Our Team in United Arab Emirates

دينا عساف

Dena Assaf

RCO
UN Resident Coordinator
Dr. Dena Assaf is the United Nations Resident Coordinator for the United Arab Emirates and Deputy Commissioner General for the UN at Expo2020. She has been with the United Nations for over 20 years in various senior management positions and advisory roles with UN Peace Keeping, the UN Development Programme, UN Women and the UN Sustainable Development Group at headquarters, the Arab Region, and various UN country offices.
Adel Darwish

Adel Darwish

ITU
Regional Director for Arab States
Adel Darwish serves as Director of the ITU Regional Office for Arab States, covering 22 Arab countries. He has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of telecommunications, spanning incumbent operator, startup operator, and regulator. In his different roles, Mr Darwish has been involved with international relations, including ICANN, GSMA, the GCC Council, the League of Arab States, Arab Regulatory Network (AREGNET), and SAMENA Council.
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Adil Radoini

UNICRI
Regional Coordinator, Middle East & GCC
 
Mr Adil Radoini is the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Regional Coordinator for the Middle East and GCC countries. He works for the Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) and Security Governance Programme. He previously worked as a journalist for the Italian press and TV. In 2009, together with other international experts, he published “Un Hussein alla casa Bianca”, a perspective of the Arab world on the 2008 US elections. He graduated from the University of Bologna with a Master's degree in International Relations focusing on Middle Eastern politics, carrying out a research thesis led in Cairo and at the Institut d'Etudes Politiques, in Paris.
Alexandra Tarazi

Alexandra Tarazi

UN Global Compact
Senior Manager, Global Operations
 
Alexandra Tarazi works for the United Nations Global Compact as a Senior Manager on the Global Operations Team. She supports Local Network programs and provides input into strategic and operational planning as well as leads on the development of capacity building initiatives aimed at enhancing operational and managerial capabilities of Local Networks including on financial management, governance, integrity, and organizational values.
She holds a Masters in Human Rights from the University of York, UK and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Nottingham, UK with an emphasis on corporate sustainability.
ameera al hassan

Ameera Al Hassan

UN-Habitat
Head of UN-Habitat GCC Office
 
Dr Ameera Alhassan is Head of UN-Habitat GCC Office since 2019. Ameera has vast experience in NGOs and private sector as a sustainable development expert and project manager in many projects across the GCC. She holds Master’s degree from University of Kent at Canterbury and a PhD in Environmental Architecture Education and the Role of Policy Making and End users from University of Newcastle upon Tyne. She is a certified trainer of Sustainable Development, Pedagogy and Quality Assurance, and has contributed in many local, regional, international and UN events and UN Habitat World Urban Forums from 2012-2020.
Amr EN

Amr El Nasharty

UNDSS
Security Advisor
 
Amr El Nasharty serves as UNDSS Security Advisor for the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman. His previous experience includes posts with UNDSS in Yemen and Darfur, as well as posts with peacekeeping missions in Haiti and Congo. He holds degrees in Law and Political Science.
Anna Paolini

Ana Paolini

UNESCO
Director, Office for GCC and Yemen
Dr Anna Paolini has served as the UNESCO Representative in the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen and Director of the UNESCO Doha Office since September 2013. Prior appointments include Head of UNESCO Office in Uzbekistan and Jordan. She holds a MA in Architecture and in Urban and Regional Planning, a post-graduate degree in Development Cooperation and a PhD in Territorial Engineering.
basmah AB

Basmah Al Mayman

UNWTO
Regional Director for the Middle East
 
Basmah Al-Mayman is the UNWTO Regional Director for the Middle East. She previously served as manager of the International Organizations and Committees Department at the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage, developing and strengthening relations with international organizations such as UN agencies, the World Bank, and other stakeholders in the fields of tourism, heritage, museums, antiquities, and built heritage. She holds an MBA from Al Faisal University in cooperation with the University of Oxford.
Dino Francescutti

