Our Team in Syrian Arab Republic

Adam Abdelmoula

Adam Abdelmoula

RCO
Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator
Mr. Abdelmoula brings more than 35 years of experience in development, rule of law, human rights, humanitarian work and security, of which the last 24 have been with the UN.
Prior to his appointment as United Nations Resident Coordinator, he was serving as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, where he led the UN’s development and humanitarian activities amid the worst drought in generations, political instability, disease outbreaks and a looming famine.
Prior to this, Mr. Abdelmoula held different positions within the UN System, including as Director of the UN Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Division at the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR); Country Director for Iraq at the UN Development Programme (UNDP); Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative in Syria and Kuwait, Chief of Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Section at OHCHR, Deputy Chief of the United Nations Mission in Liberia Human Rights Division, Chief Human Rights Officer of the United Nation Assistant Mission for Iraq and Senior Rule of Law and Human Rights Adviser for Somalia.
Before joining the UN, Mr. Abdelmoula worked for several international and regional organizations including Human Rights Watch, Lawyers Committee for Human Rights, the Arab Lawyers Union and the Fund for Peace.
Mr. Abdelmoula has a doctorate in public international law from Georgetown University, a Master of Law from Harvard Law School and Bachelor of Law from Khartoum University.
Amanya Michael-Ebye

Amanya Michael-Ebye

UNRWA
Country director
Amanya Michael Ebye has spent 31 years working in the humanitarian assistance field. His humanitarian career started in 1993 in Uganda where he served as a Field Program Manager for a UNHCR funded program for Rwandese refugees in Western Uganda. From 1994 to 1997 he worked in Rwanda supporting communities that had survived the genocide.

In 1997 he joined ActionAid and served as the Humanitarian and Peace Building Coordinator for Uganda.

In 2001 he was appointed IRC as Field Coordinator in Tanzania to oversee a multi sectoral program for Burundian and Congolese refugees in Western Tanzania.

From 2003 to 2005 he served as IRC Country Director for Tanzania and from 2005 to 2007 he served as the Director of the IRC’s Darfur multi sectoral programs in Sudan – one of the IRC’s largest and most challenging relief operations at the time– providing multi sectoral assistance to over one million IDPs in Darfur.

From 2007 to 2010, he served as the IRC Regional Director for the Middle East supporting programs in Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the OPT.

From 2012 to 2016 he served as IRC Regional Director for DRC overseeing a program that provided assistance to 2.5 million displaced and vulnerable Congolese through its multi sectoral program.

In March 2017 he joined UNRWA as Deputy Director for Programs in Syria. UNRWA is mandated by the UN General Assembly to provide quasi-state social and relief services for about 450,000 refugees in Syria. UNRWA employs 4,000 staff in Syria with a robust humanitarian assistance program across the country.

In February 2019, he was appointed Field Director for the UNRWA Program in Syria.

A native of Uganda, Amanya received his B.A. in Social Work and Social Administration and an M.A. in Social Sector Planning and Management from Makerere University in Uganda.
Sudipto Mukerjee

Sudipto Mukerjee

UNDP
UNDP Representative
 
Sudipto Mukerjee is an Architect and Town Planner with more than two decades of experience in international development. He is a joint recipient of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISoCaRP, Netherlands) and IKEA Foundation sponsored International Urban Ecology Award.

Sudipto has previously worked with the Government of India (1992-1997), UK Department for International Development (1998 - March 2005 as Infrastructure and Urban Advisor) and UN - Habitat (2005-2009, Head of Country Office).

He joined UNDP in September 2009 in the Iraq Country Office and has since worked as Country Director at Sierra Leone (August 2013 - October 2016) and Resident Representative in UNDP Bangladesh (October 2016 – August 2022). He has now been re-assigned to the Syrian Arab Republic as the UNDP Resident Representative.

