Our Team in Pakistan

Julien Harneis

Julien Harneis

UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan
Mr Harneis brings 31 years of experience in development cooperation, humanitarian assistance and management. He was previously Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), before which he served as Head of Office for the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Nigeria, UNICEF Representative in Yemen and Guinea, as well as humanitarian positions in the DRC, Lebanon and Indonesia. Before joining the United Nations, he worked in the private sector. Mr Harneis has a Master of Studies in International Relations from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, and a Master of Business Administration from the Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires (INSEAD) in France.
Aida Girma

Aida Girma

Ms Girma-Melaku brings over 30 years of experience to this position, focusing on planning, leading and managing complex development and humanitarian assistance programmes. Prior to her appointment as Representative of UNICEF in Pakistan in February 2018, she served as UNICEF Representative for over 14 years in Uganda, South Africa and Malawi. She also served as Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Mozambique and Somalia. Ms Girma-Melaku holds a M.Sc. in Development Economics as well as a B.Sc. in International Development (Human Services), both from the Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.
UNDSS Chief Security Advisor in Pakistan

Catherine Mackenzie

Chief Security Advisor
Ms Mackenzie began serving as the Chief Security Advisor, Pakistan in October 2020. She has previously worked for UNDSS in South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho & Namibia; Kenya & Somalia; Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados & the OECS Islands. Before that, she worked for UNDSS at the HQ level as the Chief of Mobile Training Unit and Crisis Coordination Centre. Her first role in the UN was as the Assistant Chief of the Security and Safety Service in New York. Ms Mackenzie holds an MBA (speciality: Adult Education) and also a Master of Aviation Management (speciality: safety and security).
Ms. Choice Ufuoma Okoro;

Choice Ufuoma Okoro

Head of Office
Ms. Choice Ufuoma Okoro brings over 20 years of experience leading the humanitarian and ‎development work of the United Nations in Africa and Civil Society Groups/NGOs in Canada. She is ‎renowned in the international humanitarian community for high level successes in negotiating ‎international humanitarian action with national priorities.‎
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Prior to her appointment as Head of Office at United Nations Office for the Coordination of ‎Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Pakistan, Ms. Okoro was the Head of UN OCHA Strategic ‎Communications Unit in Ethiopia. She also served as the Head of the UN Humanitarian Advisory ‎Team in Nigeria. Ms. Okoro also served as Head of Advocacy and Outreach for OCHA Kenya and ‎OCHA in Eastern Africa and led the United Nations support to the African Union Commission to ‎develop the unprecedented Pastoralist Policy Framework for Africa. While in Kenya, she chaired the ‎In-Country-Network for the Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse (PSEA).‎
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Prior to her roles as Human Rights and Peace Building in Canada, Ms. Okoro worked in peace ‎building in Africa. Ms. Okoro holds a Master’s degree in Communications and Media Studies.

chris kaye

Chris Kaye

Country Director
Mr Kaye's career in the UN system began in 1992. Before he was appointed WFP Representative to Pakistan in March 2020, he notably served as the Director of the Government Partnerships Division at WFP HQ in Rome (2016-2020) and as the Director of Performance Management and Monitoring ( 2010- 2016). Between 2006 and 2010, he was the Country Director and Representative in Myanmar. Mr Kaye holds a BA (Hons) in Business Administration and a Masters (MSC) in International Relations from Bristol University in the UK.

Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov

Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov

UNFPA Representative a.i.
Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov is a development and humanitarian aid professional, with 19 years of field ‎experience, at different capacities and increasing management and programme coordination ‎responsibilities with UNFPA in Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Tajikistan.‎

Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov is currently acting as UNFPA Representative a.i. Prior to joining UNFPA ‎Pakistan in 2018 as the Deputy Representative, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov served as UNFPA Head of ‎Field Office in Puntland State of Somalia over the period of 2013-2018.‎

Before that, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov worked with UNFPA Syria from 2007 to 2013 as International ‎Programme Coordinator and Representative a.i./ Officer-in-Charge for two years (2009- 2010 ‎and 2011- 2012).‎

In his capacity as Representative a.i./ Officer-in-Charge of UNFPA Syria, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov ‎was responsible for high level policy advocacy, representation, programme management and ‎design.‎

In 2005-2006, he provided strategic programme formulation, coordination and resource ‎mobilization support to UNFPA Sudan. In Tajikistan, he worked in various capacities with ‎UNFPA and with increasing levels of responsibilities as a project manager, programme officer ‎and sub-programme manager.‎

Prior to joining the UN System in early 2002, Dr. Bakhtior Kadirov served as a technical advisor ‎for a non-governmental organization mandated to promote adolescent and youth reproductive ‎health. This is in addition to practicing medicine prior to his technical assignment with the non-‎governmental organization.‎

