A medical doctor, she has Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom and holds a post-graduate Diploma of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. She obtained her Bachelor of Medicine degree (MBBS) from Saint Mary’s Hospital Medical School, University of London.
Ms. Adele Khodr is a national of Lebanon and graduated from the American University of Beirut, with a BA in Public Administration and an MA in Anthropology. Ms. Khodr has been working with UNICEF since 1990, starting from UNICEF Lebanon. She also served UNICEF in Sudan as well as in the Regional Office for South Asia. This was followed by her work as Deputy Representative in Sierra Leone July 2006 to November 2008 and Head of the UNICEF Field Office in the State of Uttar Pradesh, India, the largest field office with UNICEF, serving a population of 200 million people.Ms. Khodr also worked as UNICEF Representative to Cote d’Ivoire from 2013 to 2016 and Afghanistan from June 2016 and until she joined the UNICEF office in Ethiopia in May 2019. Prior to joining UNICEF, Ms. Khodr was a lecturer in Sociology and Anthropology at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University from 1987 to 1994, overlapping with her work at UNICEF.
Aklilu Fikresilassie is a qualified urban and development planning, monitoring and evaluation specialist with a Master of Arts Degree in Urban Management and Development from Erasmus University, the Netherlands (2006), and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Addis Ababa (2001). He is currently a PhD candidate in the School of Architecture, Planning and Environmental Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland.
Aklilu has more than 13 years of professional experience in managing, planning, monitoring and evaluating government and non-governmental programs. His positions include: UN-Habitat Program Manager (UN-Habitat), Economic Planning Specialist (UNDP, South Sudan), Deputy Bureau Head for Finance and Economic Development, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Department Head (Government, Ethiopia), City Manager (Hawassa City, Ethiopia) and Local NGO manager.
Country Director for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan and Special representative to the AU and the ECA
Alexio, a national of Zimbabwe, has more than 20 years of experience of international development work across several countries in Africa. As ILO Representative, Alexio currently manages and leads ILO country programmes in Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, and also serves as the ILO Special Representative to the African Union and Economic Commission for Africa. Having started his UN career in 1998 at the ILO Regional Office for Africa in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Alexio has led ILO represented the ILO across several countries in East and Southern Africa.
Ms. Ana Elisa Santana Afonso (Mozambique) was appointed as the Director of UNESCO Liaison Office to AU and UNECA in Addis Ababa and UNESCO Representative to Ethiopia in June 2018. She joined Mozambique’s Ministry of Education and served as Cultural Counsellor in the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Mozambique to UNESCO (1985–1990), and Secretary-General of the Mozambique National Commission for UNESCO (1990-1996). Since 1996, she headed numerous sections at UNESCO’s Africa Department before being appointed Head of the UNESCO Office in Brazzaville and UNESCO Representative to the Republic of the Congo. From June 2017 to January 2018, she also served as acting Director of the Multisectoral Regional Office in Central Africa and UNESCO Representative to ten countries in the sub-region.
Recognized as a thought-leader and key influencer among African countries, Andrew is responsible for collaboration with and technical assistance to ITU Members in Africa. He believes that by putting ITU’s resources and expertise at the disposal of its Members and building key partnerships between public and private sectors, ICT and innovation can become the backbone of Africa’s digital transformation and accelerator of UN SDGs and AU Agenda 2063. Andrew leads teams that provide Members States with advice and expertise in ICT policy, regulation, infrastructure, innovation and others. He is passionate about youth and women empowerment, innovation and sustainable development through ICTs. Prior to ITU, Andrew served as COO at MTN and CEO at Artel Communications both in Rwanda. He previously served as Director of International Business Development at ABSinteractive, USA and Global IT Services Coordinator at United Bible Societies, UK. Andrew holds master’s degrees in Engineering and Computer Science and Business Administration.
