Ms. Haiyan Qian

IMG_7544 Ms. Haiyan Qian, devoted wife, loving mother, and dedicated International Civil Servant for the United Nations, died on the morning of 18 February 2013 at the age of 57 after a heroic battle with cancer.

During the past 33 years, Ms. Qian dedicated her career to global public policy, governance, public administration and development. Since joining the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), Ms. Qian has served as Chief Manager of the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN),  Chief of the e-Government Branch (formerly known as Knowledge Management Branch) before becoming the Director of the Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) on 1 February 2009. Prior to joining UNDESA, Ms. Qian worked for other United Nations agencies, such as the Centre for Science and Technology for Development and UNEP’s Centre on Environmentally Sound Technology in Japan. Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Qian worked for  the Chinese Government in the area of science and technology for development and served in the Chinese Permanent Mission to the United Nations based in New York, covering the United Nations Second Committee on Economic and Social Affairs.

At the United Nations, Ms. Qian has left behind a legacy founded on hard work, dedicated service and loyalty. Ms. Qian was a visionary leader that was admired and respected by all her colleagues and others in the field of public administration around the world.

Ms. Qian received her Bachelor of Arts in Beijing, China and her Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, USA.

[click here to read this text in Chinese]

[click here to read the thank you letter from Ms. Haiyan Qian’s family]

332 Responses

  1. Dr. Zakareya Ahmed Al-Khaja
    Dr. Zakareya Ahmed Al-Khaja
    at · Reply

    I have received with profound sadness the news about the misfortunate demise of Ms. Haiyan Qian, please accept my deepest condolences for this loss.

    As a VP of eGA I would like to send my sympathies to all the UNDP dedicated team and her loved ones. Ms. Haiyan Qian will always remain in our hearts and we will forever cherish our memories with her.

    Thank you,

  2. Wei LU
    Wei LU
    at · Reply

    The Internet Society of China (ISC) is greatly distressed and in profoundly sorrow on hearing the passing of Mrs. Haiyan QIAN, and we still could not believe that we have lost such a nice person, a good leader, and an old friend. We would like to express our sincerest condolences, in particular, from the ISC President Madam Qiheng HU and Vice President Mr. Xinmin GAO.

    For the last 33 years, Mrs. QIAN has dedicated her career to global public policy, governance and public administration, especially in the fields of global Internet governance in recent years. ISC has the privilege of knowing Mrs. QIAN for a lot of years and is truly grateful to the instruction and support she offered us in the past years and will always cherish those unforgettable memories of her. She will be greatly missed by all who knew her and be respected of what had contributed.

    Please convey our deeply sympathy to her family, friends and colleagues.


    Wei LU
    Secretary General of ISC

  3. William Drake
    William Drake
    at · Reply

    My deepest condolences as well…

  4. Robert de Jesus
    Robert de Jesus
    at · Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of Haiyan’s passing. I will never forget her energy and generosity. My sincerest condolences to her family and DPADM colleagues.

  5. Brian Gutterman
    Brian Gutterman
    at · Reply

    What a strong, intelligent and passionate leader Haiyan was. In my few years in the department I was lucky enough to be on mission with her just about each year, and I learned so much from just observing her – she commanded the attention of the room wherever she went, always ready to listen, learn and teach. I will always be grateful for the time I got to spend with her and she will certainly be deeply missed. Her legacy, however, will continue for many years to come.

  6. Chunlu ZHAO
    Chunlu ZHAO
    at · Reply

    Please convey my deepest condolences to her friends and family. She will be missed.

  7. Swee Cheang LIM
    at · Reply

    We are deeply sadden by the news of HaiYan’s passing away. She will be fondly remember by so many friends here in Singapore for her friendship, professionalism, and contributions to international services. We would like to express our heartfelt condolences to her family members.

  8. Philip Yeo
    Philip Yeo
    at · Reply

    Haiyan stoically endured her illness whilst encouraging us on in our CEPA meetings.

    We will dearly miss her in our April 15-19th 2013 meeting.

