Our Team in India

Shombi Sharp

Shombi Sharp

RCO
UN Resident Coordinator
 
Mr Shombi Sharp, a national of the United States of America, is the UN Resident Coordinator for India since November 2021. Mr. Sharp has devoted more than 25 years of his career to promoting inclusive and sustainable development internationally, bringing experience he has acquired at the United Nations and externally to this new position.

Within the Organization, he most recently served as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Armenia, after holding several leadership positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where he was Resident Representative in Armenia, Deputy Resident Representative in Georgia, Deputy Country Director in Lebanon, Regional HIV/AIDS Practice Team Leader for UNDP Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States in the Russian Federation, Programme Manager for the Western Balkans in New York and Assistant Resident Representative in the Russian Federation.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Sharp began his career in development with the international non-profit CARE International in Zimbabwe. He is a published author of works in health economics and was a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) “Policy Champion” as well as a nominee for the UNDP Administrator’s Award.

Mr. Sharp holds a postgraduate diploma in HIV/AIDS management from the National Medical University of South Africa and Stellenbosch University, in South Africa; a master’s degree in economics from the University of Colorado, in the United States; and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Kansas, United States.

He is fluent in English and Russian.
Andrea Wojnar

Andrea M Wojnar

UNFPA
Resident Representative, India and Country Director, Bhutan
 
Ms. Wojnar, a US national, brings with her over 36 years’ of experience in leading and administering development and humanitarian operations from grassroots to international levels. Prior to her appointment to UNFPA India, she served as the UNFPA Mozambique Representative and UNFPA Senegal Representative and Country Director for The Gambia. Before that, Ms. Wojnar occupied various leadership positions for the US Peace Corps, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the American Red Cross Society across 50 countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Ms. Wojnar holds Masters degrees in: Management from McGill University (Montreal, with studies at INSEAD France, Lancaster University UK, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, LG Institute Seoul, and JAIST Kanazawa), and in Global Social Change & Development/Economics from the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (Washington D.C.), and a Bachelor's degree with Honours from Wesleyan University, (Connecticut, USA).

She is passionate about using data and evidence to influence policy decisions that promote gender equality, empower women and girls, and ensure rights and choices for all.
Areti Sianni

Areti Sianni

UNHCR
Chief of Mission
 
Areti Sianni (Greece) has worked for thirty years on refugee protection at country, regional and headquarters levels in Europe, Middle East and North Africa and Asia-Pacific regions including in emergency operations. Prior to taking her assignment in India, she served as Assistant Representative (Protection) with UNHCR Yemen and as Assistant Chief of Mission (Protection) with UNHCR Libya.

Areti has also served as Senior Protection Adviser with UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for the Middle East and North Africa and in a policy advisory capacity on responses to mixed population flows in various countries. From 2012-2014, she was seconded to the Bali Process Regional Support Office where she advised on protection sensitive responses to mixed movements of refugees and migrants including by sea. Before joining UNHCR in 2008, Areti worked as an independent consultant as well as with foundations and international NGOS including the European Council on Refugees and Exiles, Amnesty International- International Secretariat and the Barrow Cadbury Trust.

Areti Sianni holds degrees in Development Studies (MSc, London School of Economics, London, UK), Politics (MA, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia) and Political Science and Public Administration (University of Athens, Greece). She speaks Greek, English, French and Spanish.
Auguste Tano Kouamé

Auguste Tano Kouamé

World Bank
Country Director for India
 
Auguste, a national of Côte d’Ivoire, most recently served as the World Bank’s Country Director for the Republic of Türkiye – where he led the expansion of the Bank’s country program and deepened its support to Türkiye’s climate agenda. Prior to this, he served as Director of the Department of Human Development and Economic Management in the World Bank Group’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) from January 2017 to April 2019. He also held positions as Practice Manager in the Macroeconomics and Fiscal Management Practice of the World Bank, first in Latin America and Caribbean countries and then in the Middle East and North Africa regions.

From 2008 to 2014, he held the positions of Sector Manager for Economic Policy, Sector Leader, and Lead Economist in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Unit and served as acting Chief Economist for the MENA Region. From 2005 to 2008, he served as Assistant to the World Bank Group President.

Auguste took field assignments from 2002-05 as Senior Country Economist, based in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and, subsequently, as World Bank representative in Haiti. He was a core team member of the World Bank’s 1998/99 World Development Report on Knowledge for Development.