Sudipto possesses significant experience in UN Country Programming and UNCT Coordination and is in the UN Resident Coordinator’s Pool.
Iman Shankiti

Iman Shankiti

WHO
Representative
 
 
 
Iman Shankiti, a National of Saudi Arabia, is currently the WHO Representative a.i for Syria. She started her career with the organization in Iraq in the emergency team. She served in Sudan and Afghanistan before joining the WHO Regional Office as Manager of operations in the health emergency team. She holds a BSc in pharmacy from Jordan University and a Master’s in health system management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
Kenneth Crossley

Kenneth Crossley

WFP
Country Director and Representative
 
Kenneth Crossley is Country Director and Representative for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria, a position he assumed in August 2022. In this role, he provides supervision, strategic guidance, and support for WFP Syria operations.
Mr. Crossley brings more than 25 years of experience in the humanitarian and development field, working for the United Nations, government agencies and academia, and spent 20 years of his career working with the World Food Programme.
Prior to this appointment, Mr. Crossley served as Director of the WFP Cash-Based Transfers Division, where he was responsible for leading the design and implementation of humanitarian cash assistance programmes, transferring US$ 2.5 billion of purchasing power annually to 45 million people, across 70 countries. Prior to this role, between 2015 and 2017, Mr. Crossley was Deputy Director of the WFP Policy and Programme Division, leading on Cash-Based Transfers, Social Protection and Safety Nets, Climate Risk Management, and Country Capacity Strengthening.
Mr. Crossley began his career with WFP in 2002 as Regional Donor Relations Officer based in Johannesburg. Since then, Mr. Crossley has served in key senior positions, including Deputy Director of US Government Relations based in Washington, Deputy Country Director in Cambodia, and Chief of the WFP Hunger Solutions, based in Rome.
Before joining WFP, Mr. Crossley worked as Senior Program Officer for the Canadian International Development Agency based in Kenya, and as Peacebuilding Officer for UNICEF Operation Lifeline Sudan. He also taught Philosophy and Political Science at the Trinity Western University, Canada.
Mr. Crossley holds a Master’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia.
A national of Canada, he is married and has two children.
Muriel Mafico

Muriel Mafico

UNFPA
UNFPA representative
Muriel Mafico brings 32 years experience in development work from diverse programming contexts in Southern Africa and the Eastern Caribbean. She has extensive UN experience having joined UNICEF Zimbabwe in 2001 as Communication and Advocacy Specialist and subsequently as Head of Strategic Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
From 2008, Muriel held several UNICEF Deputy Representative posts in Eswatini (2008-2014), the Multi-Country Programme in the Eastern Caribbean covering 12 countries and UK Overseas Territories (2014-2019) and South Africa (2019-2023).
Ms Mafico holds a Master of Development Management and a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Yasumasa Kimura

Yasumasa Kimura

UNICEF
Representative
 
Mr. Yasumasa Kimura is Representative of UNICEF for the Syrian Arab Republic (May 2023), where he provides strategic and operational leadership of the UNICEF Country Office and programme in one of the world’s most complex and protracted crises and advocates for the rights of children in Syria guided by the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Prior to joining the Syria Country Office, he served as Deputy Representative (Programmes) of the UNICEF India Country Office (2021-2023), one of UNICEF’s largest programmes in the world, serving over 460 million children through 14 field offices covering 25 states and two union territories, where he was responsible for overall programme planning, implementation, and oversight.
Mr. Kimura also served as Representative ad interim of the UNICEF India office between November 2021 to October 2022.
During his tenure, Mr. Kimura oversaw UNICEF’s large scale COVID-19 response efforts in support of the Government of India during the peak of the public health emergency in 2020-2021. He was also responsible for the development of the new country programme 2023- 2027, accelerating and strengthening UNICEF’s technical and policy support to India at the national and state levels.
Mr. Kimura has over 25 years of experience with UNICEF. He has previously served as the Director of the UNICEF Public Partnerships Division in Tokyo (2016-2020) and as the UNICEF Regional Chief of Private Fundraising and Partnerships (2012-2015) in the East Asia and Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok, where he led the private sector partnerships for country offices in the region. He also led the promotion of Child Rights and Business
Principles with the private sector in the region. Prior to this, he was the Regional Fundraising Specialist of the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division also in the UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office.
Prior to his posts in Bangkok, Mr. Kimura was with UNICEF HQ in New York working as Brand Development Officer for the Private Sector Division where he supported National Committees in Asia in developing programmes, strategies, and partnerships, such as leading the establishment of the pledge programme in Japan, ROK, and Hong Kong and contributing to its substantial growth. He started his career in UNICEF in 1997, holding several posts in New York.
Mr. Kimura holds a Master of Arts in International Development and Social Change from Clark University (U.S.A).
Toni Ettel

