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Mary Kamel Kawar

Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Jordan

Dr. Kawar started her professional life as a researcher at the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation during the period 1989-1991. She also served as an adviser to the Minister of Labor between 2006-2007.

Minister Kawar has more than 25 years’ developmental and operational experience at global, regional and country level including in Asia, Africa and the Arab region. She has worked across a wide range of economic and social policy issues such as livelihoods, vocational education, training, gender, youth, child labor, migration, refugees and social protection.

She has developed and led strategies, policies and programs in various countries. She coordinated large teams undertaking complex multi-sectoral evidence-based policy-relevant reports and activities (including on the MDGs and SDGs) involving effective resource mobilization and implementation of programs with UN agencies, international financial institutions (IFIs) as well as with multilateral and bilateral donors.

Dr. Kawar worked for the International Labor Organization (ILO) between 1997-2017. This included ILO’s headquarters in Geneva and the Regional Office in Beirut on global and Arab regional issues on employment policy, skills development, gender and refugee issues. Her most recent appointment was at the (ILO) as Director for several African countries at (ILO) in East Africa. 

Born in Amman, the Minister has studied social policy and development planning at the London School of Economics from where she was awarded a PhD having previously obtained her first degree from Tufts University, USA in anthropology with a minor in economics. 

Minister Kawar is also a published author, having written books, policy guidelines and research papers related to economic and social policies.