Prior to joining the World Bank as a Young Professional in 1996, he worked at the United Nations Development Program and taught Applied Economics in Côte d’Ivoire and France.

Auguste holds a graduate degree in applied economics from ENSAE-Paris and a PhD in economics from EHESS-Paris. He also attended a program in Economic Management at Harvard University.
Cynthia McCaffrey

Cynthia McCaffrey

UNICEF
Representative
Ms. Cynthia McCaffrey assumed the role of UNICEF Representative to India in October 2022. She brings with her decades of leadership experience and expertise in championing the cause of children and women. She served in UNICEF Headquarters as Director, Office of Innovation, and Director and Chief of Staff of the Office of the Executive Director. Prior to India, Ms. McCaffrey was the UNICEF Representative to China.

As UNICEF Representative to India, Ms. McCaffery provides leadership and strategic direction of the UNICEF India Country Programme in achieving results for children. “India has made substantive progress for children, young people, and women over the past decades,” said McCaffrey, “I look forward to building on UNICEF’s strong partnership with the Government of India and working together across India to advance the rights of every child.”

Ms. McCaffrey joined UNICEF in 2001 as a Senior Programme Advisor leading the relationship between the children’s agency and the governments of the United States, Canada, and Ireland. Later she served as Senior Vice President at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF mobilizing support for UNICEF’s work around the world.

Ms. McCaffrey’s career in international development began with the International Rescue Committee in 1988. She served in the office of the U.S. Executive Director at the World Bank where she coordinated issues regarding Africa, debt relief, health, education and post-conflict. Prior to that Ms. McCaffrey served in a number of posts at the United States Agency for International Development including in the Office of the Administrator, the Center for Democracy and Governance and the Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs.

Ms. McCaffrey was appointed a White House Fellow in 1995. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and a master’s in public policy from the University of Texas, LBJ School.

A national of the United States of America, Ms. McCaffrey spends her free time with her husband exploring new places, facetiming with her daughters at all hours and joining her sister to zoom into their brother’s comedy shows.
Darrin Farrant

Darrin Farrant

UNIC
Director, United Nations Information Centre for India & Bhutan
 
Mr. Farrant has 32 years of experience in communications, including 20 years with the United Nations. From 2012 to 2022, he was Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications. Later he served temporarily as the Acting Chief of Office in the Office of the Under-Secretary-General, DGC.

Mr. Farrant’s other UN assignments include being a speechwriter in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, an editor with the UN News Centre and the head of communications for the Secretary-General’s panel on the referenda that led to the independence of South Sudan.

In addition, he has extensive experience in crisis communications, campaign development and strategic planning and coordination.

Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Farrant was a journalist, reporter and editor for news outlets in Australia and the United Kingdom, including The Age of Melbourne and The Times of London.

Mr. Farrant holds bachelor’s degrees in law and arts from the University of Melbourne.
David Bridger

David Bridger

UNAIDS
Country Director
 
David Bridger is currently the Country Director of the UNAIDS India office, where he leads efforts in promoting an expanded and integrated United Nations system response to HIV in the country, providing the strategic direction, advocacy, coordination and technical support needed to catalyse and connect leadership from governments and communities to deliver life-saving HIV services.

Previously he has served as UNAIDS Country Director in Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Throughout these postings he has supported significant scale-up of services and helped to create an enabling environment and overcome legislative obstacles. In Papua New Guinea, Mr Bridger Chaired the Global Fund Country Coordinating Mechanism at the invitation of the Government and was instrumental in increasing donor support for the HIV response in country.

Regionally, Mr Bridger has worked on several key initiatives including a multi-country World Bank funded information for development programme that oversaw seven countries in Asia receive vital information management technologies. Additionally, he managed the Asia Pacific Leadership Forum which amalgamated regional leadership cooperation in the response to HIV and AIDS as well as working on aspects of the Commission on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

Before joining the United Nations in 1998, Mr. Bridger worked with the Albion Street HIV Centre in Sydney, Australia. He was a member of their International Health Team where he worked and advised on their HIV support programme in Thailand. Earlier, Mr Bridger worked in media and publishing in Australia.
Elias Legesse Woldeyes

Elias Legesse

UNDSS
UN Security Adviser
 
 
 
Prior to his appointment in New Delhi, Elias Legesse Woldeyes served for three years as Field Security Coordination Officer (FSCO) of Balochistan Pakistan, serving from 2015 – 2018. Throughout his 16 years of service in the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS), Elias Legesse engaged widely with UN Agencies, Funds, Programmes and Organizations as well as with International None and Governmental Organizations in a complex security environment.

