Sahba Sobhani

Technical Advisor and ad interim Head of BCtA, UNDP

Sahba Sobhani is a Global Programme Advisor-Private Sector in the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support (BPPS), UN Development Programme (UNDP). In this capacity, he provides programme support and policy advice on private sector development issues and technical oversight for UNDP’s multi-stakeholder initiatives including the Business Call to Action Initiative, the Connecting Business Initiative and the G20 Global Platform on Inclusive Business. He has significant experience in programme design, development and resource mobilization in the area of private sector in development including the design the first in the world mobile money-enabled housing repair initiative for early recovery in Haiti and the successful setup of a national CSR Center in Egypt and a global center in Turkey.

He has also designed and implemented a successful targeted corporate outreach strategy that tripled the number of inclusive business member commitment by leading companies from 50 to 150 through the Business Call to Action Initiative.

He has been the principal author and content manager of all 5 major UNDP-led reports in the area of private sector in development, including 2003 African Stock Exchanges Handbook, 2004 Report of the Commission on the Private Sector and Development: Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business for the Poor, 2008 Global Growing Inclusive Markets Report: Creating Value for All: Strategies for Doing Business with the Poor, 2010 Growing Inclusive Markets Initiative, MDG Report and Report Team co-manager of two regional Growing Inclusive Markets Reports for Africa (2013) and Emerging Europe and CIS (2011).

Previously, he managed two key UNDP private sector initiatives in the executive office of the former Administrator of UNDP, Mark Malloch Brown, including the Commission on the Private Sector and Development, and the African Financial Markets Initiative. He co-authored Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor, the seminal report of the Private Sector Commission produced at the request of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Mr. Sobhani was the managing editor of the African Stock Markets Handbook. He has also worked in the private sector at Idealab in Palo Alto and Newscom Limited in Singapore. He is a graduate of Yale University and the Fletcher School of Diplomacy (USA).