Gilbert F. Houngbo is currently the Deputy Director-General of the International Labour Organization (since March 2013), leading the Organization’s field operations in more than 100 countries as well as its bilateral and multilateral partnerships.
Mr. Houngbo is the former Prime Minister of Togo (2008 – 2012). He led the government towards substantial improvements in the achievement of Togo’s MDG targets, and towards enhancements in the rule of law and civil liberties. He introduced economic reforms, including the Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) program of the International Monetary Fund and implemented national policies focused on broad-based economic growth.
Mr Houngbo held the position of Assistant Secretary General, preceded by a number of senior executive posts at the United Nations Development Programme (1996-2008). As UNDP Regional Director for Africa, he led UNDP poverty alleviation programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 45 countries and annual delivery exceeding USD 1 billion.
Prior to joining UNDP, Mr Houngbo worked in the private sector, including Price Waterhouse Canada (1986-1993) and in private advisory services in Mali and Central African Republic. He specialized in audit, operational and financial rationalization, financial viability and turnaround services.
Mr Houngbo is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Member of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants. He holds a DESS diploma (Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées) in Specialized Accounting from the University of Québec in Canada and a ‘Maitrise en Gestion d’Entreprise’ from the University of Lomé in Togo.
He was born in 1961 to a rural family in Agbandi, Togo, during the first year of Togo’s independence.