Prior to this appointment Mr. Woldeyes served as the Regional Security Adviser (based in Beijing, China and covering Mongolia, Japan, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and Republic of Korea (ROK) from 2010-2015, FSCO North East Afghanistan from 2007 – 2010 and FSCO Lahore/Quetta Pakistan 2004 – 2007.

Before entering the United Nations Department of Safety and Security, Elias Legesse worked for 7 years in the US Embassy Ethiopia as a primary security adviser and 11 years in law enforcement and army. Since his graduation from the Ethiopian Police College and the German Police Academy, he has built a strong record of rapidly attaining managerial and operational positions within in the Ethiopian Police, Ethiopian National Army, an International Governmental Organization, as well as in the UN. Throughout his career, he has advanced within the professional ladder predominantly working his way up from the lowest position to one of the highest.

Elias Legesse is married and has two children.
Elisabeth Faure

Elisabeth Faure

WFP
Representative and Country Director
 
Ms. Elisabeth Faure is a French national with more than 18 years of development and humanitarian experience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Prior to this, she served as Director of WFP’s London Office which focuses on advocacy and expanding strategic partnerships including with the British Government, leading media outlets, parliamentarians, private sector, civil society, academia, and the policy community in the UK.

Elisabeth has served as WFP’s Country Representative in Bolivia (2016-2019) leading a team of experts who provide policy advice and technical assistance to strengthen national capacities. The work focused on enhancing nationwide food based social protection systems for vulnerable groups and improving national emergency preparedness measures linked to extreme weather events.

Elisabeth also served as WFP Country Representative in Guinea (2012-2016) managing a team of over 300 staff and coordinating the large-scale humanitarian response to the Ebola epidemic. Leveraging new partnerships, WFP, and sister UN agencies, implemented development and peace building interventions for vulnerable communities during the recovery phase of the Ebola crisis.

Elisabeth’s other roles include a secondment to the Office of the Special Envoy for the Tsunami Recovery, at the United Nations headquarters in New York, where she was part of a small team supporting Former United States President, Bill Clinton.

Elisabeth is a co-founder of the Humanitarian Women’s Network (HWN) established in 2015. HWN is a grassroots online community comprised of more than 13,000 women. HWN seeks to create a safe environment where humanitarian women can flourish free from sexual exploitation, harassment, and abuse.

Ms. Elisabeth Faure has a master’s degree (M.Phil.) in Latin American Studies from Oxford University and a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from The London School of Economics and Political Science. She is married with 3 children.
Jaime Moll de Alba

Jaime Moll de Alba

UNIDO
Officer-in-Charge
 
 
 
Jaime Moll de Alba serves as UNIDO’s Director of the Division of Regional Bureaus and Field Offices.
Dr. Moll de Alba leads the identification of programmatic priorities for UNIDO's services and the
Organization’s responses to the needs of Member States and development partners at the regional and
country levels. He also leads the development and monitoring of regional strategies and country
programmes. He manages UNIDO’s 48 field offices and its five regional bureaus covering Africa, the Arab
Region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining UNIDO, Dr. Moll de Alba gained international experience in economic development and
innovation strategies. He worked for the European Commission in Luxembourg for a decade supporting
regional economic development, enterprise competitiveness, small and medium-sized enterprise
development, and innovation and technology transfer.

Jaime Moll de Alba holds a PhD in Economic Development, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies and
Research Sufficiency from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in Spain, where he started his
professional career as Visiting Lecturer. He graduated from the same university as an Industrial Engineer
specialized in Industrial Organization. Dr. Moll de Alba's research on sustainable economic development
has been published in various international peer-reviewed journals.
Kanta Singh

Kanta Singh

UN Women
Officer-in-Charge and Deputy Country Representative
 
Kanta has over 25 years of experience in the management of pro-women development programmes. Kanta has worked with national and international organisations to promote women in formal economy, sports and politics. Kanta’s last assignment was with UNDP where she spent 9 years.

Currently, Kanta is the Deputy Representative with UN Women India. She is a former national level Volleyball Player. Kanta is a Chevening Gurukul Fellow from University of Oxford.
Marco Teixeira

Marco Teixeira

UNODC
Representative - Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA)
 
 
 
Mr Marco Teixeira, a national of Portugal, has been appointed the new Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for South Asia (UNODC ROSA). He will assume his duties in India from 1 November 2022.

