Ovais Sarmad is a leader in the field of organisational development and change and in the areas of humane human development, environmental conservation and sustainable development. With a proven career and track-record of progressive leadership roles spanning over four decades, Ovais has dedicated his life to driving positive change and advocating for a sustainable future for all. As the Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Climate Change, he has played a pivotal role in shaping global environmental policies and spearheading initiatives to combat climate change. Through his extensive experience globally, Ovais has inspired many individuals and organisations to take meaningful and pragmatic action and to prioritise organisational and environmental integrity and stewardship.

Ovais Sarmad envisions a world where sustainability and humane human development is at the forefront of decision-making and collective action by national and global organizations. He actively works to inspire and empower individuals, especially the younger generation, to become future leaders in their fields to promote sustainable living. Through education, advocacy, and collaboration, Ovais strives to foster environmental and organizational integrity and stewardship, seeking innovative solutions, and equitable access to a sustainable future for and by all. He firmly believes that by working collaboratively through meaningful partnerships and collective action, we can achieve a world that is safe, humane and sustainable.

My vision for the greater good of humanity:
Sustainable living literacy and safe human mobility for all.

Ovais Sarmad supports and encourages quality education at all levels. He strongly believes that quality education to include sustainable living at all levels, especially at the formative years can bring about lasting societal and behavioural change.

Career Excellence and Global Leadership: Ovais Sarmad's Journey

Ovais Sarmad brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the field of orgniazational effectiveness, humane human mobility, sustainable human development and addressing climate change. With a distinguished career spanning four decades, Ovais has held key leadership positions in international/intergovernmental organizations. From September 2017 to April 2023, he served as the Deputy Executive Secretary/Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In this role, Ovais played a crucial role in transforming the organisation towards shaping global climate policies and driving global climate action in pursuit of Paris Agreement’s global warming limit of 1.5 degrees celsius.

Prior to his role at UNFCCC, Ovais served as the Chief of Staff/Directeur de Cabinet at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from October 2012 to August 2017. He also held the position of Director of the Manila (Global) Administrative Centre and Chief of Mission to the Philippines. With an extensive background in financial management, Ovais held various roles within the IOM, including Director of the Department of Resources Management and Director of the Department of Budget & Finance. During his tenure, he implemented progressive policies and practices in financial and organisational management that played a critical role in shaping the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization.

Ovais Sarmad dedication to environmental sustainability and his ability to navigate complex challenges have earned him recognition and respect within the field. His career journey showcases a deep commitment to promoting organisational integrity and responsible stewardship as well as sustainable practices in driving positive change. With his diverse experience and knowledge, Ovais Sarmad continues to make meaningful contributions towards humane human development and sustainable living.


Leading the Global Fight Against Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) plays a pivotal role in addressing one of the most pressing global challenges of our time: climate change. As the Deputy Executive Secretary/Assistant Secretary-General of the UNFCCC, Ovais Sarmad has been at the forefront of shaping international efforts to combat climate change. The UNFCCC serves as the primary international forum for negotiating and implementing climate change agreements, including the landmark Paris Agreement. With its mandate to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and promote climate resilience, the UNFCCC brings together governments, organizations, and other stakeholders from around the world to foster cooperation and drive collective action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Education & Professional Development

Ovais Sarmad's educational background is anchored in financial management. He is a Graduate in Commerce from Osmania University and a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (ACMA) from the United Kingdom.

Committed to continuous professional development, Ovais Sarmad has participated in various management courses. He successfully completed the High-Performance Leadership Programme at Cranfield University and obtained a Professional Certificate in Strategic Migration Management from the International Centre for Parliamentary Studies.

In addition to his fluency in English, Ovais Sarmad has a good understanding of French and Spanish. Beyond his professional pursuits, he enjoys activities such as golf, reading, and seeking simplicity.

With his educational accomplishments and dedication to personal growth, Ovais Sarmad exemplifies his commitment to maintaining a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in his professional journey.

Career Summary and Key Achievements: A Timeline

2017 – 2023

Selected through a competitive process for the position of Deputy Executive Secretary at the Assistant Secretary-General level for the UNFCCC.


2012 – 2017

Assumed the highest non-political post in IOM as the Chief of Staff/Directeur de Cabinet in the Office of the Director General.

2010 - 2012

Appointed as the Director of IOM Global Administrative Centre in Manila/Philippines, providing administrative and operational services to over 300 IOM offices worldwide. Also served as the Chief of Mission to the Philippines, overseeing migration-related projects and maintaining active liaison with the government and the UNCT.

2002 - 2010:

Assumed the responsibility of Budget, Treasury, and Accounting, becoming the Director of Budget and Finance in January 2002. Later, with the merger of Human Resources, became the Director of the Department of Resources Management (DRM), overseeing budget, finance, and human resources functions.

1996 - 2001

Progressed within the Division of Budget, holding positions from Budget Analyst to Budget Officer, Chief of Budget, and ultimately, Director of Budget/Deputy Director of Administrative Support Department.

1995 – 1996

Actively participated in the management review process, contributing to organizational structure changes and extensive negotiations with Member States. Played a key role in developing the project development process and training programmes.

1993 – 1996

Joined the Division of Budget as a Budget Analyst, introducing computerized budget planning and preparation processes. Instrumental in eliminating a $10 million deficit, establishing projectized budgeting, and aligning IOM's scale of assessment with that of the UN.

1990 - 1992

Started as a Field Accountant at the headquarters, overseeing accounts of European and African missions. Implemented modernization and computerization initiatives for account review and verification processes.

1982 – 1989

Worked in various public and private sector entities in the areas of auditing, accounting and financial management in London, United Kingdom