Ulrika Richardson has a 25-year-long professional career with the United Nations in over three continents. Currently and since April 2018, Ulrika Richardson is the UN Development Coordinator in Kosovo. Before coming to Pristina, she was UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA Representative in Praia, Cabo Verde. Previously she served as UNDP Resident Representative and Deputy Represented in Gabon, Turkey and Cuba. Ulrika started her UN journey in 1995 with UN Volunteers. Previous experiences include with the African Development Bank in Abidjan and with the Swedish Refugee Board. Ulrika holds a BA in Social Psychology from Lund University, and MA in Development Economics from the University of Gothenburg with field research in Guinea-Bissau. Ulrika is born in Sweden and speaks English, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)
The UN Secretary-General announced the appointment of Zahir Tanin as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) in August 2015. Previously, Mr. Tanin was the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Afghanistan at the UN from 2006 to 2015. He was elected as a Vice-President of the 63rd, 65th and 67th Sessions of the General Assembly on behalf of the Asian Group. Mr. Tanin was appointed Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform and Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group during the 63rd General Assembly in 2008. Before that, Mr. Tanin worked for more than a decade with the BBC and was a research fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). In 1980, Mr. Tanin began working as a journalist in Kabul, and was Editor-in-Chief of two publications. Mr. Tanin, born in Afghanistan, received his Medical Doctorate (MD) from Kabul Medical University and is fluent in English, Pashto, and Dari and also speaks French and Russian.
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.
United Nations Volunteer (UNV) Coordinator in Kosovo
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.
Brendan Keirnan has held the role of Head of Office for the United Nations Office Project Services (UNOPS), in Pristina, Kosovo from 2016. He joined UNOPS in 2009 and has worked on development projects in several countries across four continents including humanitarian response with the UN system. Brendan Is a Chartered Civil Engineer by profession, spending the first 20 years of his career in the UK and International engineering and project management positions. Brendan is a UK citizen with his home in Scotland which he shares with his family and is a keen sportsman and enjoys the outdoors.
Erol Arduç is a human rights lawyer and joined UNHCR in 2002 in Van, Turkey. He continued his journey in the protection of refugees worldwide to Darfur, Kenya, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hungary, UNHCR HQ Switzerland, Ukraine, Greece and is since 2018, the Chief of Mission of UNHCR Office in Kosovo. Before joining UNHCR, Erol was engaged with Amnesty International, as a lawyer with the German Parliament (Bundestag), and Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Tanzania. He has also worked as a lecturer, at the Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. He is still engaged as a lecturer with the International Institute of Humanitarian Law - San Remo, Italy. Erol holds an MA in Public International and European Law (emphasis: Human Rights, Politics and Philosophy) from the Rheinische-Friedrich-Wilhems University in Bonn, Germany. Erol was born in Turkey and raised in Germany, and speaks Turkish, German, English, and French.
Jens Larsen has a 27-year international career with various organizations as a civilian diplomat and as a military and security expert. Since June 2017, he is UNDSS Security Advisor and UNMIK Chief Security Officer in Kosovo. For 17 years he held senior security positions with UNDSS Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Afghanistan, India, Bhutan, Turkey, and UNICEF HQ in NY; and before that with UNTSO in Syria, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon, UNTAET in East Timor, and UNOMIG in Georgia. Prior to that he was Deputy Head of the OSCE Missions to Estonia and to Ukraine. He has worked, studied and travelled in more than 140 countries. Born in Denmark, he holds a BA in world history and an MA in political science and international relations from University of Copenhagen, is a certified OSCE Conventional Forces Europe (CFE) weapons control inspector and three-way interpreter (Danish-English-Russian), and also speaks Polish, French, Swedish, Norwegian and German.
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.
Maria Suokko (Finland) was appointed UNDP Resident Representative for Kosovo and assumed her duties in June 2019. Prior to this, Ms. Suokko was Senior Adviser in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Finland in Helsinki, 2017-2019. She also served as Head of Cooperation for the MFA of Finland in Myanmar (2014-2017) and Senior Adviser in the Finnish MFA (2012-2014). Her experience with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) includes Programme Specialist at the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (2006-2010), Assistant Resident Representative (Team Leader for Environment & Energy) in China (2001-2005), Environmental Programme Manager in Cambodia (2000-2001), and Programme Officer in Thailand (1998-2000).
She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences (Economics/Public Finance) from the University of Helsinki. She speaks Finnish, Swedish, English, as well as some German and French.
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.
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.
Mr. Sahin joined as Head of Office for UNICEF in Kosovo in September 2018. Murat leads UNICEF’s efforts in Kosovo to enable all children, adolescents and young people, especially the most marginalized, to progressively fulfill their rights and their potential in a protective, inclusive society. Prior to this, Murat served for UNICEF as Deputy Representative in DPR Korea. He provided strategic direction in the planning, design, formulation and implementation of the Country Programme and its activities in line with national development priorities and the UN Development Assistance Framework. In his earlier career, Murat served with UNICEF as adviser and specialist responsible for the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and Education programmes at UNICEF Headquarters and multiple duty stations including the DPRK, Tajikistan and Turkey. He has been with UNICEF since 1999. Mr. Sahin is a national of Turkey.
Omar Siddique is an urban development expert with over 17 years’ experience in managing sustainable urban development technical assistance programmes across a range of multilateral institutions. Omar’s programmatic expertise is chiefly in slum upgrading and affordable housing strategies, urban poverty assessment, municipal financing instruments, city-wide service delivery profiling, solid waste management, urban climate change mitigation and adaptation planning, participatory planning for informal livelihoods promotion and institutional strengthening programmes for improved urban governance.
Before joining the UN system, Omar worked in microfinance at the Grameen Bank in Dhaka, Bangladesh, as special assistant to Nobel laurate and founder, Dr. Muhammad Yunus.
Rositsa Zaharieva has over 20 years of experience in the criminal justice area. Currently and since September 2017 she is the UNODC Rule of Law Advisor to Kosovo. Before that she was seconded to the EU Agency for Criminal Justice Cooperation, EUROJUST, from the Public Prosecution Service of Bulgaria. Rositsa Zaharieva served as a senior public prosecutor in Bulgaria for 21 years before joining the UN. Rositsa holds a law degree from the University of Sofia and a specialisation in political science from the US. Rositsa is born in Bulgaria and speaks English and Russian.
Sergei Koryak started his humanitarian career with MSF in 1994, serving in different countries (Ivory Coast, Zaire, Bosnia, Azerbaijan, Romania and Serbia) before joining WHO in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2007 as Emergency coordinator, in the aftermath of a devastating earthquake in southern Iran. From 2009 to 2011 he worked in WHO Pristina as a project manager to strengthen Emergency Medical Services in Kosovo. From 2015 to 2019, Sergei was Field Coordinator in the Eastern Ukraine coordinating humanitarian operations and organizing provision of assistance to IDPs from the war zone in Donbass. Since July 2019, Sergei was worked in Kosovo (UNSCR 1244) as a Head of Office. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerpen, Belgium and a Diploma in Pediatrics from Dnipro Medical University, Ukraine.
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.
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 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.