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. Nitin Desai
    Nitin Desai
    at · Reply

    I share the grief and sorrow expressed by my erstwhile colleagues in the MAG. Haiyan was always very supportive of our work and she will be missed. My condolences to her family.

  2. Tang Zicai
    Tang Zicai
    at · Reply

    It’s shocking and sad to know that our beloved Ms. Qian has passed away. Please convey my deepest condolence to her family. I missed her.

  3. Sima Hassassian
    at · Reply

    I was deeply saddened to hear about the news. I met first Ms. Haiyan Qian in China for our UNPAN meeting almost 8+ years ago. She was such a lovely, kind, active and vibrant person.
    I recall a time when we had a long day meeting with great exchanges and discussions and all because of her efforts and understanding. One of the nights, she planned a talent show that for everyone included singing, dancing, and entertainment. She was such an energetic and spirited personality. While I only had the pleasure of seeing her 3 times, her memory will always be with me.

    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy at this tragic time.

    I hope the passage of time will help ease your sadness and leave you with happy memories.

    Sima Hassassian


  4. Janis Karklins
    Janis Karklins
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    I share the same feeling of sadness with all of you at this moment.

  5. Raul Echeberria
    Raul Echeberria
    at · Reply

    As many other colleagues have already said, this is a very sad news.
    The relationship she had with all stakeholders group was a probe of her commitment with the Multistahkeholder principles and and example of how to deal with the challenges of this diverse environment. Beyond her involvement in Internet Governance matters, as Anriette said, she was an incredible woman. We will miss her.

  6. Andruch Jan
    Andruch Jan
    at · Reply

    I will always remember frist moment I met Ms. Haiyan Qian. Smiling, full of energy, optimistic. With strong enthusiasm she was able to push my work further than expected or I could ever imagine. Will miss her.

  7. Theresa Swinehart
    Theresa Swinehart
    at · Reply

    I recall many good conversations with Ms. Qian, and it’s with great sadness to hear of her passing. She was a very accomplished lady, and she shall be missed.

    With warmest thoughts and condolences to her family and loved ones.

  8. Yuliya Morenets
    Yuliya Morenets
    at · Reply

    Very sad news. We met Ms Haiyan in Baku and I had the opportunity to
    appreciate her great personality.

    My deepest condolences to her relatives, friends and colleagues.

  9. 陈明
    at · Reply


  10. Rosanne Greco
    Rosanne Greco
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    Haiyan was a wonderful boss. Her enthusiasm was contagious; her spirit (through thick & thin) was inspiring. I will always treasure the moments under Haiyan’s leadership. Her fight against cancer was heroic. Prayers of peace for her family.
    “When someone you know becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure”

  11. Walter Fust, CEPA Member
    Walter Fust, CEPA Member
    at · Reply

    This is a very sad announcement and I express my heartfelt condoleances to all the staff members and Ms. Qian’s family. May her soul rest in peace. I shall keep her devotion and her kindness in best memories. I shall miss her a lot.

  12. Rowena Bethel, CEPA Member
    Rowena Bethel, CEPA Member
    at · Reply

    I just received word from a colleague in another branch of DESA that Haiyan passed away over the weekend. I am very saddened by this news as she was such a wonderful person that gave so much to the world through her work. Please convey my regards and deepest condolences to her family and the staff at DPADM. I know this must be a difficult time, but just remembering the positives and good she has done will help everyone through the loss.

  13. Jennifer Astaphan, CARICAD
    Jennifer Astaphan, CARICAD
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    We at CARICAD are at a total loss for words and shocked at Haiyan’s passing. We acknowledge and honour her consistent efforts to ensuring that the partnership was real. We will miss her and wish to extend our sincere condolences to the UNPAN family and her own family as well.
    Please be ensured of our continued support and contribution to the network.

  14. Jonas Rabinovitch
    Jonas Rabinovitch
    at · Reply

    Brazilian poet Francisco Otaviano said that “people who went through life in white cloud, placidly, just went through life, and did not actually live”. Haiyan transformed her life into a model of perseverance, professionalism, passion and pride for all those who worked with her. Haiyan actually lived and lives in all of us.

  15. Khardiate Lo Ndiaye, UNDP Togo
    Khardiate Lo Ndiaye, UNDP Togo
    at · Reply

    Nous exprimons nos condoléances et compassion à vous tous.
    Qu’elle repose en paix.

  16. Ali S. AlSoma
    Ali S. AlSoma
    at · Reply

    We are so sorry to hear about Haiyan’s passing away. May she rest in peace. She will definitely be missed as a great person.
    Please forward our sincerest condolences to her family.

  17. Nasser Niane, UNDP Togo
    Nasser Niane, UNDP Togo
    at · Reply

    Je viens de partager cette mauvaise nouvelle avec le Ministre Massina.Nous nous souvenons qu’elle avait été admirable dans son accueil et son invitation à partager la fameuse collation qui avait permis de prendre cette photo. Nous vous présentons nos sincères condoléances que vous voudrez bien transmettre à tous les collègues à New-York. Bien à vous tous et du courage.

  18. Susan L. Woodward
    Susan L. Woodward
    at · Reply

    This is tragic news. It somehow seems even worse, as if that were possible, because I had thought she was better. It is very sad for us as CEPA members because she has cared so much to strengthen our collaboration with DPADM. My heartfelt condolences to all of you in the Division.

  19. Robert Sattler
    at · Reply

    On behalf of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) the deepest condolences to Haiyans family and UN colleagues. With Haiyan we lose a strong and committed partner in our common endeavour to strengthen worldwide transparency, accountability and good governance.
    Our prayers are with her, her family and friends.

  20. Francisco Longo
    Francisco Longo
    at · Reply

    Deeply shocked by the news. Rest in peace.

  21. Nahleen Ahmed
    Nahleen Ahmed
    at · Reply

    I am really and truly sad to hear about Haiyan’s passing.

  22. Robertson Work
    Robertson Work
    at · Reply

    I am deeply saddened to learn of Haiyan’s passing. She was a wonderful international civil servant and a creative and courageous human being. I loved the sparkle in her voice and eyes and her passion for serving the world’s people. I will miss her terribly. My heart goes out to her loving family and her dear colleagues in DPADM and around the world.

  23. Gary Fowlie
    Gary Fowlie
    at · Reply

    I had a great deal of respect for Haiyan. Her guidance to me three years ago when ITU first opened its liaison office in New York, and subsequently on issues of mutual concern, was always invaluable.

    Her gentle good humour and dedication will be sorely missed by all of us in the UN family.

  24. Alphonse MEKOLO
    Alphonse MEKOLO
    at · Reply

    Ms. Haiyan QIAN, a Friend for each and everyone. She brought happiness and joy to many. Let’s keep it on from this great Lady.

  25. Shariffa Moh'd Al-Meskary
    Shariffa Moh'd Al-Meskary
    at · Reply

    It was with deep regret that we learnt about the sad demise of Ms. Haiyan,
    We always remember her for her dedication to UNDESA and her efforts in developing the eGovernment sector. Some of her pioneering work will go a long way in benefiting the future generations. On personal basis I have always cherished the memory of our meetings.
    My colleagues join me in sending their deepest condolences to all your colleagues at UNDESA
    With prayers for the departed soul.

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