Within UNODC, Mr. Teixeira has led programme development and implementation, partnership building and resource mobilization efforts in various positions, including recently as i) Programme Coordinator (Head of Office in Mozambique and Malawi) in Maputo (from June 2021 to September 2022); ii) Senior Programme Officer with the Division for Treaty Affairs in Vienna leading the Global
Programme for the implementation of the Doha Declaration (Jan.2019-May 2021); iii) Programme Officer (Law Enforcement Expert) (2016-2019) in that same division; iv) Head, Organized Crime, Illicit Trafficking and Terrorism section in Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Dakar (2014-2016); v) Programme Coordinator in Liberia and Sierra Leonne (2013-2014); and vi) Law Enforcement Adviser in the Programme Office in Guinea-Bissau (2011-2012).

Before joining UNODC, Mr. Teixeira worked as a Police Operations & International Cooperation Adviser with the UN Special Political Mission UNIOGBIS (2010-2011). He also held various positions with the Portuguese Public Security Police, including: Head of administrative support to the Director of the Human Resources Department (2011); Media and Communications Coordinator during the Under 21 Championship - UEFA – Oporto (2006); Deputy Commander of Criminal Investigation Division; Trainer – Police, Incidents Negotiator – Negotiation Cell of Oporto Metropolitan Command (2004-2010); Commanding Officer of the 6th Criminal Investigations Police Station (2002-2004); and Commanding Officer of the Póvoa do Varzim Police Station (2000-2002).

Mr. Teixeira holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from the Porto University in Portugal and a Bachelor’s degree in Police Science, besides other post graduate courses.
Mariyam Nazra

Mariyam Nazra

UNDP
Officer-in-Charge and Operations Manager
 
 
 
Michiko Miyamoto

Michiko Miyamoto

ILO
Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for South Asia and Country Office for India
 
Ms Michiko Miyamoto, a Japanese national, is appointed Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for South Asia and Country Office for India as of 15 November 2023.

Currently, Ms Miyamoto is serving as the Country Director for ILO activities for Indonesia and Timor-Leste since March 2017. She was based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Promoting ILO’s mandate of Decent Work for All, she has worked in Indonesia and Timor Leste since 2011 under the country framework of focuses on job creation, sound industrial relations and social protection.

She has worked in the field of international development for almost 30 years.Prior to joining the ILO Office in Indonesia, she worked at the ILO Headquarters and the Regional Office for Asia Pacific, specializing in small business development, job creation programme, and capacity development of workforce and institutions. She was also responsible for global agenda setting and consultation meetings for the ILO Governing Body with employers’ associations and trade unions for employment and social policy debate and discussion.

Ms. Miyamoto holds a Master of Public Administration and Master of Art, Public and International Affairs from the University of Pittsburgh.
Mikiko Tanaka

Mikiko Tanaka

UN ESCAP
Director and Head
 
 
 
Ms. Mikiko Tanaka is the Director and Head of ESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia Office, New Delhi effective 2 May 2022. Ms. Tanaka brings over twenty-five years of experience within the United Nations system. She most recently served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Guyana after working as the UNDP Resident Representative. As Resident Coordinator, she led strategic dialogues with the Government and brought coherence to the work of the United Nations Country Team for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She furthermore supported the conduct of its Voluntary National Review and consolidated socio-economic policy recommendations in response to COVID-19.

Prior to Guyana, Ms. Tanaka served as the UNDP Country Director in Yemen and Timor-Leste, UNDP Deputy Country Director (Programmes) Pakistan, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Benin as well as in several other capacities with UNDP at its headquarters as well as in China and Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Before joining the United Nations system, she worked as project coordinator for a non-governmental organization in Thailand as well as in the financial sector in Japan.

Ms. Tanaka holds master’s degrees in public policy and management from the University of London and in rural development management from the Khon Kaen University, and a bachelor’s degree from the International Christian University.
Mozaharul Alam

Mozaharul Alam

UNEP
Officer-in-Charge
 
 
 
Mozaharul Alam joined the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as a Regional Coordinator for Climate Change in the Asia and the Pacific Office in 2009. Adaptation and low-carbon development in response to climate change, integrating climate change into development planning, and participating in international negotiations are his areas of specialization. Currently, he is providing strategic support and political guidance to design and implement climate actions in the region. He also represents UNEP in the UNCT of Bhutan and Nepal, as well as providing secretarial support to the Issue-based Coalition on Raising Ambitions on Climate Action.

