Robert J. Quarles van Ufford takes official role of OWHC Secretary General

The Organization of World Heritage Cities (OWHC) has welcomed Secretary General, Robert J. Quarles van Ufford, who officially came into office on February 18. Quarles has already been informed of several current projects and is actively working to absorb the various issues that form the daily life of the organization.

In a statement posted on the OWHC website, Quarles van Ufford said, “I really look forward to bringing the OWHC to the next level since there is so much potential in the organization in terms of programs, workshops and capacity building for both heritage experts and policy-makers. I also believe city to city cooperation can be really effective. I have already had the chance to learn a lot about the organization since I worked in the international heritage sector for many years. My experience with organizations like ICOMOS and UNESCO will surely be helpful to strengthen partnerships and develop our common interest in the field of urban world heritage.” 

Located in the heart of the historic part of Québec City, Canada, the headquarters of the General Secretariat administers all of the OWHC activities. His team of seasoned World Heritage professionals oversees the many projects of the organization and acts as a point of reference for its members around the world. It is also the place of work of the Secretary General appointed by the General Assembly.

The General Secretariat is directed by the Secretary General, appointed by the General Assembly, who oversees the execution of mandates adopted by the members, the day-to-day administration of the Organization, personnel management and hiring.

Quarles van Ufford has vast experience in the field of cultural heritage, notably as Director of the National Monuments Organisation of the Netherlands, President of ICOMOS Netherlands and Secretary General of the National Committee for UNESCO in the Netherlands. In the past, Mr. Quarles van Ufford has also worked as a diplomat of the Dutch Foreign Service in Royal Netherlands Embassies around the world. His expertise in both World Heritage and international relations will allow him to successfully pursue the development and growth of the OWHC worldwide.

Visit the OWHC website for more details:


Photo credit: Organization of World Heritage Cities