Our Team in Palestine

Lynn Hastings

Lynn Hastings

UN
UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator, Deputy Special Coordinator
UN Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Ms. Lynn Hastings as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, where she will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Ms. Hastings brings to this position over twenty years of experience in humanitarian affairs, development coordination and political affairs. Since 2018 she has served as Deputy Director in the Operations and Advocacy Division of OCHA in New York. Previously, she was Senior Adviser in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) (2014-2018), Country Director for Pakistan in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (2011-2014) and Chief of Staff in the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process (UNSCO) (2003-2011). Ms. Hastings has also served as United Nations representative to the Office of the Middle East Quartet Envoy for the Gaza Disengagement, and in senior roles in the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Kosovo and East Timor, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Prior to joining the United Nations, she practiced law in the private sector and conducted legal research for the International Commission of Jurists. Born in Canada, Ms. Hastings holds a Master of Laws from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom, a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Windsor as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Windsor in Canada.
Philippe Lazzarini, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East , UNRWA

Philippe Lazzarini

UNRWA
Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
Mr. Philippe Lazzarini was appointed Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in March 2020. He has served as the Deputy UN Special Coordinator (UNSCOL) and as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon.
With over 30 years of professional experience, including with the United Nations, the private sector and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Mr. Lazzarini is a graduate of the University of Neuchatel and of the University of Lausanne, and is married with four children.
Kristine Blokhus, Country Representative, UNFPA

Kristine Blokhus

UNFPA
Country Representative
Ms Kristine Blokhus, a national of Norway, has around 18 years of experience in international development and humanitarian response. Over the last 4.5 years she has served as UNFPA’s Deputy Representative in Nepal, where she headed a complex programme focused on sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and reproductive rights, adolescent and youth empowerment, and population dynamics. She had a lead role in UNFPA’s response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake, with a particular emphasis on prevention and response to gender-based violence and protection of women and girls. Prior to this, she worked as Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary General/Regional Director for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at UNDP headquarters in NY. She also served with UNDP in Deputy Resident Representative/Assistant Representative roles in the Caribbean and in the Balkans. She started her UN career with UNFPA in Indonesia, where she worked as humanitarian officer on the Aceh tsunami response, with a specific focus on gender-based violence. She later served with UNFPA in Lao PDR, focusing on policy advocacy and capacity development for gender equality. Prior to joining the UN, Kristine worked at the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and in research roles in academia and in international development consulting firms in the UK and in Norway. She holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a double bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from the University of Warwick. She speaks Norwegian, English, French and Spanish.
Martin Laffey, Chief Security Advisor, UNDSS

Martin Laffey

UNDSS
Chief Security Advisor
Mr. Laffey has been the Chief Security Advisor since February 2020. Prior to joining UNDSS he was the Senior Security Advisor for UNICEF in Somalia (2016-2020), acting Regional Security Advisor MENA (Jan to July 2016), Security Advisor in Afghanistan (201
Yvonne Helle, Special Representative of the Administrator, UNDP

Yvonne Helle

UNDP
Special Representative of the Administrator
Yvonne Helle was appointed as Special Representative of the Administrator for UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People in September 2019. Yvonne started her UN career in 1992 as a Dutch JPO in UNIFEM’s Regional office in Mexico, was then reassigned to UNDP Laos, initially as a JPO and then as Assistant Resident Representative for Governance. She was then assigned to the Bureau for Resources and Strategic Partnerships as partnerships advisor. She served as Deputy Resident Representative in Morocco from 2004-2008 and as Country Director in Sudan in 2013. She subsequently organized the Ebola Recovery Conference for the Secretary General and was reassigned as Senior Country Director in Haiti between 2015 - 2019. Before moving to UNDP/PAPP, Yvonne temporarily managed the Sub Regional Facility for the Syrian Crisis in Amman.
Zeyad Elshakra, Head of Country Programme, UN-Habitat

Zeyad Elshakra

UN-Habitat
Head of Country Programme
 
As an engineer and urban development practitioner, Mr. Zeyad Elshakra has more than thirty years of professional experience in development issues, including teaching, research, analytical and advisory services and programme administration in the fields of housing, urban development and management, institutional development and capacity building. Mr. Elshakra has a wide expertise in innovative participatory and responsive solutions to urbanization and housing challenges. Mr. Elshakra has more than 20 years of experience working for international organizations. Mr. Elshakra holds a PhD from the University of Missouri-Columbia, United States of America.
Dr. Ciro Fiorillo, Head of Officem FAO

