Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Ms Atsuko Okuda was appointed as the Regional Director in April 2020. She leads ITU’s support to the region’s digital transformation and manages the Bangkok and Jakarta offices to cover 38 member countries in Asia and the Pacific. Prior to the new assignment, she was the Chief of the ICT and Development Section of the ICT and Disaster Risk Reduction Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in Bangkok, Thailand from 2015 to 2020. At ESCAP, she promoted the development of regional broadband connectivity and inclusive broadband through the implementation of the Asia-Pacific Information Superhighway (AP-IS) initiative.
Before joining ESCAP, Ms Okuda served the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in Beirut as the Chief of the Governance and Statebuilding Section and the Chief of the Strategic Planning and Monitoring Section which managed the ESCWA’s programme and projects. Prior to it, she contributed to the Umoja project, the UN Secretariat ERP initiative, in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General of the Department of Management, UNHQ for 2 years. From 2002 to 2010, she was responsible for promoting a wide range of ICT for development initiatives at ESCAP and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) as Senior IT Officer. She started her UN career in the area of ICT for Development at the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, the Bureau for Development Policy, and UNDP Country Office in Bhutan from 1997 to 2002.
Ms Okuda obtained a BA from Kyoto University (Japan), MA from Helsinki University (Finland), and has currently been enrolled as a research fellow at the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) in the Netherlands. Her doctoral thesis is entitled “Towards e-compliance: Anti-corruption and e-governance initiatives in the case of Bhutan”, to be defended in 2021. Her academic articles on broadband, AI, and Digital Transformation were published by the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy and the Druk Journal. Among other publications and research papers, she was the author of a chapter on e-resilience in the 2018 UNDESA E-government Survey and several blogs published by ITU.