Dino Francescutti

FAO
Sub-Regional Coordinator and FAO Representative
 
Dr. Dino Francescutti Motis has served as the FAO Sub-regional Coordinator for the GCC and Yemen and the FAO Representative in the UAE since 2019. He joined the FAO in 1991 as Food Security Officer, and from 1995 to 2019 he served as Economist and Senior Economist at the FAO Investment Centre in Rome, Italy and in Santiago, Chile providing substantive technical support to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, and also some countries in Africa and Asia. Dr. Francescutti is Mexican and Italian, and holds a PhD in Economics and an M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the USA and a B.Sc. in Animal Husbandry from Mexico
ElTayeb Adam

ElTayeb Adam

UNICEF
Regional Representative for the Gulf States
As UNICEF Regional Representative for the Gulf States since April 2018, Mr Adam is responsible for managing and supervising UNICEF’s work, providing leadership and vision to the UNICEF country programme teams in planning and implementing local programmes and in managing and leveraging resources for the achievement of results and fulfilment of the rights of children. He was previously UNICEF Chief Field Office for several operations in Mogadishu and Garowe, Somalia; in Qamishly, Syria; and in Sanaa, Yemen (2012-2018). Before joining UNICEF, Mr Adam has worked with UNDP in Abu Dhabi and Khartoum, and with Oxfam in Djakarta and Sana'a.
Hany Torky

Hany Torky

UNDP
Chief Technical Advisor - UNDP Regional Programme
Dr. Hany Torky currently serves as Chief Technical Advisor of the Knowledge Project (AKP), a UNDP-MBRF joint initiative. Prior to joining the project in 2010, Hany was an assistant professor at Alexandria University. He has around 20 years of experience in the areas of Statistics and Knowledge for Development, and holds a PhD in Applied Statistics from Alexandria University.
Hatem Aly

Hatem Aly

UNODC
Regional Representative for the GCC
 
Judge Hatem Aly, a former Senior Judge and Chief Prosecutor in Egypt, has over 20 years of experience in the areas of criminal justice and crime prevention. He previously served as a Senior Crime Prevention Expert at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna. He was also a Representative for the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (SII) for the Middle East region and for Afghanistan. He holds a degree in International Criminal Law (ICL) from the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Italy as well as an ICL Diploma in International Cooperation in Penal Matters from the International Human Rights Law Institute in Chicago, USA.
Ian Freeman

Ian Freeman

UNOOSA
Associate Programme Officer
 
Ian works in UNOOSA’s Office of the Director (OD) section on external relations matters. His role is building relationships between national governments and other public and private sector stakeholders with UNOOSA and ensuring such stakeholders are well connected to ongoing developments in space affairs at the UN level. Before joining UNOOSA, he worked for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office at the UK Permanent Mission to the UN in Vienna.
With over a decade of experience in the political communications, he has an academic background of M.Sc. in Public Policy from Maastricht University/United Nations University, Netherlands and LL.B (Hons) in Law from Newcastle University, United Kingdom.
Karl Kulessa

Karl Kulessa

UNFPA
GCC Representative
 
A citizen of Germany, Mr Kulessa is the UNFPA Representative for the GCC countries, based in Muscat, Oman since October 2020. He has worked with UNFPA since 1992. After a two-year posting as Junior Professional Officer in New York, he moved to the field covering countries in Africa, Asia. From 2004 onward he was a country representative in various countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA). In his last posting before Oman, he worked as Representative in Turkey and Country Director for Azerbaijan, and Georgia. His portfolio in Turkey also included the humanitarian response covering Syrian refugees and cross-border. Mr Kulessa holds a master’s degree in History (American foreign policy and diplomatic history) from the University of Ottawa.
Lyle Glowka

Lyle Glowka

CMS
Executive Coordinator
 
Lyle Glowka is Executive Coordinator of the Abu Dhabi Office of the Convention on Migratory Species. A biologist and international environmental lawyer, Lyle has published widely on biodiversity-related issues. He has worked in a variety of capacities in the CMS Secretariat over the course of a 13-year career with the Convention. Prior to re-joining CMS in 2013, Lyle was the Legal Advisor to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Mageed Yahia

