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Omar Abdi

Omar Abdi is a Somali-Canadian diplomat. He serves as the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and a board member of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.1)



Abdi has a bachelor of science in civil engineering from the Somali National University in Mogadishu. He later received a doctoral degree in development economics and a master’s in regional development planning, both from Cornell University.2)


Abdi formerly served on the Board of Directors for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health.3) 4)

In 2020, Abdi was part of the selection committee that chose José Manuel Barroso as chair of Gavi's board.5)

Omar Abdi. (2022, September 12). Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Secretary-General Appoints Omar Abdi of Canada Deputy Executive Director (Programmes), United Nations Children’s Fund | UN Press. (2016, June 6). United Nations.
Report of the meeting of the Board of Directors. (2019, December). Global Partnership for Education.
Board members. Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. Retrieved March 8, 2022, from
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