NEW YORK: Peter Reid has joined the United Nations as director of strategic communications for the secretary-general.
Based in New York, Reid started in the role at the beginning of this month. He is reporting to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres
With a team of six speechwriters, Reid said he is helping the secretary-general articulate his plan to tackle the world’s most pressing issues: climate change, income inequality, a worldwide rise in hate and intolerance and the "alarming number" of peace and security challenges in Yemen, Syria and other countries.
Guterres wants U.N. communications to emphasize that it is prioritizing people, with international collaboration being essential to the success of addressing these issues, Reid said. The U.N. General Assembly is taking place this week in New York.
Reid added that he wants to increase the secretary-general’s use of social media and digital communications.
Reid’s position had been vacant for some time. The last person to serve in the role was Edward Mortimer, who stepped down in 2006. Mortimer is currently senior program adviser to the Salzburg Global Seminar.
Reid most recently served as director of external communications for management consultancy McKinsey & Company. Before that, he was head of communications at Deloitte.
"It’s about coming back to what I love most and what I think is most important," Reid said.
Reid has also worked at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. For most of his career, he worked for the British government, including stints in the Foreign Office and its embassy in Washington, DC. Reid also worked on the Good Friday Agreement between the British and Irish governments that was signed in 1998.