Mageed Yahia

WFP
Director WFP UAE & Representative to the GCC Region
Mr Mageed Yahia is the WFP Director for the UAE office and Representative for the GCC Region. Based in Dubai, leading the WFP operations’ support and services and spearheading efforts to enhance WFP’s engagement with Government entities as well as the Private and Public sector in the Region. He brings in diverse experience enriched by both functional and geographic mobility. Prior to taking up this position, Mageed was the WFP Representative, Country Director and Emergency Coordinator in Jordan. Mageed has more than thirty years’ experience working in the humanitarian field in both emergency and development settings.
Mohammed Zarkani

Mohammed Zarkani

IOM
Chief of Mission
Since joining IOM in 2013, Mr El Zarkani has served as programme manager for a community stabilization initiative covering Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, and as head of programmes in IOM Kuwait, covering human development and labour mobility, as well as migrant protection and assistance. Since joining IOM Bahrain in 2018, Mr El Zarkani has been responsible for developing and promoting the full range of IOM services according to the priorities of the Government of Bahrain, leveraging Bahrain’s role as a Regional Centre for Excellence in Combating Trafficking in Persons.
Mr El Zarkani has a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from Webster University in the Netherlands in 2004.
Mounir Tabet

Mounir Tabet

UN ESCWA
Deputy Executive Secretary
 
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.
Mouza Al Shehhi

Mouza Al Shehhi

UN Women
Director - UAE Liaison Office for the GCC
As Director of the UN Women-UAE Liaison Office for the GCC since 2016, Dr. Mouza drives efforts to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the UAE, GCC, and globally. Prior to this, she served as the Senior Adviser and International Representative to the General Women’s Union, the UAE’s primary organization dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment. Dr. Mouza also served as a Lieutenant Colonel in the UAE Armed Forces National Service and Reserve Authority. She holds an M.D. from Arabian Gulf University in Bahrain, an MSc in Sports Medicine from Queen Mary, University of London, and a Research Medical Doctorate from Queen Mary, University of London.
Muhammad Taimur Gandapur

Muhammad Taimur Gandapur

UNFCCC
Regional Lead, UNFCCC-WGEO Regional Collaboration Centre Dubai
 
Taimur has worked with the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat (UNFCCC) for over 9 years. He is currently heading the UNFCCC-WGEO Regional Collaboration Centre for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (RCC Dubai) as the Regional Lead and is Regional Coordinator for the UNFCCC-IGES Regional Collaboration Centre for Asia and the Pacific (RCC Bangkok). Taimur has expertise in climate action related programme management, strategic partnerships, and resource mobilization. He is additionally serving as a Team Lead at the UN Climate Change Secretariat based in Bonn. Prior to joining the secretariat, he served in the Federal Ministry of Climate Change in Pakistan and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Bangkok. Taimur holds multiple Master's degrees in business administration and project management.
Nadia Al-Shadhir

Nadia Al-Shadhir

UNRWA
Private Partnership Specialist - MENA
 
Nadia Al-Shadhir is the Regional Partnerships Advisor MENA Region at UNRWA. Based in Dubai, she is in charge of fundraising and deepening engagement with the private sector as well as with Foundations and High-Net-Worth Individuals.
Before joining UNRWA, she worked at a French based NGO, leading partnership development to finance microfinance programs in the MENA region. Prior to her full-time role within the NGO/intergovernmental sector, Nadia worked within the Financial Institutions industry in London and Dubai. Nadia holds MSc and BSc degrees in Mathematics and Computer Science from London School of Economics and Kings College London respectively.
Nadia Jbour

Nadia Jbour

UNHCR
Head of Office
Ms Jbour is UNHCR Head of Office in Abu Dhabi. She has 27 years of experience in the field of international protection of refugees and stateless persons, advocacy, and humanitarian work. She has served in a variety of positions and operational settings, spanning a wide range of protection and legal-related functions as well as managerial responsibilities. Her postings have included Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Armenia, Syria, and Central Europe. She also worked with UNHCR’s Global Learning and Development Centre as a Senior Staff Development Officer.
Roueida El Hage

