Maimunah Mohd Sharif is appointed at the level of Under-Secretary-General, following an election by the General Assembly on 22 December 2017. She assumed her post at UN-Habitat's Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya on 22 January 2018. In January 2022, the General Assembly confirmed Sharif as Executive Director of UN-Habitat for a further two years.
Since joining the United Nations, she has re-positioned UN-Habitat as a thought leader in sustainable urbanization and an agency that advocates for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and the nationally determined contributions to the Climate Action Paris Agreement.
She is the co-chair of the Secretary-General’s Task Force on the Future of Cities and co-chair of the Local 2030 Coalition, designed to support and accelerate local-led delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. She is an advocate for local voluntary reviews of the New Urban Agenda and a champion of urban issues in the World Economic Forum.
Before becoming Executive Director, she served as Mayor of Penang in Malaysia and was the President of the Malaysian Association of Local Authorities.
She has over 30 years of experience in urban planning.