Ciro Fiorillo

FAO
Head of Office, FAO Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip
Dr. Ciro Fiorillo is an agricultural development economist with extensive experience in supporting public economic policy making in food security and agriculture.
As Head of the FAO Office for the West Bank and Gaza Strip, he leads a team of about 70 people working from East Jerusalem, Ramallah and Gaza City to deliver a USD 78 million program bridging humanitarian responses and development interventions aimed at protecting and promoting the resilience of farmers and herders, and making the agri-food system more inclusive, resilient and sustainable, thereby improving the well-being of Palestinians.
He previously worked in Bangladesh, Syria and Mozambique.
Tokumitsu Kobayashi , Director, UNOPS Jerusalem Operations Center, UNOPS

Tokumitsu Kobayashi

UNOPS
Director, UNOPS Jerusalem Operations Center
Mr Kobayashi holds a Masters in International Relations and a BSc in Engineering. He has worked with the Government of Japan, UN and JICA in several countries including Iraq, South Sudan, Kenya, Afghanistan, India and Thailand. Mr Tokumitsu’s most recent assignment was First Secretary at the Embassy of Japan in Kenya. Before that he served as a Procurement and Project Management Advisor at UNDP. Mr Tokumitsu has also previously managed road construction in Kandahar, school and hospital construction in Pakistan and fiduciary monitoring in Iraq for mega infrastructure projects for more than USD 3.5 billion.
Noha Abdul-Aziz Bawazir, Head of UNESCO Office in Ramallah and UNESCO Representative to Palestine, UNESCO

Noha Abdul-Aziz Bawazir

UNESCO
Head of UNESCO Office in Ramallah and UNESCO Representative to Palestine
Noha Abdoul-Aziz Bawazir is the Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Palestine since 2020. She holds a Master's Degree in Political History from Paris Sorbonne Nouvelle, and MPHIL in International Relations and Political Sciences from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes Internationales (EHEI, Paris). Noha has an extensive experience at UNESCO having held several different positions. Prior to being appointed in Palestine, she was the Chief of the Arab States Unit within the Sector for Priority Africa and External Relations at UNESCO Headquarters, in charge of the Relations with the Member States of the Arab region and at the Bureau For Strategic Planning before that.
Mounir Kleibo, Representative for the International Labour Organization, ILO

Mounir Kleibo

ILO
Representative for the International Labour Organization (ILO)
Mr. Mounir Kleibo has a proven record of a highly qualified management executive and pioneer in advocating transparency, corporate social responsibility, accountability and social inclusion. Life time experience in higher education, good governance, social cohesion and human resource mobilization.
In 1996 he joined the United Nations. He concentrated on productivity enhancement, institution building and human capacity development as head of the UNDP/PAPP Governance and Public Sector unit. He had as well managed the UN Volunteers program, and stood out as the architect of the renowned Transfer Of Knowledge Through Expatriate Nationals Programme (TOKTEN) Mr. Kleibo became the Representative of the International Labour Organization in Jerusalem (2008).
AHMED ELFARRA , Head of UNIDO Programme Office in Palestine, UNIDO

Ahmed Elfarra

UNIDO
Head of UNIDO Programme Office in Palestine
Serving since 2014 as UNIDO Head of Office in Palestine, Mr. ELFARRA has over 23 years of operational and leadership experience of international and national organizations. For the public sector, Mr. ELFARRA formulated the final PA E-Government Strategy that was endorsed in 2006. He also served as Senior Economic Advisor with the ILO’s regional Office in Beirut and operated as Chief Representative to the Agreement on Movement and Access between Israel and the PA. As founder of PALiNVEST Corporation, Mr. ElFarra collaborated with various multinational organizations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, for advancing socio-economic conditions in the region. He is an MBA graduate of the Craig Business School of Fresno, California in 2003.
James Heenan (Australia) is Head of the oPt country office of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). He has worked with OHCHR for 15 years, previous roles including Chief of a treaty body section in headquarters and Country Representative in Cambodia. Prior to joining the UN, he worked in academia on labour rights issues, and was a practicing lawyer in the United Kingdom and in his native Australia.
Lucia Elmi, Special Representative