Toni Ettel

FAO
Representative
 
Toni Ettel, National of Lebanon, born in 1960 and graduated from university Saint Joseph (Lebanon) in 1986 with B. Sc in Agronomy. Attended a course in IAM Montpellier in rural development, at the end of which he joined WFP Lebanon office for 2 years as Program assistant, then joined FAO in 1989 as Associate professional Officer in Yemen, the start of his career with FAO for 11 years in development projects first as community forestry officer (Yemen, Syria, Jordan and Turkey) and then 22 years in Emergency projects (Sudan in two missions covering north-south crise and thereafter Darfur crise, Somalia and Egypt). He worked as desk operation officer at FAO Hqs covering Angola, Burundi and DRC. At the onset of the Avian Influenza and more specifically on May 2007, he was tasked to establish the Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD) unit in Egypt, at the same time providing support to the ECTAD regional hub based in Beirut. During this period from 2007 till present, he occupied various positions in addition to ECTAD program operation officer, among others acting as Senior Field Program Operations officer for the MENA region for 2 years, then assigned as Funding Liaison officer for the FAO technical cooperation program and lastly Supporting Libya program that is managed from Cairo office. He has been appointed as acting FAO Representative for Syria as from October 2023.
Hiroshi Takabayashi

Hiroshi Takabayashi

UN-Habitat
Head of Country Programme a.i.
 
Since May 2021, Mr. Takabayashi served as a Programme Management Officer, Human Settlements in UN-Habitat Syria. Before joining UN-Habitat Syria, Mr. Takabayashi was Programme Management Officer, Human Settlements in UN-Habitat Myanmar (2019-2021) and UN-Habitat Afghanistan (2015-2019) working on urban development and resilience programmes with focus on sustainable urban development, community driven development, climate change and disaster risk management.
Before joining UN-Habitat, from 2001 to 2015, Mr. Takabayashi worked for Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), served as Advisor for Capital Market, Deputy Director for Planning in Asia and the Pacific and ASEAN partnership, Deputy Director for Indonesia and several other positions managing technical cooperation and loan programmes and policy dialogue.
Mr. Takabayashi holds a Master’s Degree in Environment, Development and Policy from University of Sussex in UK, and a Master’s Degree in International Development Study from National Graduate Policy Institute in Japan.
UNMAS

Joseph McCartan

UNMAS
Chief of the UN Mine Action Service
 
Mr Joseph McCartan (Joe) is the Chief of the UN Mine Action Service Programme in Syria. Prior to this he was the FAO Regional Security Advisor for Asia and Pacific, a Civil–Military Co-ordination Officer with UNOCHA and spent 5 years as the Programme Manager for the OPCW Mission in Syria. He has also been, consecutively, a British Army Officer, an Exhumations Officer with the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, deployed by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Joint Military Commission and the International Military Advisory Team in Sudan before joining the UN Mine Action Service in Sudan as Chief of Staff and then Deputy Director. He has also deployed to Iraq as UNOPS Deputy Director before returning to UNMAS to establish the programme with the UN Interim Security Force, Abyei. He holds a BA (War) from King’s College, London and a MA (Security, Violence and Terrorism) from Queen’s University, Belfast.
Peter Ekayu

Peter Ekayu

OCHA
SENIOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS OFFICER/Head of Office
 
Peter Ekayu, a national of Uganda, UNOCHA’s Representative to the African Union based in Addis Ababa, has joined the OCHA Syria Office, as Head of Office. Peter has over 20 years of humanitarian experience at both Headquarters and field levels. Peter has worked as Deputy Head of Office OCHA Somalia, Deputy Head of the IASC Secretariat and Deputy Head of Office for OCHA Nigeria. He also previously worked in Syria as OCHA Head of Office a.i. and Head of Strategic Planning and Coordination Unit, 2013-2015. During his assignment period to Syria, Peter facilitated the development of the Whole-of-Syria approach. He has worked with UNICEF, UNWOMEN and OCHA in several humanitarian contexts including Yemen, South Sudan, Liberia and Ethiopia. Before his UN and international career, he worked as a child protection specialist with Save the Children, refugee rights advocate and a pro-bono lawyer in Uganda. Peter is a graduate of Makerere University Kampala in Uganda, with a Bachelor of Law (LLB) and post graduate degree in law.
Saleh TEMBO