Ms. Encontre assumed her functions as UNHCR’s Representative in Ethiopia in October 2019. Just before that, Ms. Encontre was UNHCR’s Regional Representative based in Kinshasa, covering the DRC, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of Congo and São Tomé e Príncipe. At the same time, she was the Regional Refugee Coordinator for the DRC Refugee Situation. Hailing from Guyana, Ms. Encontre has a background in law, and has been working with UNHCR for over 25 years.
Previously, Ms. Encontre was the Deputy Director in the Regional Bureau for Africa at UNHCR’s Headquarters. She has served as UNHCR Representative in Cote d’Ivoire and Djibouti, as well as UNHCR Head of Sub-Office in Farchana, Chad, and Juba, South Sudan. Ms. Encontre has held protection, external relations and resource mobilization functions at UNHCR Headquarters, and in field locations in Angola, Darfur, Sudan, Russia, Sierra Leone, and Yemen, including emergency missions.
Aurelia Patrizia Calabro
Representative and Director of the Regional Office
Aurelia Patrizia Calabrò, an Italian national born in 1966, holds a University Degree in International Economy, and a Master Degree in Theory and Policy for Economic Development. She speaks 6 languages (i.e., Italian, French, English, Spanish, German and Russian). She started her career at United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in May 1989 at the Agro-Industries Development Department and during over 30 years of service, she has specialized in agro-value chains development. Before joining the Ethiopia Regional Hub, she served as the Chief of Agro-Industries Technology Division at UNIDO HQs. She has worked in more than 30 countries worldwide, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ms. Calabrò took office as UNIDO Representative to the AU and the UNECA and Director of the Regional Hub in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia covering Burundi, Madagascar, Rwanda and Uganda, in November 2018.
Ms Berthilde Gahongayire has been with UNAIDS for 13 years. Before her appointment in Ethiopia, she initially was Senior Advisor to the African Union and UNECA, and later became Country Director a.i, for the Ethiopia Country Office. She was UNAIDS Country Director for Somalia and Djibouti until 2017. She started her career in UNAIDS in 2006 as Regional Gender and HIV Adviser and Senior Adviser on Humanitarian and Post 2015 Development Agenda for West and Central Africa based in Senegal. Before joining UNAIDS, Berthilde worked for 10 years in UNDP Rwanda as HIV and Gender Program Specialist. In this capacity, she contributed to women empowerment in post genocide that led to their massive participation in decision making positions. A Rwandan by birth, Ms Gahongayire has an advanced University Degree in Public Economics and is also holding an MBA in International Management. She also a certified expert in Development as well as leadership policy.
Bettina Maas, a national of Germany began her professional career with UNFPA as a Programme Officer in Mexico. She became the Deputy Representative of UNFPA for China, Mongolia and DPRK in 1993. From 1997 to 2000, she worked as a Program Officer in the Latin America Division and as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director at the UNFPA's headquarters in New York. From 2001 to 2004, she was the Representative in Yemen and from 2004 to 2007 in Cambodia. Subsequently, she became the Deputy and Director a.i of the Division for Arab States, Eastern Europe and Central Asia at UNFPA’s HQ. Between 2009 and 2011, she was the Chief of the Executive Office. Prior to her appointment to Ethiopia in 2017 she was the UNFPA Representative in Mozambique. She holds Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the Free University of Berlin, Regional Development from University of Veracruz, Mexico, and a certificate on Management from the Open University of England. Prior to joining the UNFPA she worked in teaching and research.
Dr. Joy Kategekwa is the Head of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from July 2015 to date. She leads teams at the United Nation’s Lead Agency for trade-led growth, delivering transformational trade capacity building programmes to the African Union Commission, Regional Economic Communities and Governments, on both Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – based on UNCTAD’s mandate on Trade, Investment & Enterprise Development, Technology & Logistics, and Development Strategies. She has worked with top multilateral institutions including the World Trade Organization and holds a PhD in International Trade Law from the University of Berne’s World Trade Institute. She is married and is the mother of four beautiful girls.
