#SharingTheSuccess: An Interview with Helen Clark

Helen Clark is a powerhouse. She served as the 3-time prime minister of New Zealand from 1999 to 2008 and then as the administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) from 2009 through 2017. During this time, Clark was repeatedly ranked as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes magazine.

Clark has a perfect Klout score of 100, and she held the first place position on the UN Social 500 leaderboard for 2 years.

Toby Beresford, the founder of the UN Social 500, reached out to Clark to pick her brain on using social media and to see if she had any tips that could help her former UN colleagues with their social media messaging. An edited version of the Skype interview follows.


  •  Toby Beresford introduces Helen Clark.
  • [0:46] What does Helen Clark love about the UN?
  • [1:15] What does Helen Clark think about the UN Social 500?
  • [1:39] How can social media help the UN achieve its goals?
  • [2:24] What is an example of the UN using social media well?
  • [3:19] How can an employee, social media advocacy program fit into the way that the UN communicates?
  • [4:24] When staff use their personal social media accounts, do they reach a different audience from the official UN social media channels?
  • [5:32] Is there a role for social media within the diplomacy sphere?
  • [6:06] Can an international civil servant use social media neutrally?
  • [6:43] What is the best path to strengthen social media use within the UN?
  • [7:41] Now that Helen Clark has left the UN, what message does she have for people who work there?