Prior to joining UNEP, he served the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of Bangladesh, as a National Project Coordinator and successfully undertook an inclusive process and formulated the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA). He attended climate change negotiations for more than a decade and coordinated the adaptation group of G77 and China from 2007 to 2009. He worked as a Lead Author for Working Group II for the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. He received an international fellowship from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) under the Climate Change Programme for three years starting in 2006.
Parul Agarwala

Parul Agarwala

UN-Habitat
Country Programme Manager
 
Ms Parul Agarwala is an urban development practitioner with experience in strategic policy analysis, land use and spatial planning, housing and economic development. She has worked in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Palestine, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and the United States. During her tenure with UN-Habitat, Ms. Agarwala has worked on promoting the New Urban Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals into the national policy frameworks on urban development, housing and informal settlements in the South Asia Region.

She has been instrumental in fostering livelihoods and people-centered approaches as Programme Manager of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan’s flagship initiative, “Clean and Green Cities” project in twelve cities. Her major contribution to the evidence-based policy propositions and knowledge products, including, “Urban National Priority Programme” and “Future of Afghan Cities,” a land use atlas of more than 35 strategic urban areas, have shaped the urban ministry’s agenda in Afghanistan.

Prior to UN-Habitat, Ms. Agarwala has worked as a City Planner in the New York City Department of City Planning, where she gained hands-on experience in translating policy guidelines into zoning regulations for legislative enforcement of city-wide and neighborhood-level initiatives. Ms. Agarwala has also worked with the World Bank’s Global Practices of Urban, Rural, Disaster Risk and Social Development, and Water Practice based in Washington DC. In this capacity, she worked on several multi-sectoral operational projects and analytical work encompassing regional economic development, urbanization, urban renewal and transformation, land and housing, and governance in South Asia.

Ms. Agarwala has a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs in New York, USA, and a Master of Planning degree from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA.
Preeti Soni

Preeti Soni

APCTT
Head
 
 
 
Dr Preeti Soni’s leadership and experience spans over a wide range of fields including policy analysis, strategic planning in the areas of environment, climate change, energy, technology and sustainable development and programme implementation.

Dr Soni served as the Chief, Climate Change, Resilience and Energy Programme at UNDP in India from 2018 to June 2021. She worked with UNDP India from 2004 and held multiple positions of Assistant Country Director and Head (Energy and Environment), Advisor (Climate Change), and the Resource Person for the UN Solution Exchange Environment Community. She was instrumental in developing several strategic programmes and partnerships and overseeing their implementation at UNDP. Prior to UNDP India, she worked with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi.

She holds a PhD in Environmental Economics and Climate Policy from the Institute of Environmental Studies, Vrije University, The Netherlands and a Masters in Economics from Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University, India.
Ranil Salgado

Ranil Salgado

IMF
Senior Resident Representative
 
Mr. Ranil Salgado, a dual national of the U.S. and Sri Lanka, became the IMF Resident Representative based in Delhi in March 2024. He has been in the IMF for over 27 years and is an Assistant Director in the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD).
Prior to his appointment on India and Bhutan, he was most recently the IMF’s mission chief to Japan and supervised work on Timor-Leste and Tonga. He co-edited the book “South Asia’s Path to Resilient Growth” that was published in 2023. Among his previous
roles in APD, he served as the mission chief to India (2017-2020), the Marshall Islands, Myanmar, and Nepal, as well as chief of the Regional Studies Division and the IMF Resident Representative in Singapore (2005-2008). He also supervised work on
Bhutan, the Maldives, and Micronesia. His time at the IMF includes work in the Western Hemisphere; Research; and Strategy, Policy, and Review Departments.

Prior to joining the IMF, he worked in a strategy management consulting firm and as teaching and research assistants at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University, and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. He attended the University of Pennsylvania (masters & PhD in economics), along with Harvard University (undergraduate in chemistry) and Cambridge University (masters in biochemistry).
Roderico Ofrin

Roderico Ofrin

WHO
Representative
 
Dr Roderico H Ofrin is the WHO Representative to India beginning July 2020. With a rich experience of over two decades in public health, mostly in WHO’s South-East Asia Region, Dr Ofrin has extensive experience and expertise on the multiple critical issues impacting health of people in the 11 Member countries, including India.

