Our Team in Kosovo

Arnhild Spence UNDC Kosovo

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.

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.
Maria Suokko

Maria Suokko

Resident Representative
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.
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.
Nona Zicherman

Nona Zicherman

Head of Office
Ms. Nona Zicherman was appointed as the Head of Office for UNICEF Kosovo in October 2021. Previously she served in Turkey, first as Emergency Coordinator and then as Deputy Representative, from 2015-2021. Ms. Zicherman was also UNICEF’s Chief of Emergency and Transition in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and worked as an Emergency Specialist in the East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO). Before joining UNICEF she was based in Nairobi as the Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for East and Central Africa for Oxfam Great Britain.
An international development professional with twenty years of experience largely in fragile and post-conflict settings, Ms. Zicherman has worked with the United Nations, international non-governmental organizations and the private sector throughout Africa and Asia. A dual national of the United States and France, she holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Columbia University.
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.
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.