  9. Jean J. Chu
    Jean J. Chu
    at · Reply

    Haiyan was a supportive friend and colleague, always eager to forward ideas and knowledge that enhanced the quality of life for all. She saw very early on where science and society could join together to strengthen community safety and security in these present times. I will miss her warm smile and gentle guidance. I send her on in her journey beyond with my love and prayers.

  10. Anis Chowdhury
    Anis Chowdhury
    at · Reply

    It’s agreat loss, indeed. I workd very closely with Haiyan from the Office of the USG. She was gentlle, and always smiling. Her professionalism and dvotion to the goals of the oganuzation were unique. She was a gracious, helpful and enthusiastic of colleague. She will be sorely missed .

  11. Daniela
    at · Reply

    Dear friend,

    when I joint the UN less than two years ago you welcomed me and immediatelly gave me your support. You helped me to better understand the UN system since I was a newcomer. Superb colleague to work with.

    You were also a gentle person and a sweet woman who was always smiling and a wanderful mentor.

    Thank you for everything,


  12. Meena Sur
    Meena Sur
    at · Reply

    I am sorry to hear of the passing away of Haiyan. She was so supportive of innovative ideas and it was a pleasure to work with her. Condolences, courage and strength to her family.

  13. Mai
    at · Reply

    I had the pleasure of working closely with Haiyan from the DESA Executive Office team and I will miss her. She was a most wonderful colleague. As a person, she was kind, down-to-earth and frank. She was an exemplary UN staff member through her ethical attitude, hard work and dedication in leading the work of her Division. She was a great manager who cared for and took care of her staff.

  14. David O'Connor
    David O'Connor
    at · Reply

    I knew Haiyan as a colleague, not crossing paths very often outside of Directors’ meetings and the time I spoke at one of her events, but she was always the most gracious, helpful and enthusiastic of colleagues. She will be sorely missed by us all. Condolences and courage to her family. Best.

  15. Juwang
    at · Reply

    I worked very closely with Haiyan from the Front Office. She was so dedicated to the work of the UN and she cared so much about the Division’s contributions and delivery. She had given a lot to this organization. That devotion should indeed be a source of inspiration to us all, as Mr. Wu said in the email.

  16. Rafid Fatani
    Rafid Fatani
    at · Reply

    Whilst I did’nt get the opportunity to get to know Haiyan on a personal level, I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with her… She was a very strong and loveable women… my condolences to her family, friends and colleagues from UNDESA…

  17. Carlos A. Afonso
    Carlos A. Afonso
    at · Reply

    I am very moved by this passing of Haiyan, even
    though I did not know her personally — but I do know of her untiring,
    competent work and tremendous courage.

  18. Vladimir Radunovic
    Vladimir Radunovic
    at · Reply

    Please convey our deepest condolences.

  19. Alice Munyua
    Alice Munyua
    at · Reply

    Our deepest condolences to DESA, IGF secretariat, her family, friends and colleagues.

  20. Markus Kummer
    Markus Kummer
    at · Reply

    I heard the sad news about the passing away of Haiyan. She leaves a great legacy and we all keep a fond memory of her. Please pass on my condolences to her family, friends and colleagues from UNDESA.

  21. Carlos A. Afonso
    Carlos A. Afonso
    at · Reply

    Please convey my solidarity to her family and her co-workers.

  22. Peter Major
    Peter Major
    at · Reply

    I think after having met her in Baku it is even more difficult to accept the reality. Please pass our condolences on to her family and colleagues.

  23. Aziz Hilali
    Aziz Hilali
    at · Reply

    We met her in Baku. She was a wonderful woman.Please pass our condolences to her friends and family.

  24. Jimson Olufuye
    Jimson Olufuye
    at · Reply

    I join the IG family to commiserate with the family and friends of our beloved Haiyan Qian. May her gentle soul rest in perfect peace. Shalom!

  25. Valeria Betancourt
    Valeria Betancourt
    at · Reply

    This is very sad news. I hope we can all pass on our deepest condolences to Ms Qian’s family. As Giacomo says, she was a committed and nice person.

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