Our Team in Kosovo

RC Spence

Arnhild Spence

United Nations Development Coordinator
Ms. Spence of Norway has 30 years of professional experience from government, the UN, NATO and civil society. She has cross-cutting competencies in security, development and humanitarian affairs.
Ms Spence joined the World Food Programme in 2014 as Director of Partnerships. She led the implementation of WFP’s Partnership Strategy, while also coordinating the organization’s work on Agenda 2030 and World Humanitarian Summit. She subsequently served with WFP in the Democratic Republic of Congo, supporting famine and Ebola response as Director of Partnerships.
More recently, Ms Spence managed WFP’s field operations in Pakistan as deputy and acting Country Director. In Pakistan, she supported the government in its UN Food Systems Summit engagement, disaster management and augmenting social protection. In September 2021 she was seconded by WFP to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, where she led organizational transformation and served as Acting Director.
Prior to joining WFP, Ms Spence served with OCHA, UN Office in Geneva, Norwegian Refugee Council and the Red Cross Movement. Her first field deployment was in 2012, as Deputy Head of Office, OCHA Afghanistan.
Ms Spence began her career in the field of foreign and security policy, where her work included positions with the Norwegian Ministries of Foreign Affairs & Defense, and NATO’s International Staff. While at NATO, Ms Spence negotiated several joint policies between NATO and partners on peacekeeping.
Ms Spence holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Oslo University.

Lorik Pustina

Head of UN Development Coordinator's Office / Team Leader
Lorik Pustina is currently the Head of the Development Coordinators Office, a position that he has been holding since the very first cohort of Heads of Offices around the world deployed with the reform in 2019, serving as a chief strategic planner and a senior adviser to the Development Coordinator. During his tenure with the United Nations, he has also served as a Senior Development Coordination Officer / Crisis Management with the Regional Development Coordination Office in Europe and Central Asia, based in Istanbul from where he was deployed to crisis setting countries such as Sudan, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Tajikistan to serve as a Head of Resident Coordinators Office or a Special Adviser to the Resident Coordinator.
Prior to his UN post, in his capacity of a Political Advisor to the International Civilian Representative / EU Special Representative in Kosovo has been extensively engaged in the oversight of the implementation of Annex 8 of the Comprehensive Status Proposal by the UN Envoy, President Marti Ahtisaari during the period of “supervised independence of Kosovo”.
After the completion of ICOs mandate, he joined the Kosovo Government as a Senior Advisor to Deputy Prime Minister part of the Kosovo delegation in the Pristina-Belgrade EU facilitated dialogue and Director of External relations with the Ministry of Immigration (April 2014 – March 2019). Previously he worked as program manager with the International Organization for Migration, and as a journalism and PR professor in the American School of Kosova. His career has started as an investigative journalist for local and international media outlets. He speaks fluent, Albanian, Croatian, Macedonian, English, Hungarian while has knowledge of Turkish, Italian and Russian.
Lorik Pustina holds a PhD degree in Law and Political Science from the University of Szeged (Hungary), where he graduated with Summa Cum Laude, M.A in EU Institutions and Policies with University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius – Skopje and University of Graz.
Mr Arjun Shrestha

Arjun Shrestha

Chief of Mission
Mr. Shrestha has more than twenty-one years of experience working with UNHCR in various capacities, including field protection, programme, emergency response, and inter-agency coordination of humanitarian aid. A dedicated advocate of human rights who worked in Somalia, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Kosovo, Ghana, and Georgia with IDP and repatriation operations, refugees in camps and in urban contexts, asylum seekers, and stateless persons. Mr. Shrestha was appointed as the Chief of Mission for UNHCR Kosovo in July 2022, to support and provide international protection and find a durable solution for UNHCR’s persons of concern.
Mr. Shrestha holds a Master’s degree in Architecture from the Belarussian State Polytechnic Academy, Belarus. Additionally, he is certified in Programme for Senior Leadership & Management, Security Management Learning Programme and has completed several courses on Refugee Law and Protection and Risk Management. He speaks English, Russian, Hindi, and Urdu. Married and has two daughters.

Anna Rostocka

Chief of Mission
Anna Rostocka is the Chief of the IOM mission in Pristina, Kosovo. She joined IOM back in 2002. Prior to her current assignment, she headed the IOM Country Office in Poland. She has extensive experience and knowledge in migration issues and IOM policies, programmes and operations. She holds a Master's Degree from the University of Warsaw.
Blerim Azizi

Blerim Azizi

UNV Coordinator
Blerim Azizi is the United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Coordinator in Kosovo. He joined the United Nations Volunteer Programme (UNV) in 2007 and he’s been serving for UN since over 15 years. Before joining UN, he has worked for different International and Civil Society Organizations.
During his professional career Blerim has promoted volunteerism for peace and sustainable development, with a particular focus on youth and community empowerment, and environment and health protection. Blerim holds a degree in Psychology, with certifications in General Management, Project Management and Volunteer Programme Development and Management.
Cucu profile photo