He is fluent in English, Russian and Persian and has working knowledge in Arabic. He holds a ‎PhD degree in Medical Sciences from Russian Academy of Medical Sciences. Prior to joining the ‎UN System, he had written and published a number of papers and articles. ‎

Dr Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala

Dr. Palitha Gunarathna Mahipala

Dr Palitha Mahipala was appointed as WHO Head of mission in Pakistan in April 2019. He has diversified experience in the fields of family planning, health and population services, community health development, IDPs care and rehabilitation, primary eye health, hospital development, administration and management. He was a member of many advisory committees, medical boards, foundations, councils and associations and has many publications to his credit. Dr Mahipala graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka in 1983. He is also a specialist in medical administration and qualified in the fields of public health, management, business administration and developmental economics.
Hubert Boirard

Hubert Boirard

Country Programme Director
Before this position, Hubert Boirard worked as Country Director in the Asia and Pacific Division for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives and in the Western and Central Africa division as Country Programme Manager for Niger, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad and the Central African Republic. Before joining IFAD, Mr Boirard managed for five years a consulting firm; worked for an agri-business private company in Gabon and started his career with international NGO in rural development in several African countries and Ecuador. Mr Boirard is an engineer. He is specialised in Tropical Agriculture with a Master in Enterprise Management

Ingrid Christensen

Country Director
Ms Christensen joined ILO Country Office for Pakistan in 2016. Before that, has served as Sr. Specialist on Occupational Safety and Health, Decent Work Technical Support Teams (South Asia (2003-2006, 2008-2011)), East and South-East and the Pacific (2011-2016), Officer-in-Charge, ILO Liaison Office for Afghanistan (2006-2007) and ILO Country Office for Bangladesh (2007-2008), Technical Adviser to the Director-General’s Office, Danish Working Environment Authority (1994-2003), including a secondment to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ms Christensen holds M.Sc. in Pharmacy, Copenhagen University.
Jawed Ali Khan

Jawed Ali Khan

Programme Manager
Mr Jawed Ali Khan is an Urban, Environment and Climate Change specialist by profession. He has been heading the UN-Habitat Programme in Pakistan since 2017. Mr Khan has over 30 years of experience in the areas of urban, environmental and climate change. Before joining UN-Habitat Pakistan, he served in the Government of Pakistan, starting as an Urban Planner in 1986 and retiring as Director General, Ministry of Climate Change in 2013. After that, he remained associated with UNEP as National Coordinator for Sustainable Consumption and Production, National Expert on Climate Change Mitigation and National Expert for UN-Habitat in preparation of Climate Change Vulnerability & Adaptive Assessment Report on Islamabad and National Report of Pakistan for United Nations HABITAT III Conference.
Jeremy Milsom

Jeremy Milsom

Mr Milsom has been working with UNODC since 1996, managing a broad range of programmes covering counter-narcotics, alternative development, national capacity building and drug demand reduction in challenging and complex environments. He notably served in South East Asia, West and Central Asia, and the Pacific Islands region. Before taking up the overall coordination of the Regional Programme for Afghanistan and neighbouring countries, a role he has held since 2013, he managed the counter-narcotics pillar in the Country Office in Afghanistan, with a focus on national capacity building, policy development and alternative livelihoods. Mr Milsom holds a BA (Hons) and BSc degrees in Social Sciences and Environmental Sciences respectively from the Australian National University. He later attained a PhD in Social Sciences from the University of Melbourne (Australia) with research that focused on the interrelationship between drug control, security and development.
Knut Ostby

Knut Ostby

Resident Representative
Knut Ostby took up his position as Resident Representative of UNDP Pakistan in January 2021. Prior to his appointment in Pakistan, Knut Ostby served as Director a.i. at the UNDP Oslo Governance Centre since February 2020. He has also served as a United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for 14 years in countries including Pakistan, Myanmar, Timor-Leste, Fiji (multi-country office), and Iran.
Marysia Zapasnik

Marysia Zapasnik

Country Manager
Ms Marysia Zapasnik has almost 17 years of professional experience in development work and emergency humanitarian response. She has worked with UN agencies and international NGOs in conflict and post conflict settings, notably in Sri Lanka, West Bank and Gaza Strip, South Sudan, Iraq and most recently Syria. Ms Marysia Zapasnik holds a Bachelors and Masters degree in Anthropology and is also a specialist in Humanitarian Mine Action.
Ms. Florence Rolle

Ms. Florence Rolle

Representative in Pakistan
Before her appointment as FAO Representative in Pakistan, Ms Florence Rolle was the FAO Representative in Morocco from 2018 to 2021 and in Malawi from 2013 to 2018.

