the Columbia University Global Policy Initiative. During the intergovernmental negotiations for the Global Compact for Migration, he successfully led a coalition that pressed for countries to recognize the need to protect those forced to leave their countries due to climate change, as well as commitments to address climate-forced migration.

Between 2018 and 2020, he also served as Special Adviser for Strategic Partnerships, supporting United Nations’ efforts to advance innovation technology towards achieving the SDGs. He spearheaded efforts leading to the establishment of the UN Innovation & Technology Accelerator for Cities.

From 2015 to 2017, Kamal served as Political Director to successive Presidents of the UN General Assembly, where he led the Office’s instrumental contribution on migration and human rights issues, including the negotiation and adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees & Migrants, the Global Compact for Migration, and the Political Declaration on Combating Trafficking in Persons.

Prior to his work for the UN General Assembly, Kamal served as Chief of Staff of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI), where he coordinated political, electoral and rule of law efforts, as well as led UNOCI’s Ebola response efforts (2013-15). Before taking up his appointment in Abidjan, Kamal led the Office of the Head of UN-AU Joint Peacekeeping Mission for Darfur (UNAMID), where he oversaw the crafting and execution of UNAMID’s strategy for the protection of civilians in Darfur (2011-13). From 2008 to 2011, he served as Head of the Office of the UN Envoy to Myanmar, tasked with advancing the democratic transition in Myanmar.

Previously, Kamal had spent five years supporting the UN’s engagement towards the stabilization of Iraq. He was part of the early UN team working on the political transition in Iraq and tasked with organizing the country’s first elections (2004-07) and facilitating the negotiation and implementation of the International Compact with Iraq (2007-08).

His international career began in the Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2002), after which he joined the Office of Arab League’s Secretary-General Amr Moussa, advising on Iraq issues (2003).

Kamal served as member of the Global Board of Trustees of The Commons Project Foundation and the Board of Directors of the Tällberg Foundation between 2018 and 2023. He is a member of the Club of Rome and served in the Executive Board of Sciences Po Paris in 2002 & 2003. He was appointed Yale World Fellow in 2012 and Richard von Weisacker Fellow at the Bosch Academy in 2023. Kamal is an Architect and a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs. He speaks fluent English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Amazigh.