Dan Cucu

Security Adviser & UNMIK Chief Security Officer
Mr. Cucu joins us with a wealth of experience and knowledge, having served in command, management, and operational appointments with the military and later as a UNDSS Field Security Coordination Officer since January 2011. He served in MINUSTAH, MONUSCO and UNSOM/UNSOS as Field Security Coordination Officer, and most recently in MINUSMA as Deputy Chief Security Officer and Area Security Adviser. In addition to attending UNDSS courses and training, Mr. Cucu holds a Master of Science degree in Defence Analysis from the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Esteban Leon

Esteban Leon

Head (OIC), UN-Habitat Kosovo Programme
Mr. Esteban Leon is a Bolivian national, with over 20 years of international professional experience in managing sustainable urban development in UN-Habitat. His main areas of expertise include economics, finance, housing and settlements, urban and climate resilience, programme management, construction and reconstruction projects, and institutional strengthening programmes for improved urban governance.

Esteban has been representing UN-Habitat in the Humanitarian Inter-Agency Standing Committee IASC in Geneva (2005-2013), Chair of the IASC Meeting Humanitarian Challenges in Urban Areas Group (2010-13), Chair of the Urban Resilience Medellin Collaboration as well as Chair of the Making Cities Resilient Campaign Steering Committee (2017-2020). Currently UN-Habitat global focal point for the UN-Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). He has developed, fundraised, initiated, managed and backstopped projects on human settlements recovery in Angola, Mozambique, Pakistan, Peru, Colombia, Georgia, Gaza, Haiti, El Salvador, Samoa, Syria, Philippines, and Ecuador. He was the Global Programme manager of “Making cities sustainable and resilient: Implementing the Sendai Framework for DRR 2015-2030 at the local level”, a joint programme between EC DG DEVCO, UN-DRR and UN-Habitat. Manager and coordinator of the CRGP implementation in Asuncion, (Paraguay), Barcelona (Spain), Dakar (Senegal), Maputo (Mozambique), Port Vila (Vanuatu), Teresina (Brazil) and Yakutsk (Russia).

Before UN-Habitat, Esteban has been working in the banking, microcredit, and microfinance sector in Argentina and Bolivia, NGO sector in Bolivia and Kenya. Since then, he has been recruited by UN-Habitat and based in Nairobi, Geneva, Panama, and Barcelona.

Jerome Bouyjou

Chief Human Rights at UNMIK and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kosovo
Mr. Bouyjou is Chief Human Rights at UNMIK and Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Kosovo since March 2019. Mr. Bouyjou has worked for the past 22 years for the UN, the OSCE and the EU in the field of human rights, political affairs and Good Governance both in headquarters and in the field. He has notably been assigned to South East Asia, Central Asia and former USSR, and Europe. Mr. Bouyjou previously worked in Kosovo in 1999 and 2000. Mr. Bouyjou holds a Masters Degree in international law from Sorbonne university in Paris and one in Political Science from the University of Hull, UK. He is French, and was born in 1972.
Markus Pilgrim

Markus Pilgrim

Director of the ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe
Markus Pilgrim is Director of the ILO Office for Central and Eastern Europe. The office provides advisory services to 18 ILO member countries promoting more and better jobs for all women and men. The office is located in Budapest and concentrates on Western Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine. Before taking over the ILO office in Budapest, Pilgrim worked as Head of the Small and Medium Enterprises unit (SME) at ILO headquarters in Geneva. Prior to joining ILO, Markus worked as Manager of the Youth Employment Network (a partnership of UN, ILO, and World Bank) and as regional program manager for International Finance Corporation (IFC), World Bank Group, based in Cairo, Egypt. He also spent 8 years as Managing Director of the Foundation for Economic Development and Vocational Training (SEQUA), a joint development agency of the German chambers and business associations. Markus Pilgrim holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Göttingen University, Germany.
Massimiliano Paolucci

Massimiliano Paolucci

World Bank
Country Manager for Kosovo and North Macedonia
Mr. Massimiliano Paolucci is Country Manager for Kosovo and North Macedonia. He is an Italian national. Mr. Paolucci was the World Bank Group Special Representative to the European Institutions, NATO, Belgium and Luxembourg. He served as Head of the World Bank Group Office for Southern Europe based in Rome, Italy. He also served in Brazil, several Caribbean countries, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In 1999, Mr. Paolucci served with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, McKinsey – Brussels Office, and the Statistical and Economics Department of the Faculty of Political Science of the University of Genoa, Italy. He holds a M. A. in International Relations and Economics from the John Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies (Bologna/Washington, D.C.) and a summa cum laude (top tier) Master’s equivalent degree in International Political Science. In addition to Italian, he is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Portuguese.
Nuno Queirós 1