Saleh TEMBO

UNDSS
CSA DSS
 
Saleh TEMBO a Ugandan national, has been the Chief Security Advisor for the United Nations Department of Safety and Security in Syria since 7 April 2024.
Mr. Tembo started his career with the Uganda Police Force 1992 - 2001.
He joined UNHCR in 2001 as a Field Safety Adviser, 2001 - 04 in Sierra Leone and in Tanzania 2004 - 05.
His professional work experience with UNDSS spans 20 years in different countries and positions: Afghanistan, Herat, as a Field Security Coordination Officer 2006 - 08 and Kabul as an Operations Officer 2008 –
09; UN Security Advisor Malawi 2009 -11; Deputy Security Adviser Darfur, Sudan 2011-15; Dadaab, Kenya, as a Field Security Coordination Officer 2015 – 20; Security Advisor Philippine and Micronesia from 2020 – 24;
Currently as a Chief Security Adviser Syria April 2024 - present.
Mr. Tembo has MA in Risk, Crisis, and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester in UK, in addition to a BSC in Arts Degree from Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.
Born in 1965, Mr. Tembo is married and has 4 children. He likes hiking and travelling to the countryside.
Tomoki Watanabe

Tomoki Watanabe

ILO
Country Coordinator
 
 
 
Mr. Watanabe has served as Country Coordinator since February 2023, representing the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Syria. Before his current assignment, Mr. Watanabe served at the ILO Headquarters, Sudan Programme Office, and the International Training Centre (ITC) of the ILO, all in the capacity of crisis response programming and capacity building support through the world of work, guided by its Recommendation No. 205 on Employment and Decent Work for Peace and Resilience.
Before joining the ILO, Mr. Watanabe worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, most recently as an advisor/researcher at the Permanent Delegation of Japan to the OECD in the field of official development assistance (ODA) policies and statistics.
Mr. Watanabe holds a master’s degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.
 Sami Dimassi

Sami Dimassi

UNEP
Director and Regional Representative
Mr. Sami Dimassi joined UNEP Regional Office for West Asia as Director and Regional Representative in 2018. He held several senior positions in the UN System, such as Senior ICT Advisor, Head of the Innovation Branch, Deputy Director of the Science division, Director of Private Sector Engagement, and Acting Director of Corporate Services all within UNEP. A Lebanese-Canadian national, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Ottawa University and a master’s in Management from Waterloo University in Canada.
Constanza Farina

Constanza Farina

UNESCO
Director of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States, UNESCO Representative to Lebanon and Syria
 
Ms Costanza Farina is the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Beirut and Representative of UNESCO to Lebanon and Syria as of March 18, 2021. Before this, Farina was the UNESCO Representative in Jordan and performed as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Jordan and Libya. She has over 30 years of experience with the UN, occupying different senior positions in Qatar, Geneva and Palestine. Farina holds a master’s degree in Oriental Languages and Cultures from the Istituto Universitario Orientale in Italy.
Cristina Albertin

Cristina Albertin

UNODC
Regional Representative
 
 
Ms Cristina Albertin is the UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa. Working for UNODC since 1994, Ms Albertin has served in different capacities in Peru and at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna (Regional Section Latin America and the Caribbean) before becoming a Representative in Bolivia, South Asia, and Nigeria. Before joining UNODC, she worked for three years with the World Food Programme in Bolivia.
CHALEV Dimiter

