Dr. Koichiro Matsuura

Director-General of UNESCO (1999-2009)
Chairperson, World Heritage Committee of UNESCO (1998-1999)
Ambassador of Japan to France and concurrently to Andorra and Djibouti (1994-1999)
Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs (Sherpa for Japan at the G-7 Summit) (1992-1994)
Director-General, North American Affairs Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1990-1992)
Director-General, Economic Cooperation Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1988-1990)

<Major Works>

2009 Africa (in Japanese)
2008 World Heritage (in Japanese)
1998 Japanese Diplomacy at the Dawn of the 21st Century (in French)
1994The G-7 Summit: Its History and Perspectives (in Japanese)


Koïchiro Matsuura led UNESCO as its Director-General for ten years (1999-2009). Prior to that, he served as Japan’s Ambassador to France and chair of UNESCO’s flagship World Heritage Committee. He was educated at the Law Faculty of the University of Tokyo, and at Haverford College, where he earned a BA in Economics, and later, an honorary doctorate in law from his alma mater. His diplomatic career began with a posting to Ghana in 1961 covering ten West African countries. In the 1970s he went on to serve as Counselor at the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, and later as Consul General in Hong Kong. As Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1992-1994, he was Japan’s Sherpa for the G-7 Summit. Since returning to Japan in 2010, he has assumed a number of posts, including the president of the Africa Society of Japan, and received a Ph.D.from Ritsumeikan University in Japan for his thesis on Africa.