Our Team in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam


Karima El Korri

Resident Coordinator
Ms. El Korri brings to the position more than 20 years of international development experience, which she has acquired at the United Nations and externally.

Within the Organization, she most recently led the 2030 Agenda division at the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), a role she assumed after managing the population and development portfolio and pioneering the work of the Commission on international migration, population ageing, and youth empowerment. Before that, she served as a regional advisor on governance and project coordinator at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. El Korri worked in Morocco as a lecturer at the Al-Akhawayn University as well as with a think-tank engaging with government, civil society, the private sector, academia, youth, and international organizations on development issues in the country.

She holds a master’s degree in applied linguistics from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, USA and a bachelor’s degree in English from Mohammed V University in Rabat, Morocco.

Asa Torkelsson

Country Representative Malaysia and Country Director Thailand
Dr. Asa Torkelsson was appointed the UNFPA Country Representative in Malaysia and Country Director for Thailand on 1 November 2021.

Previously, she was the UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh, where she led and grown one of UNFPA’s largest operations and teams through significant changes, humanitarian and natural disasters, the Rohingya refugee,- and COVID crises.

Dr. Torkelsson’s career spans 20+ years, leading increasingly complex endeavours at country, - regional, and HQ, in UN (FAO, IFAD, UN Women, WB), academia, Government, NGO, private sector, relentlessly pursuing gender equality and the M/SDGs, and expanding spaces for women.

Cynthia Veliko

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.

Dr Ying-Ru Jacqueline Lo

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.

Dr. S. Ismail Shah

Area Representative for Southeast Asia and Head of ITU office for Southeast Asia and Timor-Leste
Dr. S. Ismail Shah is a renowned ICT professionals with an extensive background in technology implementation, ICT policy-making and regulations. He has also worked on many initiatives for Persons with Disabilities, Women Empowerment, Big data analytics, Internet of Things, cellular technologies, Shared Economy and Digital Entrepreneurship.

Dr. Shah holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh, USA.

Eamonn Murphy

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.

Firas Mihyar

Security Adviser
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 Louis

Deputy Regional Director
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.

J. Kendra Rinas

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

Regional Technical Specialist Asia
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.

Jeremy Douglas

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 Sawa

Director of Administration
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).

Mohamed Djelid

Director of UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific and Representative to Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste
Prior to his post in Jakarta, he served as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Strategic Planning (BSP) at Headquarters since October 2016. Mr Djelid holds a postgraduate diploma in commerce (1983) from the Algiers Institute of Commerce (Algeria) and a master's degree in business administration (1986) from the University of Sherbrooke (Canada). Before joining UNESCO, Mohamed Djelid worked in the private sector in Montreal (Canada), implementing international projects in developing countries and countries in transition.

Mohammad Naciri

UN Women
Regional Director
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.

Niloy Banerjee

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.

Noni Mafabune

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.

Panudda Boonpala

Regional Director
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.

Pascale Allotey

Director of UNU-IIGH
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

Rashed Mustafa

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.

Stein Hansen

Regional Director
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.

Sumalee Sterup-Hansen

Ms. Sumalee Sterup-Hansen was appointed by the World Food Programme (WFP) to head the United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot (UNHRD) in Malaysia from August 2021. Before joining WFP, she worked in the private sector as a professional in shipping and chartering.

She started working for the World Food Programme in 1999, holding positions at headquarter, country offices, and regional bureau. She has led Shipping, Logistics, Disaster & Risk Reduction and Supply Chain Management team in Middle East, Asia and Central- East- West Africa region. In her various positions and capacities, she has been supporting country programme and various level 3 emergencies operations.


Sylvie Betemps

Senior Trade Promotion Officer
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.

Thomas Albrecht

Representative in Kuala Lumpur
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.