Dimiter Chalev

OHCHR
Head of Office, Representative for Syria at OHCHR
Mr Dimiter Chalev (Bulgaria) has been appointed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights as her Representative / Head of the OHCHR Office for Syria since January 2019.
Dimiter Chalev has 30 years of professional experience, 19 years of which with the United Nations in Bishkek, Brussels, Bujumbura, Geneva, Pristina and Tunis. He served as the Head of the OHCHR Tunisia Office from 2012 to 2017 and as acting Resident Coordinator between September-December 2016. He has been Coordinator of the Secretariats of several United Nations Commissions of Inquiry. Dimiter Chalev was the Chief of Europe and Central Asia Section in Geneva (2010 -2012), Acting Regional Representative for Europe in Brussels and Acting Regional Representative for Central Asia in Bishkek in the period 2008 - 2010. He previously occupied various positions within OHCHR including Deputy Coordinator of Europe, North America and Central Asia Unit (2006 – 2010) and Human Rights Officer in the Africa Team at OHCHR in charge of the field operations in Burundi and Sudan (1999 – 2006). Before joining OHCHR, Dimiter Chalev occupied the position of Senior Expert in the Direction “International Organizations and Human Rights” of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bulgaria and worked in the Bulgarian Permanent Mission to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg from 1992 to 1995. He is fluent in English and French and has good knowledge of Russian.
Dimiter Chalev holds a diploma in International Civil Service from the International Institute for Public Administration, Paris, France and Masters in Systems Engineering from the Technical University, Sofia, Bulgaria.

Emmanuel Kalenzi

Emmanuel Kalenzi

UNIDO
Representative
Emmanuel Kalenzi is the UNIDO Representative and Head of Regional Office for Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. He has over 20 years of experience in development work, both in the public and private sectors as well as in international cooperation, and over 15 years with UNIDO. Mr. Kalenzi holds a Master of Business Administration from Wageningen University, a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from Makerere University and is currently working on his PhD research.
Mounir Tabet

Mounir Tabet

UN ESCWA
Deputy Executive Secretary for Programme Support
 
Mounir Tabet who is a national of Canada took up his official functions as deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in September 2018. Mr Tabet was the UNDP country director for Iraq from 2016 to 2018 and oversaw the program on stabilization and transition. Prior to joining UNDP, Mr Tabet worked with the North-South Institute and the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, and the University of Ottawa.
Mr Tabet is an Edward S. Mason Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University where he obtained a Master's degree in public administration. He also holds a Master's degree in economics from the University of Ottawa.
Muhammad Usman Akram

Muhammad Usman Akram

UNOPS
Director UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman
 
 
 
Mr. Akram holds a Master degree in Economics and has over 20 years of experience in the UN system, and the non-governmental organization in the humanitarian and development sector.
Prior to joining UNOPS in 2015 as the Regional Advisor on the United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks for Asia, Middle East and Europe, Mr. Akram worked in the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office in New York where he worked on the operational guidance for the One Programme. Before that, he worked as the acting Head of the Resident Coordinator Office for Iraq while officiating the function of the Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for Iraq. He has also worked as Regional Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor for the United Nations Development Programme serving the Arab States Region and the Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States. Mr. Akram started his development career in Pakistan working for the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Northern Areas, as well as with Save the Children (United Kingdom) in Pakistan as well as in Central Asia. From 2016-2018, Mr. Akram worked as the Head of Programme at the UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman and was responsible for overseeing implementation of the UNOPS programme portfolio in all countries under the Hub including Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and the GCC. Since January 2019, Mr. Akram has been the Director for the UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman.
Omar Ebrima Njie

Omar Ebrima Njie

IFAD
Country director
 
Mr Omar Ebrima Njie, a national of The Gambia, has been appointed as Country Director of the IFAD portfolio in Syria since April 2021. Prior to this assignment, Mr Njie worked for 10 years as the Senior Audit Officer in the Office of Audit and Oversight at IFAD Headquarters in Rome.
Mr Njie holds a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and entrepreneurship from the University of Louisiana at Monroe (Louisiana, USA), a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from Berea Colleague (Kentucky, USA). He also earned several professional certifications in finance, accounting and audit, public procurement and information technology, with a long-standing experience in the rural development, government and private sector organizations in various countries in the region, the Asia and the Pacific Islands, USA, and across several countries in Africa. He has worked for more than 24 years in contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of development-related projects, coordinating and leading teams in various areas of development work and private sector industries in banking, electric utilities and energy services and aviation.