As of May 2019, Dr. Erfan Ali is the Director of UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States.
He possesses over 20 years of experience, and an extensive track record, in urban
development, regional planning, urban crisis recovery and response, at both government
and UN entities.
Dr. Ali has many years of distinguished service at the UN and UN-Habitat. Most recently, he served as the Senior Human Settlements Officer and Deputy Regional Director of UN-Habitat Regional Office for Arab States (2018-2019).
Prior to this, he led the work of UN-Habitat in Iraq as the Country Programme Manager (2013-2018), supporting response to urban challenges from both a humanitarian and a development perspective.
Before joining the UN, Dr. Ali was the Head of the Regional Planning Commission (RPC) in Syria, (2010-2013) and has been instrumental in the Institutional development of the RPC as well as setting the National Standards for Regional and Spatial Planning. From 2005-2010, Dr. Ali served as Programme Director of Municipal Administration Modernization, a programme under the Euro Mediterranean Partnership focusing on improving city management and strengthening the capacities of cities in the planning and the management of urban growth. Dr. Ali previously held notable positions including Director of Systems and Plans of the Ministry of Local Administration and Environment, Syria. He also led the work with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as Project Director of several projects.
Dr. Ali was a lecturer on Project Management and Regional Planning at the INA Instiut National d’Administration and the AIU Arab International University in Damascus, in addition to undertaking several consultancy and academic assignments in Urban Development in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Libya and France.
Dr. Ali holds a Doctoral Degree in Regional and Urban Planning from The Université de Paris est- Marne-la Vallée in France and a master’s degree in Project Management from University of Damascus, Syria.