Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

Belén Sanz Luque, UN Women Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia

Belén Sanz Luque, Regional Director for UN Women Europe and Central Asia

A national of Spain, Belén Sanz has more than 20 years of experience in development policies, with special emphasis on gender equality and women's rights policies and evaluation of public policies in international fields.

Prior to joining UN Women Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, Belén Sanz served as UN Women's Representative in Mexico between 2017 and 2024, where she led flagship initiatives to advance gender equality in partnership with Mexico, such as the historic Generation Equality Forum, the Global Alliance for Care, and the Spotlight Initiative to end femicide. Between 2013 and 2017,  Belén Sanz served as UN Women's Representative in Colombia, where she accompanied the historic peace process in Colombia, supporting women's participation and promoting a gender-sensitive approach to peacebuilding. During February - August 2016, she served as the Resident Coordinator, a.i., of the United Nations System in Colombia.

Before joining UN Women Colombia, Belén Sanz served as the First Evaluation Director of UNIFEM, and later UN Women, from the organization's headquarters in New York. Her main functions under this responsibility were the evaluation of policies and programs and creation of strategies in different regions of the world, including the consolidation of evaluation as an strategic function for accountability, learning and the definition of evidence-based policies. In addition to this, she assumed the role of the Chair of the United Nations Evaluation Group, promoting a human rights and gender approach in the United Nations system evaluation, which earned her many awards.

Prior to joining the United Nations, she worked as Head of Development Policy Evaluation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, where she led the development of the Evaluation System in Spanish cooperation, and previously as Advisor of gender programs and policies in the same entity.

Belén Sanz holds two Master's degrees, one in Anthropology from the University of London, and another in Public Policy Evaluation by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. She graduated in Social Anthropology from the National School of Anthropology and History of Mexico.

She has served as a speaker and a lecturer at various academic institutions and in international forums focusing on International Cooperation, Public Policy Evaluation, Human Rights and Gender Equality Policies.