Nuno Queirós

Resident Representative
Mr. Nuno Queirós has been appointed UNDP Resident Representative for Kosovo and assumed his duties as of July 2023.
Mr. Queirós is a Sustainable Development Professional bringing more than 20 years of leadership and management experience in several UNDP duty stations to his new role. He served as Resident Representative ad interim in Azerbaijan (January – June 2023) and had three separate assignments as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Albania (2019-2023), Ecuador (2014-2019), where he also served as UNDP Resident Representative ad interim, and Equatorial Guinea (2011-2014). He joined UNDP as a Junior Programme Officer in Nicaragua (2003-2005), followed by positions as a Management Economist in the Center for Business Solutions in the Bureau of Management (20005-2006) and as the Policy Specialist, Executive Officer, and Special Assistant to UNDP´s Chief Finance Officer in the Office of Finance, Administration and Resources Management (2006-2011). Prior to joining UNDP, he was with the European Commission (2001-2002) and the Private Sector (2003).
He has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science and an M.A. in Political Development from the University of Manchester, an M.A. in European Political and Administrative Studies from the College of Europe, and an M.A. in International Relations from the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
Mr. Queirós also speaks English, Spanish, as well as French. He enjoys football and many other sports and looks forward to exploring the beauty of Kosovo with his family.
Oleksandr Martynenko

Oleksandr Martynenko

Liaison Officer
Mr Oleksandr Martynenko has gained extensive experience in global public health, working on health systems strengthening, multilateral partnerships for health and development, Agenda 2030 and SDGs. Prior to joining WHO office in Pristina, Oleksandr worked at WHO headquarters on country strategic intelligence for the Director-General and WHO executive management, UN system reform and strengthening of WHO leadership at the country level. Preceding his work in Geneva, Oleksandr led WHO team in Ukraine that supported health authorities on health systems transformation towards UHC, including reform of public health and health financing, integrated people-centered quality health services and human resources for health. Before starting his career at WHO, Oleksandr worked in NGO sector, managing portfolios on partnerships with the EU and private sector as well as capacity building for civil society. Oleksandr holds MA degree in International Public Policy and Global Health from Osaka University, Japan.

Sabine Kania

Head of Office, Albania & Kosovo
Sabine Kania manages UNOPS in Albania and Kosovo. Sabine has worked for the UN since 2004, in various duty stations and different roles in Africa and Asia (Chad, Sao Tome e Principe, Kenya/Somalia, Myanmar), as well as in UNOPS HQ in Copenhagen. She has been with UNOPS since 2008.
Sabine is a Swiss national, with a Master Degree in Social Anthropology and International Politics.
Veronika Vashchenko

Veronika Vashchenko

Head of Office
Ms. Veronika Vashchenko was appointed Head of Office for UNICEF Kosovo in June 2024. She previously served as UNICEF Representative ad interim and Deputy Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Deputy Representative in Kazakhstan, leading programmes, mobilizing resources, and coordinating partnerships.

She led UNICEF Communications in Kyrgyzstan, developing information strategies, attracting resources, and conducting public campaigns. Additionally, she worked with UNICEF in Rwanda, Azerbaijan, and at its headquarters in New York. In Ukraine, she headed the UNICEF Information Department. She began her UN career in 2005.

Veronika holds a master’s degree in management from Kyiv National Economic University and a bachelor’s degree from International Christian University. Besides her native Ukrainian, she speaks English, Russian, and Italian. She enjoys reading, horseback riding, and exploring new places with her family.
Dr. Visare Mujko-Nimani Head of Office UNFPA Kosovo

Visare Mujko Nimani

Head of Office
Dr. Mujko-Nimani is a national of Kosovo with 20 years of experience working with the United Nations Population Fund. Before the current assignment, Visare worked as a Programme Specialist at the UNFPA Kosovo office. She also conducted program support missions in various field locations such as in Ukraine, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Moldova, and UNFPA Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. Dr. Mujko-Nimani carries an MD in Medicine from the Prishtina Medical University and a Master’s Degree in Health Management. She has published and contributed to over 15 publications on medicine, public health, population, and international development. Dr. Mujko-Nimani is fluent in English, Albanian, and Serbian and intermediate in Turkish.
Vladimir Rakhmanin ©FAO/Giuseppe Carotenuto

Vladimir Rakhmanin

Regional Representative

A national of the Russian Federation, Vladimir holds an M.Sc. in International Relations from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations. His diplomatic and professional career has included assignments in Beijing (1982-83) and Washington D.C. (1983-86 and 1992-96). In 1998, Rakhmanin was appointed spokesperson for the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Director of the Information and Press Department. From 2000 to 2002 he was Chief of Protocol for the President of the Russian Federation, and from 2002 to 2006 served as Ambassador of the Russian Federation in Dublin, Ireland. In the years prior to joining FAO, he was Deputy Secretary General of the Energy Charter Secretariat in Brussels.
Vlora Tuzi Nushi

Vlora Nushi

UN Women
Head of Office
Vlora Tuzi Nushi is the UN Women Head of Office in Kosovo. She has been working for UN Women/UNIFEM for the past 16 years. During this time, Vlora has been a driving force behind UN Women's initiatives and successes. She has been influential in transforming conversations on some of the most important issues affecting the lives of women and girls in Kosovo. She is committed to protecting women’s rights and further enhancing women’s empowerment. She sees herself as a passionate activist and gender equality advocate fully engaged to intercept and help make gender equality the new normal for all communities in Kosovo through innovative approaches towards realizing this aim! Vlora was born in Kosovo where she also completed her masters studies in Pharmacy. She speaks English, Albanian, and Serbo-Croatian.