Project Advisory Committee

Mr. Niels Annen

Project Advisory Committee (PAC) Co-Chair
Federal Republic of Germany

Mr. Niels Annen is the Minister of State at the German Federal Foreign Office (since 2018), a member of the German Bundestag (2005-2009 and since 2013) and a member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Previously, he served as the spokesperson of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the German Bundestag (2013-2018), as an advisor on International Policy Analysis (2011-2013) and as a Senior Resident Fellow of the German Marshall Fund (2010-2011). He has a strong belief and commitment to universal human rights, peace and mediation, fostering humanitarian aid and the preservation of the global arms control architecture. He attained a Master’s in International Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, History and Spanish.

The Federal Foreign Office (AA) is the foreign ministry of the Federal Republic of Germany, a federal agency responsible for both the country's foreign policy and its relationship with the European Union. 

Mr. Niels Annen           |    Government of Germany      


Mr. Victor Kisob

PAC Co-Chair

Mr. Victor Kisob was appointed in 2018 as the Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN-Habitat. He brings to the position over three decades of service in human resources (HR) management; spanning international affairs, policy, strategy, operations, knowledge management and partnerships; coupled with country experiences. He was previously Director of the Learning, Development and HR Services Division as well as the Acting Assistant Secretary-General for HR Management in the United Nations Office of HR Management. Having joined the United Nations in 1989, he also held positions as Director of the UN Ebola Response Liaison Office, Principal Officer of the UN Executive Office of the Secretary-General, Chief of Staffing Service, and Chief of Recruitment and Placement at the UN Office in Vienna, Austria. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Master’s in Development Banking.

UN-Habitat is the lead custodian agency of the United Nations, supporting Member States on sustainable cities and human settlements and on methodologies, tools and solutions to implement and monitor urban-related Sustainable Development Goals and New Urban Agenda targets.

Mr. Victor Kisob       |   UN-Habitat         


Ms. Stephanie Egerland

PAC Member
HafenCity University Hamburg

Ms. Stephanie Egerland has been the chancellor of HafenCity University Hamburg since 2012. She previously was a manager at Groupe Gregoire Besson (2006-2012) and a Managing Director at Werner Egerland Automobillogistik (1987-2001). She has experience in management, business strategy and strategic planning. She studied Economics and speaks English, French and German.

HafenCity University was founded as a fusion of three universities and colleges in Hamburg and, as such, combines interdisciplinary aspects of construction, planning and design with engineering, natural sciences and social sciences.

Ms. Stephanie Egerland     |   HafenCity University        


Mr. Salem Avan

PAC Member
United Nations Office of Information and Communications Technology

Mr. Salem Avan is currently the Director of the Policy, Strategy and Governance Division for ICT at United Nations Headquarters. Mr. Avan oversees technology strategies and leads cybersecurity, business intelligence, data analytics, and technology innovation. Innovation plays a critical role in moving the United Nations forward; engaging with partners is paramount to the success of technology supporting the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Mr. Avan works to bring together the Organization with entrepreneurs, social and data scientists, Member States and the private sector to articulate, design and develop solutions to the world’s most complex challenges. Prior to this position, he was responsible for ICT for peace operations, the largest department of the United Nations. He joined peacekeeping in 1994 during the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and served in missions in various countries including Iraq, Western Sahara, Sierra Leone, Eritrea and Ethiopia. He also worked in Croatia with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and in the Special Court for Sierra Leone. 

UN-OICT enables the UN Secretariat to deliver effectively on its mandates through the secure, responsible and innovative use of data, information and technology.  

Mr. Salem Avan       |   UN-OICT      


Mr. Lacina Koné

PAC Member
Smart Africa

Mr. Lacina Koné is the Director General of Smart Africa since 2019. He has more than 25 years of experience in the telecommunications, satellite and intelligent transportation systems sectors, and held several managerial positions in companies such as satellite telecom provider Intelsat, information technololgy giant Booz Allen Hamilton, and Qualicom. From 2011 to 2017, he was the ICT advisor to the Ivorian president Alassane Ouattara. Trilingual in French, English and Arabic, he holds a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering, a Master’s in Data Communication, and a Master of Business Administration.

Smart Africa is a bold and innovative commitment from African Heads of State and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and the usage of information and communications technology.

Mr. Lacina Koné          |    Smart Africa        


Ms. Julie Kae

PAC Member

Ms. Julie Kae is the Vice President of Sustainability and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as the Executive Director of Qlik since 2008. Her areas of expertise include environmental, social and governance programmes, managing strategic partnerships with international organizations, and spearheading the development of environmental solutions. Ms. Kae manages Qlik’s partnership with the United Nations, UN-OICT and agencies UNFCCC, OIE, WHO, UN Youth Envoy and others. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting from the University of Iowa.  

With the vision of a data-literate world, Qlik provides an end-to-end, real-time data integration and analytics cloud platform that allows for open-ended, curiosity-driven exploration.

Ms. Julie Kae         |   Qlik         


Mr. Kunal Kumar

PAC Member
Smart Mission India (Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs)

Mr. Kunal Kumar is the Joint Secretary and Mission Director of the Smart Cities Mission in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, Government of India, since 2018. Previously, he worked in the State of Maharashtra since 1999, with over eight years at the helm at Nagpur, Kolhapur and Pune Municipal Corporations. As District Collector in Aurangabad and as Municipal Commissioner in Pune, he has been awarded by the Prime Minister. He is an Electrical Engineering graduate and holds a Master's in Public Management.

Smart Cities Mission is a programme launched by the Government of India with the objective to promote sustainable, inclusive cities through the application of “smart” solutions.

Smart Mission India      


Dr. Edgar Pieterse

PAC Member
African Centre for Cities (University of Cape Town)

Dr. Edgar Pieterse is the founding Director for the African Centre for Cities at the University of Cape Town since 2007. He has facilitated explorations of urban research with a focus on sustainable human settlements and pertinent urban challenges, and he is a thought leader on African and southern urbanism. He previously was a Special Advisor to the Premier in Cape Town from 2004 to 2007. There he supported the Premier by advising on development policies and strategies. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Urban Planning and Geography via Social Policy, and a Master’s in Development Studies.

African Centre for Cities is an interdisciplinary hub at the University of Cape Town that is involved in collaborative research on the understanding of pertinent urban crises, and is committed to the promotion of vibrant, just and sustainable cities.

Dr. Edgar Pieterse       |   African Centre for Cities        


Ms. Almut Möller

PAC Member
City of Hamburg

Ms. Almut Moller is a Plenipotentiary of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg to the Federation, to the European Union and for Foreign Affairs. Previously, she was the Head of Office of the European Council on Foreign Relations from 2015 to 2019. Prior to this, she led the Alfred von Oppenheim Center for European Policy Studies at the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP e.V.) from 2010 to 2015. She brings extensive experience as a publicist and political analyst, with research stays at the Renmin University of China, the Al Ahram Centre for Political and Strategic Studies, the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at John Hopkins University, and the Centre for Applied Policy Research at LMU University of Munich. She has authored and edited publications on European integration and reform, European foreign and security policy, and Germany in Europe. She holds a Master's in Political Science, Constitutional Law, and Modern and Contemporary History and speaks English, French and German.

The city of Hamburg is one of 16 German states and is also a major European science, research and education hub with several universities and institutions as well as specialists in world economics and international law.

Ms. Almut Möller     |   City of Hamburg