Dr. Steven Were Omamo is the World Food Programme Country Representative for Ethiopia. Prior to this, he was Deputy Director of Policy and Programme and Coordinator of Food Systems Strategy, Policy and Support in HQ, Rome. Dr. Omamo first joined WFP in 2006. During his time with WFP, he has served as Director of the WFP Office and Representative to the AU and UNECA in Addis Ababa; Deputy Director of Policy, Planning; Chief of Food Security and Safety Nets; and Strategy Chief of Social Protection and Livelihoods. Dr. Omamo also served as Director of Global Engagement and Research with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and Director of Policy and Advocacy with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Dr. Omamo holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Stanford University.
Ms. Seid took up her current duties on 6 October 2017. Ms. Seid, a national of Djibouti, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Northeastern University, Boston, United States and MA degree in Development Policy from the Institute of Development Policy and Management University of Antwerp, Belgium. Ms. Seid begun her carrier in 1995 as Administrator in UNESCO office in Djibouti. After a brief assignment with Djibouti Ministry of Finance in 1996, she joined WFP in Sudan where she worked as Programme Officer under Operations Life Line Sudan until 1999. In 2000, she was a Programme Officer with WFP in Burundi. Ms. Seid joined FAO in 2002 as Operations Officer in the Emergency and Rehabilitation Division of FAO HQs. From January 2009 to October 2012, she was the Desk Supervisor for West and Central Africa, from November 2012 to August 2013, she moved as Desk Supervisor to Southern Africa and the Congo Basin. In August 2013, she was appointed FAO Representative in Mali.
Letty Chiwara has been working in the UN for the past 22 years and has served in various capacities at country, regional and global levels. Prior to her appointment to her current position, she was the Chief of the Africa Section for both UNIFEM and UN Women based in New York. She has led global programmes spanning all regions of the world including in Asia and the Pacific Region, Latin America, the Caribbean and East and Central Europe. Letty stated her professional carrier as a Town Planning Officer in Zimbabwe, a country where she hails from. Letty is a Board Member and Founder of several networks and organizations in Africa and Globally. She holds a master’s degree in Urban Development Planning from the University of London, and she is married with two children.
Ms. Margaret Akullo is the Representative a.i. for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Programme Office in Ethiopia. A Ugandan born British national and daughter of a retired UN diplomat, Margaret is a Criminologist with a long-standing career of 28 years addressing transnational organised crime-10 years with UNODC and 18 years working with various international organisations, regional bodies, civil society organisations, private sector, and law enforcement agencies across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America. Margaret’s wealth of international experience is coupled with her strong expertise in programme management and ability to provide specialised advice on drugs and crime issues. Margaret has a postgraduate qualification in Strategic Communications and Marketing and is a published author. She holds a Master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice
IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the AU, UNECA and IGAD
Ms. Achieng is currently Chief of Mission of IOM in Ethiopia and Representative to the AU, IGAD and UNECA. Prior to her current posting, Ms. Achieng served as Head of the International Partnerships Division at IOM Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland (2008 to 2015). In this position, she led IOM’s institutional support to global and regional migration dialogue and cooperation platforms and was responsible for sustaining and expanding partnerships with other UN agencies, Regional Economic Communities and civil society actors. From 2004 to 2007, she served as IOM Chief of Mission to Haiti, having served in IOM country offices in Senegal, Kosovo and Kenya, in program management and technical support capacities prior to that. Ms. Achieng started her career with IOM in Haiti in January 1995 upon completing her studies (Master of Social Sciences Degree in Development Administration, with distinction from Birmingham University, UK). Ms. Achieng is a native of Kenya.
Ms. Nwanne Vwede-Obahor has served since 2017 as Regional Representative of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Addis Ababa, where she manages OHCHR’s relationship with the African Union and other continental bodies and oversees the Office’s human rights capacity building and monitoring work on the host country, Ethiopia. She also serves as a non-resident member of the UN Country Teams in Djibouti and Tanzania.