Roueida El Hage

OHCHR
Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region
 
With over 20 years of experience in human rights, Ms El Hage has extensive knowledge of international law and political affairs with the United Nations, in particular in conflict context in MENA, Asia and Africa regions.
Prior to this appointment, Ms El Hage notably served as Coordinator of the Secretariat of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen; Deputy Director of the Human Rights Component (UNAMI) in Iraq and Chief of the UNAMI Human Rights Regional Office in Northern Iraq, Acting Chief of MENA Section at OHCHR in Geneva.
Ryzsard Cholewinski

Ryzsard Cholewinski

ILO
Senior Migration Specialist - Regional Office for Arab States
 
Ryszard Cholewinski is the Senior Migration Specialist in ILO’s Regional Office for Arab States, based in Beirut, having previously worked at ILO Headquarters in Geneva (2010-2017) and IOM (2005-2010). He oversees ILO’s labour migration work in the Arab region relating to policy and technical assistance, research, and development cooperation, in close collaboration with ILO Geneva, field offices in other regions and ILO’s tripartite constituents, with a view to advancing ILO’s fair migration agenda. He is a lawyer by training with 13 years of previous experience in an academic setting.
Sajeda Shawa OCHA

Sajeda Shawa

OCHA
Acting Head of Office
 
Sajeda brings over fifteen years of experience focusing on partnerships, advocacy and resource mobilization. Her latest appointment was with UNOCHA Regional Office for Syria Crisis working closely with the UN ASG – RHC for Syria Crisis supporting him directly on his strategic engagements on donor relations, strategic partnerships and humanitarian outreach, in addition to leading gulf relations, donor reporting and Arabic advocacy. Before joining the UN and focusing on strategy development, she spent around nine years with the European Commission humanitarian arm (ECHO) managing field operations/projects in the MENA region, and during the last three years developed their humanitarian outreach strategy for the GCC. Previously she worked with USAID & the Italian Cooperation in Jordan on local development and engagement with the private sector. She is a graduate of Harvard Executive Education Program, holder of an MA in International Studies, focusing on the humanitarian landscape in the gulf region post Arab spring, and a BA in English Language and Literature.

Sami Dimassi

Sami Dimassi

Director, West Asia Office
With over 20 years of experience in management, Mr. Dimassi has extensive experience in multi-lateral and international relations, corporate and policy reform, intergovernmental affairs, strategy design and private sector engagement. Mr. Sami Dimassi joined the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia as Director and Regional Representative in 2017. 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.
Sujit Kumar Mohanty

Sujit Kumar Mohanty

UNDRR
Chief of UNDRR Regional Office for Arab States
 
Sujit Kumar Mohanty is the Chief of United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Arab States.
Before coming to Egypt, he worked as the Head a.i and Regional Platform Coordinator for the UNDRR Asia Pacific office in Bangkok, Thailand (2011-2017) and in Geneva (2006-2011). Sujit has over 20 years of experience in the field of disaster risk management; humanitarian coordination; development; climate change and worked with number of United Nations organizations such as UNOCHA, UNDP and UNDRR.
Prior to UNDRR, he worked with UNOCHA in Sri Lanka as a Chief Technical Adviser for Risk Information Systems in 2005 and as a Manager, Disaster Information Systems in UNDP, India (2000-2005).
Sujit is an Indian national, holding dual master’s degrees in business administration and computer science.
Zaki Aslan

Zaki Aslan

ICCROM
Regional Representative
 
Zaki Aslan is the Regional Representative of ICCROM for the Arab States and founding director of the ICCROM-Sharjah Regional Conservation Centre, UAE. He is conservation architect who, since 2003, has been Manager of ICCROM's ATHAR Programme (Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region), Rome, Italy. He has provided technical advice to Member States on issues related to heritage conservation, management and national planning/ policies; World Heritage procedures; implementation of field projects; and, education, public outreach, capacity building, and curricula development.

He holds a Ph.D. in Heritage Conservation and Management from University College London, U.K., and an MSc degree in Conservation of the Built Environment from the University of Montreal, Canada.