Kamal Amakrane

Senior Advisor, International Migration Project, Columbia University, Political Director to the President of the UN General Assembly (70th & 71st sessions)

Kamal webbKamal Amakrane has 20 years of experience in political mediation, peacekeeping, migration & asylum issues, as well as regional political questions in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.

He is currently Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. He is also Senior Advisor at Columbia University’s Global Policy Initiative, where he directs the Migration Consensus Initiative. During the 2018 inter-governmental 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 for commitments to real action to address climate-induced migration.

Until recently, Kamal served as Political Director to the President of the UN General Assembly, where he led the Office’s instrumental contribution on migration and asylum issues (2015-2017). He is credited as the architect behind the processes resulting in the New York Declaration for Refugees & Migrants, the Global Compact for Migration, and the decision to convene the first-ever UN conference on international migration. 

Before this, Kamal served as Chief of Staff of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (2013-15), Chief of the Office of the UN-African Union Joint Special Representative for Darfur (2011-13), and Head of the Office of the UN Envoy to Myanmar (2008-11). 

Previously, Kamal spent many years supporting the UN political engagement towards the stabilization of Iraq. He was part of the early UN missions tasked with organizing the country’s first elections after the US invasion and then assisted with the negotiation and implementation of the International Compact with Iraq (2004-08). 

His international career began in the Office of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2002), after which he joined the Office of the Arab League’s Secretary-General Amr Moussa (2003). Prior to his career in international cooperation, Kamal worked on development and urban planning issues in his home country Morocco (1998-2001). 

Kamal was elected to the Executive Board of Sciences Po Paris in 2002 & 2003 and was appointed Yale World Fellow in 2012. Kamal is an Architect and a graduate of Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University’s SIPA. He speaks fluent Spanish, French, Arabic, Amazigh, and English.