Mr Ulrik Vestergaard Knudsen took up his duties as Deputy Secretary-General in January 2019. His portfolio includes the strategic direction of OECD policy on science, technology and innovation; employment, labour and social affairs, migration, health; and entrepreneurship, SMEs, regions and cities. He also oversees the OECD Centre for Skills and the newly established Well-Being, Inclusion, Sustainability and Equal Opportunity Centre (WISE). Jointly with the Secretary-General, Mr Knudsen transformed the OECD Executive Committee into the Global Strategy Group to strategically discuss issues of global relevance and to engage with key partners. He also chaired the Global Strategy Group from 2013 to 2017. Until the end of 2018, Mr Knudsen was the Permanent Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark.
Prior to this, he served as Sherpa and Chief Diplomatic Advisor to two Danish Prime Ministers on Security Policy and on EU and Foreign Affairs in the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Knudsen served as Ambassador to the OECD and UNESCO in Paris (2008-09). Besides his diplomatic career, which includes postings in London (2003-04), Washington (1998-2000) and Moscow (1997), he briefly served as Group Director for International Policy at Vodafone in London (2013).