Prior to being appointed as UN Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam, Mr Priesner was the UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam from May 2017 through November 2018. Previously, he was the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Uzbekistan from January 2013 through April 2017.
Mr. Priesner holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Law from the University of Vienna.
Mr. Carlos Melendez was appointed by the World Food Programme (WFP) to head the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Malaysia from August 2016. He was born in Peru and is an industrial engineer. Before joining WFP, Mr Melendez has worked in various factories (food, poultry processing, wood, textiles) in Peru and Bolivia in production and logistics.
Mr. Melendez holds an Industrial Engineering degree from the Universidad Catolica del Peru.
Ms. Cynthia Veliko has worked across the UN system since 1999. She has served with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) since March 2006 as Human Rights Advisor in three countries – Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and was appointed in August 2017 as Regional Representative to OHCHR Regional Office for South-East Asia.
Prior to joining OHCHR, Ms. Veliko worked for five years at WHO for the Polio Eradication Initiative, supporting the global polio partners and governments and UNCTs in South Asia and Africa.
As Director of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific, Eamonn Murphy supports countries across the region in achieving the goals outlined in the 2016 United Nations Political Declaration on Ending AIDS. He leads and facilitates a joint United Nations response to support countries and their HIV programmes, which includes strengthening the links between governments, civil society, the United Nations system and development partners.
Mr Murphy has a Masters of Health (Merit) from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor of Education from the Australian Catholic University.
Mr. Firas Shaker AbdelRazzak Mihyar has been with UNDSS in Malaysia since Oct 2018. Firas has been working with the United Nations since 1997 and prior to that with Ministry of Internal and Foreign Affairs of Jordan. He is a security expert, having served in several positions with United nations in most demanding humanitarian emergency and civil unrest UN missions Angola, Congo, Lesotho, Maseru, Zimbabwe, Angola, Algeria, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Kurdistan Iraq.
Firas holds master’s in international law, Diplomacy and International Relations, a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Law and a Diploma in Law Enforcement / Police Science College Jordan. While an Arabic native speaker, Firas is fluent in both English and Portuguese.
Isabelle has been Deputy Regional Director at UNEP’s Asia Pacific since September 2014. She has more than 25 years of global, regional and national level experience in sustainable development and natural resource management as well as in office operations, programme management, multi-stakeholder engagement and multidisciplinary team management.
Isabelle, a Malaysian national, has a scientific background in Botany and Plant Pathology. She received her BSc and PhD from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom, followed by a Teaching Fellowship at the National University of Singapore and a Post Doctorate Fellowship at Harvard University.
Ms. Rinas was appointed by the Director-General as Head of Office representing the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from May 2018. Her service includes seven years in IOM with postings as Head of Office, Damak, Nepal, and Head of Refugee Resettlement for South Asia, also based in Nepal. Prior to joining IOM she was with the Resettlement Support Center, Africa for six years, based in Nairobi, Kenya as Operations Coordinator, the Country Coordinator in N’djamena, Chad, and Processing Supervisor in Accra, Ghana.
Ms. Rinas holds a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University, School of Business, and a B.A. in Political Science and Religion from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN, U.S.A.
Jaspreet Singh has been working in the area of digital economy across the Asia region. He leads the work of UNCDF in Asia to unlock innovative solutions and business models by engaging with public and private sector stakeholders with a focus on contributing to SDGs.
He joined UNCDF in 2015 and since worked on expanding the portfolio on digital across Asia. He has worked in banking across various portfolios agriculture and rural banking, SME and investment banking with ICICI Bank during mid-2000.
Regional Representative Southeast Asia and the Pacific.
Jeremy Douglas is the Regional Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Southeast Asia and the Pacific overseeing and managing operations and strategy from Myanmar to the Pacific in the areas of the rule of law, non-traditional security threats, law enforcement, criminal justice and drug-related supply and health issues.
He is also the UNODC liaison to China, Korea, Japan and Mongolia and to regional organisations including the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS). Prior to his appointment as Regional Representative SEAP, he was the UNODC Representative in Pakistan from September 2009 – April 2013.
Joan Sawe joined the UNU as Director of Administration in October 2014. She brings extensive administrative and managerial experience from her prior positions, notably, she served as the Director of Administrative Services at UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany; Director of Corporate Services at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA) in Stockholm, Sweden; Director of Finance and Operations at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi, Kenya; as well as International Head of Financial Performance and Standards at ActionAid International in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Joan holds a MSc in Forensic Accounting from Sheffield Hallam University in the UK, an MBA with honors from Tel-Aviv International School of Management (TISOM) in Israel and a BBA with honors from Acadia University in Canada. She also is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Loretta Hieber Girardet
Chief, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Ms. Hieber Girardet is the Chief of the UNDRR Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, which covers 39 Member States. With more than 20 years in the UN system, she has worked in most of the major crises of the past decades. Ms. Hieber Girardet joined UNDRR from OCHA where she held several HQ-level management positions on inter-agency coordination, needs assessments and served as Senior Policy Advisor. She was a World Health Organization Senior Programme Officer for Emergencies based in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and HIV/AIDS programming specialist, working extensively in Africa.
