Lazare Eloundou Assomo appointed Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre

Monday, 6 December 2021
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© UNESCO/Christelle Alix

UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay has appointed Lazare Eloundou Assomo Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. 

Originally from Cameroon, Mr Eloundou Assomo is a graduate in architecture (Grenoble School of Architecture, France) and in urban planning (DEA Grenoble 1). He began his career as an associate researcher at the Centre for Earthen Construction of the Grenoble School of Architecture in 1996. He was then in charge of implementing habitat projects in Africa, and then of the pedagogical coordination of the Africa 2009 conservation programme set up by UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre and ICCROM.

He joined UNESCO in 2003 in the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre, where he contributed to the creation of the African World Heritage Fund and the development of the World Heritage Earthen Architecture Programme (WHEAP).

From 2008 to 2013, he was Head of the Africa Unit of the World Heritage Centre. During this period he coordinated several restoration projects in Mozambique (Ilha World Heritage site Fortress), Uganda and Mali, as well as capacity building initiatives in the region. He is the author of the book 'African World Heritage: A Remarkable Diversity', co-authored with Ishanlosen Odiaua and published in 2012 by UNESCO.

In 2013, he joined the UNESCO office in Bamako and became its head in 2014. He then became UNESCO’s head representative in Mali. While the country was hit by a violent armed conflict, he was in charge of the protection of Mali’s cultural heritage. He successfully led the reconstruction of the Timbuktu mausoleums and the safeguarding of ancient manuscripts.

He returned to UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in 2016, initially as Deputy Director of the Heritage Division and of the World Heritage Centre. In 2018, he became Director of Culture and Emergencies, coordinating emergency conservation responses to heritage affected by conflicts and disasters and the restitution of cultural property under the 1970 Convention.

"The 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention, which will be celebrated in November 2022, will be an opportunity for a great retrospective but also for a collective reflection on the best ways to make our approach prosper over the coming 50 years. In particular, we have two challenges to meet: on the one hand, to make the World Heritage List ever more representative of the world’s cultural and geographical diversity; on the other hand, to strengthen the protection of listed sites inscribed in the face of the new challenges of our age, linked to development, conflict and climate change."

—Lazare Eloundou Assomo, new Director of the World Heritage Centre of UNESCO
Monday, 6 December 2021
access_time 2 min read