UN tech envoy out after investigation into workplace misconduct: report

The United Nations’s (U.N.) first technology envoy will leave his position after a months-long investigation into workplace misconduct. 

Chilean diplomat Fabrizio Hochschild Drummond, who was named the U.N.’s envoy on technology in January, faced an investigation as a result of allegations of discrimination, harassment and abuse of authority from current and former staffers, according to Politico

While the U.N. has not announced the results of the investigation, two people with information about the tech envoy position told Politico that Hochschild would lose his title at the global body. 

“What is clear is he will not continue,” a European Union official told Politico, adding that the process to fill the role would begin “imminently.”

The investigation created problems for the U.N.’s efforts to become a leading global voice on technology and complicated efforts to raise money for the position, which is funded by outside donors that could include the European Union, Politico reported.

Hochschild was U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres’s first choice for the new role, the news outlet added.

Guterres claimed he was unaware of the harassment allegations when he appointed Hochschild, but Politico found that the secretary-general’s chief of Cabinet had responded to emails regarding the complaints about a month before the appointment.

As a result of the claims, Hochschild was placed on leave just five days after his appointment. He has, however, continued to receive his salary, worth more than $200,000 annually. Both Hochschild and the U.N. would not comment on the investigation and what Hochschild’s future role in the global body might be, Politico noted. 

“The accountability process is ongoing. Given confidentiality requirements, no other information on the process may be provided,” a U.N. spokesperson said, per Politico.

The Hill has reached out to the United Nations for comment. 

Tags Antonio Guterres harrassment misconduct United Nations

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