Before taking up his current position, Dr Ofrin was the Regional Emergencies Director for WHO South-East Asia Region providing strategic technical guidance and operational leadership to the ongoing response to the global COVID-19 pandemic across the Region.

Associated with WHO since 2002, Dr Ofrin has served in multiple roles starting as a Public Health Officer in a war-ravaged island nation of Timor-Leste, assisting in setting up of its health systems.

A major part of his career has been in the public health emergencies programme. From being involved in the response to the Indian Ocean Tsunami, a mega disaster that severely impacted multiple countries of WHO South-East Asia countries, Dr Ofrin went on to lead WHO’s response on the ground during major events such as the 2015 massive earthquake in Nepal, the ebola outbreak in Liberia, cyclone Nargis in Myanmar and most recently the Rohingya crisis.

Working in a Region prone to emergencies, Dr Ofrin significantly contributed to several innovative measures for strengthening emergency preparedness and response in the Region, that were later replicated globally. The South-East Asia Regional Benchmarks for emergency preparedness and response and the South-East Asia Regional Health Emergency Fund (SEARHEF), are among the notable ones.

As Director Emergencies programme for the Region, Dr Ofrin gave a fillip to the flagship programme on reversing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and ‘One Health’ Regional Tripartite (FAO-OIE-WHO) initiative.

Leading Non-Communicable Diseases and Environmental Health Department during a brief stint in 2015, he worked with several teams across the Region on climate change, tobacco control, food safety, health promotion, nutrition and injury prevention.

Born in 1968 in the Philippines, Dr Ofrin holds a Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines; and a Master’s in Public Health from Hebrew University Hadassah, Israel.

Dr Ofrin was conferred the Director General’s Reward for leading Nepal Earthquake Response and Recovery.

To his credit are numerous publications that he has authored and co-authored on emergency and preparedness and risk management.
Sanjay Awasthi

Sanjay Awasthi

IOM
Head of Office
 
Sanjay Awasthi, IOM’s Head of Office for India, brings nearly three decades of experience in diverse development and humanitarian contexts. His work has spanned Asia and Africa, addressing issues such as agriculture, food security and livelihoods, health, nutrition, HIV, and peacebuilding. His career has been dedicated to capacity building of communities and community-based organisations. He excels in networking with different communities, donors, and the government.

Guided by the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), Sanjay leads the IOM’s initiatives in India to facilitate the safe, orderly, and regular migration of skilled Indian professionals and students in partnership with the Ministry of External Affairs and other government and non-government partners. Sanjay has previously been the Country Director of VSO, a UK-based international organisation in Ghana that recognises and realises the potential of volunteers, the Country Director for Oxfam in South Sudan and Malawi and as a humanitarian programme professional in Ethiopia and Sudan, focusing on WASH, livelihoods, camp management and drought impact assessment & response initiatives. While working for CARE International, he also led the Tsunami Response Programme in Southern India.

Mr Awasthi has a master’s degree in Sociology and an M Phil Degree in Social Medicine & Community Health from the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi.
Sushil Chaudhary

Sushil Chaudhary

UNV
Country Coordinator
 
Sushil brings over two decades of experience of working with the United Nations and with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research system in the areas of policy, programmes, partnerships and operations across natural resource management, governance, inclusion, and humanitarian assistance. His professional expertise includes disaster risk reduction, rural development, and social inclusion.

Prior to joining United Nations Volunteers Programme, Sushil coordinated the UNDP India’s engagement for empowerment of indigenous communities by connecting them with their legal land rights and welfare entitlements, strengthening delivery of basic services and promoting innovation in hard-to-reach areas inhabited by some of the most vulnerable people. In Myanmar, Sushil supported the preparation of the Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan for the country and was closely engaged with the implementation of the world’s largest disaster risk management program of Government of India-UNDP India (2002-07).

Sushil is passionate about unlocking the potential of digital technologies and innovation in building inclusive and economically resilient communities. Some of his close to heart initiatives (1000 Springs, Adivasi Grants Management Systems -ADIGRAMS and Forest Rights Act MIS) are currently under national roll-out.
Takayuki Hagiwara

Takayuki Hagiwara

FAO
FAO Representative in India
 
Mr Takayuki Hagiwara is appointed as the FAO Representative in India effective 29 May 2023.