Ms. Vwede-Obahor has expertise in research, development, transitional justice, gender, child protection and human rights. Her previous human rights roles with the United Nations include as senior human rights advisor in Sierra Leone and as a human rights officer with UNAMID in Sudan, UNMISS in South Sudan, UNAMA in Afghanistan, and the OHCHR country office in Uganda. She also worked with UNDP in Liberia and was director of an NGO working on conflict resolution and peace advocacy in Nigeria.
Mr. Sajjad Mohammad Sajid is an Indian national who brings more than 22 years’ experience in the international development and humanitarian sectors.
He joined the OCHA Ethiopia Office as the Head of Office in March 2019. Prior to this, he was the Deputy Head of Office in OCHA Yemen where he managed the portfolio of Planning and Coordination, Operations and Humanitarian Financing since July 2017.
Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Sajid has served as Oxfam’s Country Director for Yemen and at Oxfam’s regional center in Bangkok as the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for Asia.
Mr. Sajid holds a master’s degree in Development and a Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the University of Liverpool and a Diploma in Global Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London.
Head of Liaison Office to AU and UNECA and Representative to Ethiopia
Mr. Thiam took his current role in Ethiopia in March 2014. Mr. Thiam has played an important role in creating policy linkages between UNEP and the AU and maintaining strategic partnership with relevant Addis-based diplomatic corps and partners. He has also facilitated the development of joint programs with the UNECA, effectively managed UNEP strategic presence and partnership with the Government of Ethiopia and strengthened UNEP’s engagement in RCM and in the UN Liaison Team to AU (UNLT). Prior to his current post, Mr. Thiam served as UNEP Delivering as One Coordinator with the main responsibility of ensuring UNEP’s engagement in the ONE UN Processes at both regional and national levels focusing on Rwanda, Tanzania, Cape Verde and Mozambique. Mr. Thiam holds MA in Rural Development Planning from the University of East Anglia, UK and MA in Economic Sciences from the University of Nouakchott.
Mr. Turhan Saleh has worked with the UN since 1989 and in May 2019 moved to UNDP Ethiopia as Resident Representative. Mr. Saleh has worked for UNICEF in Ghana and Eritrea before joining UNDP headquarters in 1997, working with its leadership to launch the MDGs, roll out UN reforms at the country level as task manager for preparation of the first two UNDAF Guidelines, introduce RBM and develop UNDP’s first strategic plans. He was Country Director and Resident Representative a.i. in Nigeria from 2006-10.
Upon his return to New York in 2010, Mr. Saleh managed oversight and support for UNDP’s 46 Country Offices in Africa. His most recent assignment was with the Executive Office of the UNDP Administrator where he was the Strategic Plan Coordinator. Mr. Turhan Saleh has a Bachelor’s Degree (summa cum laude) from Cornell University and a Master in Public Affairs from Princeton. He has also studied at Oxford University (Christ Church).
Ulaç Demirag leads IFAD's work in Ethiopia, Eritrea and South Sudan. He 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 and private sector development. He joined IFAD in 2002 and managed the country programmes in Equatorial Guinea and Chad (2006-2007), Guinea (2008-2009) and Ghana (2010 – 2015), 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.
Director, Operational Hub for Ethiopia, Sudan & Djibouti and Representative to the AU
Worknesh Joined UNOPS with over 20 years of work experience working in the development sector with International Non-Governmental Organizations. Worknesh worked with well branded international large non-profit organizations such as Save the Children, World Vision and ActionAid International. She was Deputy National Director for World Vision Ethiopia responsible for the oversight of the operation of a programme with over USD100M annual funding portfolio. With ActionAid she supported 11 East and Southern Africa country operations as Regional Programme Coordinator and with Save the Children as Director, Management Services and Programme Management. Worknesh, during her time with these organizations, was recognized as a creative resourceful leader and team player by her superiors, peers and colleagues.
Worknesh has an MBA from the University of Liverpool, Post Graduate Diploma in Total Quality Management, NESET, India.