Ms. Rolle possess French nationality. She holds a Masters in Natural Resource Management and Environmental Policy from Wye College in London, United Kingdom, and graduated as an Agricultural Engineer from the Institut National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in Paris, France. She also holds an equivalent Masters on water and forest engineering from the National School of Rural Engineering, Water and Forests in Paris, France.
Mio Sato

Ms. Mio Sato ‎

Chief of Mission‎
Ms. Mio Sato joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Pakistan office in October ‎‎2020. She has worked in IOM offices since 2001 in Kenya, Belgium, Indonesia, Iraq (based in Jordan), ‎Afghanistan and Japan. Prior to joining IOM, she worked with the Consulate General of Japan in Los ‎Angeles (1994-96) and the Japan Institute of International Affairs (JIIA) (1997-2001). She also worked ‎at the Japan Platform (JPF) Secretariat in 2005 and she took a position of Programme Advisor at the ‎PKO secretariat of the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan in 2011. She graduated from ‎International Christian University (B.A in Liberal Arts, 1992) in Tokyo, Japan and did post-graduate ‎studies at Graduate School of Public Administration, International Christian University (M.A in Public ‎Affairs, 1997).‎
Ms. Sharmeela Rassool, Country Representative, UN Women Pakistan ‎

Ms. Sharmeela Rassool‎

UN Women
Country Representative
UN Women Pakistan’s Country Representative Ms. Sharmeela Rasool is an Attorney-at-Law of the ‎Supreme Court in Sri Lanka and holds a Masters in Intentional Human Rights Law (LLM), a Post Attorney ‎Diploma in Intellectual Property Law, a Post Graduate Diploma in Commercial Arbitration and an ‎Honours Degree in Biochemistry. Before joining UN Women in Pakistan in September 2020, Ms. ‎Sharmeela was working with UNDP Bangladesh as the Chief Technical Adviser for the Human Rights ‎Programme. She has served on a number of leadership positions throughout her career including ‎working as Chief Technical Adviser, Rule of Law and Human Rights Programme with UNDP Lao PDR, ‎UNDP Pakistan as the Chief Technical Adviser (Justice) and Provincial Representative Khyber ‎Pakhtunkhwa, UNDP Sri Lanka as the Programme Manager (Equal Access to Justice Programme), ‎Programme Officer with the Asia Foundation, and Head of the Human Rights Bureau at the Legal Aid ‎Commission of Sri Lanka. ‎
Ms. Yuki Takemoto

Ms. Yuki Takemoto

UNAIDS Country Director for Pakistan and Afghanistan
Ms Yuki Takemoto joins the United Nations in Pakistan as Country Director for ‎UNAIDS. She brings over twenty years of experience in development ‎cooperation, including fifteen years leading policy, programmes and strategic ‎partnerships for health, gender equality and human rights through multiple UN ‎agencies and UN interagency coordination mechanisms in Asia-Pacific, Latin ‎America and Europe. She has also worked for the Japanese Foreign Service ‎and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.‎

Ms Takemoto holds a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Laws.‎
Nadia Aftab

Nadia Aftab

Ms Aftab has more than 15 years of experience in strategic planning, programme development, result-based management, technical advisory and institutional capacity building. She joined UNIDO in year 2008 and since then have been holding various key positions within the organisation.

Noriko Yoshida

UNHCR Representative in Pakistan
Ms. Noriko Yoshida joined UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency as it's Representative in Pakistan in May 2020. Ms. Yoshida’s career with UNHCR spans nearly 30 years, with extensive leadership experience in a range of roles at UNHCR’s Headquarters and in the field. Before taking up her assignment in Pakistan, she served as UNHCR Representative in Sudan. She holds a graduate degree in Political Science from Northwestern University in the United States.

Ms. Patricia McPhillips

Patricia McPhillips

Representative and Director
Ms. Patricia McPhillips has been appointed Director of the UNESCO Office in Islamabad and UNESCO Representative to Pakistan. Ms. McPhillips joined UNESCO in 2015 as Director of the UNESCO Office in Kabul and Representative of the Organization in Afghanistan, a position she held until joining the UNESCO Pakistan team in January 2020. She has extensive experience in the United Nations System, including the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), UN Women (UNIFEM at that time) in the South Caucasus and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She has also held senior positions with the United Nations Assistance Missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Ms. McPhillips is honored and enthusiastic to take up this position in Islamabad, and looks forward to her tenure in Pakistan.
Waseem Ashraf

Waseem Ashraf

UNV Country Coordinator
Mr Ashraf joined UNV as Country Coordinator in July 2018. He was already serving UNV in Pakistan as Acting Programme Officer since 2009. He briefly served at UNV HQ working for its Peace Division in 2013 covering DR Congo, Sudan, Algeria and Western Sahara. Before joining UNV, Mr Ashraf worked with UN-Habitat Pakistan as well as a UNDP project. He has earned a degree in computer science and another degree in mass communication.