Mr Hagiwara, a national of Japan, holds a Master of Science in Forestry from Yale University with a focus on Participatory Resources Management in the United States.

Following the completion of his master degree in 1993, Mr Hagiwara began his career as a development consultant in the private sector in Japan. From 1996 and 2000, he served as a Natural Forest Management and Agroforestry Expert at a forest conservation project supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Panama. Upon concluding his assignment in Panama, he continued working as a development consultant until he joined FAO in 2003.

Mr Hagiwara commenced his career at FAO as a Natural Resources Management Officer, in the Asia and the Pacific Service at the Investment Centre (CFI). He progressively took on greater responsibilities, serving as a Senior Natural Resources Management Officer from 2012 to 2015, and later as the Chief of the Asia and the Pacific Service from 2015 to 2020. Throughout his tenure at the CFI, he provided technical assistance to projects supported by the World Bank, IFAD, JICA and EU.

During his career, Mr Hagiwara contributed to the preparation and implementation of various projects including those focused on community-based natural resources management and livelihood development, and helped JICA’s adoption of the Farmer Field School platform in Kenya and Ethiopia. He also conducted numerous training sessions and authored a farmer field school implementation guide based on his practical experiences in the field.

One of his notable achievement was his role as the lead technical officer on the Sustainable Livelihood Development Project in Kenya’s Mau Forest Complex, which received FAO’s Edouard Saouma Award in 2013. In this capacity, he piloted a mobile phone-based monitoring system, established a partnership with a local bank and Kenya Forest Service Revolving Fund and facilitated community-based enterprise development with RuralInvest.

Mr Hagiwara has served as the Regional Programme Leader at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand from January 2021. In this role, he has supported the regional office to implement FAO’s strategic framework and overseen the development and implementation of the programmes in the region, providing guidance to technical officers at the regional office and facilitate coordination with the FAO representatives in the region.
Timothy Curtis

Timothy Curtis

UNESCO
Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in New Delhi and UNESCO Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka
 
On 2 October 2023, Tim Curtis (Australia) assumed the position of Director and UNESCO Representative for the UNESCO Regional Office in New Delhi covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.

Prior to this appointment he served since January 2016 as the Secretary of UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, overseeing both the statutory and operational dimensions of UNESCO’s global programme for Living Heritage.

He has been working in the field of culture and sustainable development in diverse international contexts for over twenty-five years, of which twenty have been with UNESCO. He served as a UNESCO programme specialist for Culture in East Africa as well as in South East Asia from 2004 until 2016,

Prior to his work with UNESCO he was involved in advocacy and academic work, and received a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies at the Australian National University, for which he did extensive ethnographic research among the Na’hai speakers of Malakula, Republic of Vanuatu
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Ulac Demirag

IFAD
Country Representative
 
 
 
Ulaç Demirag has over 20 years of experience in Sub-Saharan Africa in the area of rural and agricultural development. His professional expertise includes community-driven development, rural finance, agricultural value chain, private sector development, and natural resources management. He joined IFAD in 2002 and managed the country programmes in Equatorial Guinea and Chad (2006-2007), Guinea (2008-2009) and Ghana (2010 – 2015), Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan (2016-2020) before moving to his current role.

He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Heidelberg, Germany (2002). His academic background is coupled with extensive experience in leading interdisciplinary research in West Africa, with several publications in the fields of climate change, development economics, centred on agro-pastoral and small-holder farmers’ livelihoods.
Vinod Mishra

Vinod Mishra

UNOPS
Country Manager
 
Mr. Vinod Mishra carries an experience of more than 30 years with 20 years of exclusive experience in the water and sanitation sector. His specific experience has been in terms of project management, training and capacity building, providing planning and implementation support to WASH (water sanitation & hygiene) programs across the districts, states and national levels in India. He has worked as Team leader of UNOPS for the implementation of the WSSCC (Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council) project in India. He has developed the implementation strategy of WSSCC to support the Swachh Bharat Mission in India from 2014 to 2019. His recent work has largely been in the field of policy advocacy initiatives to promote collective behaviour change with equity, inclusion, capacity building, rapid action learning, studies, and research works. Currently working as Country Manager, UNOPS in India and implementing projects on water supply (Jal Jeevan Mission), sanitation, circular economy and health. He has a postgraduate in Political Science in International Relations and an MBA in Human Resource.