Lucia Elmi

UNICEF
Special Representative
 
Ms. Elmi is the Special Representative responsible for managing programmes and operations covering humanitarian, development, and normative areas of activity for UNICEF State of Palestine.
Prior to assuming her current responsibilities in August 2020, Lucia served as Representative of UNICEF in Mali from 2017 to 2020 leading the implementation of a large humanitarian and development Country Programme of Cooperation in partnership with the Government and civil society. From 2014 to 2017, Lucia was Representative of UNICEF in Tajikistan. As such, she provided the overall direction for the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the UNICEF Country Programme of Cooperation. In 2011-2014, she served as Representative to Mauritania leading the UNICEF team and the Country Programme of Cooperation with the Government of Mauritania addressing development, humanitarian and early recovery issues.
From 2009 to 2011, Lucia was the Chief of the Humanitarian Field Support Section, Office of Emergency Programmes with UNICEF New York Headquarters. In this capacity, she was responsible for the formulation of goals, objectives and strategies for the UNICEF Humanitarian Field Support. Prior to this, Lucia has held various positions within UNICEF New York Headquarters, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Lebanon and Amman.
Prior to joining UNICEF, from 1996 to 1998, Lucia served as Head of Office and Project Manager in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina with the Italian Consortium of Solidarity and later as Area Coordinator for Kosovo region in Pristina. In this capacity, she developed and implemented programmes in Early Childhood Development psychosocial support for the support of refugee and internally displaced persons.
Lucia is a national of Italy. In 1997, she obtained her Master’s degree cum laude in Political Science with a diploma in Analysis and Management of International Relations from the University of Bologna, Faculty of Political Sciences in Bologna, Italy. In 1993-1994 she was also a full-time Erasmus student at the School of African and Asian Studies at the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.
Maryse Guimond, Special Representative

Maryse Guimond

UN Women
Special Representative
Prior to joining UN Women Palestine Country Office as the UN Women Special Representative in August 2018, Ms. Guimond was the SDG Advisor for UN Women Arab States. From January to August 2018, she also served as UN Women Arab States Deputy Regional Director a.i. From 2013 and 2016, Ms Guimond was the Regional Programme Manager of the joint EU-UN Women Spring Forward for Women in the Arab States. Ms. Guimond has over 25 years of experience in development; she has managed regional/country portfolios and programmes. She has held postings in the Middle East and North Africa, the Caribbean and in West Africa. Prior to joining the UN system, she worked for various international development agencies, including Oxfam, Save the Children and Plan International. Her work has focused on gender equality and women’s empowerment (political and economic), governance, human rights (women and children rights), and the provision of basic social services (education, protection, and health). She holds a Master’s in political science, international relations.
Rik Peeperkorn, WHO Representative

Rik Peeperkorn

WHO
WHO Representative
 
Dr. Rik Peeperkorn was appointed as the World Health Organization (WHO) representative for occupied Palestinian Territory (oPt) in March 2021.Before being assigned to Jerusalem, Rik was the WHO Representative to Afghanistan (2013- 2021), leading the ONE UN support for Health in the Humanitarian & Development area including COVID-19. A Dutch national, he comes with over 30 years of experience in the field of International Public Health and Diplomacy working in Africa, Asia, and Europe. Dr Rik Peeperkorn received his MD from the University of Amsterdam (1986) and obtained his MPH from Johns Hopkins University-School of Public Health (1992).
Samer AbdelJaber, Representative and Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP)

Samer AbdelJaber

WFP
Representative and Country Director, World Food Programme (WFP) Palestine
Mr. Samer AbdelJaber is the Representative and Country Director of the World Food Programme (WFP) in Palestine. He has served over 18 years with WFP, previously as Country Director of WFP in Libya and in a number of assignments all over the world including in Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Egypt and Italy, supporting the humanitarian response of some of the world’s largest crises.
Sami Dimassi

Sami Dimassi

UNEP
UNEP Representative, Regional Director for 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.
Sarah Muscroft, OCHA Head of Office

Sarah Muscroft

OCHA
Head of Office
Sarah Muscroft assumed her function as the Head of Office in January 2019. She joined OCHA in 2000 and has served as Head of Office and Deputy in Ethiopia, Haiti, Jordan and Sierra Leone, and undertaken assignments in Afghanistan, Chad among other places. At the UN headquarters she has worked in different capacities as a policy advisor on the protection of civilians as well as on transition and resilience. Prior to joining the UN, she worked with international organizations, including Save the Children and the British Red Cross. Ms. Muscroft holds an MA from Oxford University and a post graduate degree and an MPhil from Cambridge University.