Ms. Hieber Girardet holds a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Paris-Sorbonne, and completed post-graduate work in psycho-social trauma related to conflict and disaster from the Harvard School of Public Health.
Mohammad NACIRI has been appointed as the Regional Director of UN Women for Asia and the Pacific. From 2015 to 2018, he was the Regional Director of UN Women in the Arab States.
A national of Morocco, Mohammad holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration and International Development from the Harvard University, as well as a master’s degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford. He also has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Arab Academy for Science and Technology in Alexandria-Egypt.
Representative a.i. of UNFPA Malaysia Country Office
Mr. Najib Assifi is the former UNFPA Deputy Regional Director for the Asia Pacific Regional Office and the UNFPA Representative for Thailand.
Prior to the above, Mr. Assifi served as Director of the Sub-regional office of UNFPA based in Suva, UNFPA Representative in the Pacific and UNFPA Representative in Myanmar. Since joining UNFPA in 1976, he has worked with UNFPA, UNDP and UNESCO in various technical capacities as Regional Advisor on Policy Advocacy in the Country Support teams in South East Asia (based in Bangkok) and in South Asia (based in Kathmandu) and Communication Advisor for UNDP/Development Training and Communication Centre for the Asia region.
Niloy is a development economist with specialization in effective institutions and capacity development. He previously led the UN System Affairs Group in UNDP, based in New York. In this position he led UNDP’s interface with UN agencies, funds and programmes, and with Member States in the arena of intergovernmental affairs. He has also led UNDP’s engagement in the round of UN reforms.
Niloy has a Masters in Economics from New Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University and is a Fellow of the City University of New York.
GSSU Director for Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Copenhagen
Noni Mafabune is the GSSU Director for Kuala Lumpur (KL) and Copenhagen and is based in KL. The GSSU provides administrative transactional and compliance services to 170 countries and other UN agencies in Finance, Human Resources (including Payroll) and Procurement.
Noni is a Chartered Public Financial Accountant(UK) and holds a Masters in Financial Management and Accountancy from Keller Graduate School, USA.
Ms Panudda Boonpala is appointed Deputy Regional Director of the ILO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, with effect from 1 January 2018. Prior to that, Ms Boonpala has held the position of Director of the ILO Decent Work Team for South Asia and Country Office for India. Ms. Boonpala has been with the ILO since 1995, serving the ILO in Geneva, Bangkok, Dhaka and New Delhi.
Ms Boonpala holds an MA in Labour Administration and Management from the Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Professor Pascale Allotey is the Director of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). With a multidisciplinary background in clinical health sciences, anthropology, and epidemiology, she has two decades of experience as a researcher in global health across four continents to promote health and well-being.
She holds a PhD in Public Health and a MMedSci degree in Community Health from the University of Western Australia
Dr Rashed Mustafa Sarwar began his tour of duty as UNICEF Representative in Malaysia in July 2020. Dr Sarwar previously served as the UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Belarus from 2015 to 2020. He has 25 years of experience with UNICEF and other UN agencies in Azerbaijan, Russia, East Timor, Georgia and Tajikistan, among others.
Dr Sarwar is a national of the People's Republic of Bangladesh and has an advanced medical degree in Medicine from the former Soviet Union.
Shahbaz Khan is the Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Representative to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste.
He is a Fellow, Chartered Engineer and Engineering Executive of Engineers Australia, Hon Fellow of Institution of Engineers, Malaysia, Fellow of the ASEAN Academy of Engineers, Hon Fellow of the Myanmar Engineering Society and Fellow of the Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand. Mr Khan has worked in Australia, France, Indonesia and Pakistan in various research, consultancy and policy positions.
Stein R. Hansen is an Economist who has been working in international development for 27 years. Since February 2017, he is the Regional Director and Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand, where he also represents UNIDO in the UNSDG Asia Pacific Regional Directors group, and the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism.
In addition to being an Economist, Stein R. Hansen holds a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University with focus on international development. He is also a Senior Executive Fellow of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Sylvie Betemps has worked for ITC for 19 year. She possesses experience in multi-country technical assistance for developing countries, including strong knowledge of external relations management with governments, country officials, private sector organizations, donors, enterprises, NGOs and aid agencies. She is specialized in project management and coordination, client relationship management, project development and design, trade-related technical assistance and private sector development.
Mr. Thomas Albrecht took up his assignment as Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur in early 2019. Mr. Albrecht previously served as Regional Representative in Canberra from 2014 to 2018, with geographical responsibility for the region.
Mr. Albrecht joined UNHCR in 1987 and worked in refugee situations in the East and Horn of Africa, Southern Africa, West Africa, the Americas as well as Eastern and Central Europe.
Dr Lo was appointed WHO Representative to Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and Singapore in October 2017. In her position as Head of Mission, she leads strategic and policy dialogues with ministries of health and partners. Dr Lo is an infectious disease physician from Hamburg, Germany with over 30 years of experience as a clinician and public health adviser. She started working for the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1998, holding positions at country, regional and headquarters levels. As WHO Representative, she now oversees WHO’s support for the COVID-19 pandemic response in Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia and Singapore and the poliovirus outbreak response in Malaysia.