DCO provides managerial and oversight functions for the Resident Coordinator system. It is based in New York, with regional teams in Addis Ababa, Bangkok, Beirut, Istanbul and Panama, supporting 130 Resident Coordinators covering 162 countries and territories.
At the global level, DCO also serves as secretariat to the UN Sustainable Development Group and as engine for the implementation of the reform of the UN development system, by supporting UN development system agencies in joining forces to respond to the 2030 Agenda and advance the SDGs.
Secretary-General appoints Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina as Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina as Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination. He succeeds Robert Piper of Australia who was appointed as Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement. The Secretary-General is deeply grateful to Mr. Piper for his dedicated service and commitment and his steadfast stewardship in operationalizing the new Development Coordination Office (DCO).
Mr. Fernandez-Taranco has over 30 years of experience in the United Nations System, having worked at Headquarters and in the field, managing development, political, peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian operations in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and Europe.
Most recently, he served as Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination. Prior to this, he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Strengthening Programmatic Integration (2021-2022), Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (2014-2021) and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs in the then Department of Political Affairs (2009-2014). He also served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania.
He previously served as Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator in the West Bank and Gaza Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (1994-1998), Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director in the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP (2001-2006), and Resident Representative, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti (1998-2001). He also worked as Country Programme Officer with the United Nations Capital Development Fund and World Food Programme, covering countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. He started his career in the United Nations as a United Nations Volunteer in Benin.
Mr. Fernandez-Taranco was educated at Cornell University, where he studied economics, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying urban regional economic planning. He speaks English, Spanish and French fluently.
Rosemary was appointed Development Coordination Office (DCO) Deputy Director in May 2021, after having served ad interim since December 2020, and as its Chief of Policy and Programme for two years. She brings to this role more than 20 years of diverse experience at the UN, spanning policy and programme work as well as strategic management and operations. Previously, she served as the 2030 Agenda Lead Advisor for UNDP in its Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, and as the Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme. She has worked for UNDP in numerous management and policy capacities at HQ and in the field, focused on sustainable development and inclusion. Rosemary is an Indian national, holds a doctorate in Business and a master’s degree in economics.
David McLachlan-Karr brings considerable expertise to DCO, with over 28 years of experience with the United Nations. He held various posts within UNDP and OCHA in Asia, Africa and Latin America, including in various complex emergency settings such as Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, Kosovo, Sudan and Iraq. From 2004 to 2019, he served as Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, Jordan, the Maldives and Sierra Leone, and was then appointed Deputy Special Representative, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Resident Coordinator with UNIOGBIS in Guinea-Bissau. In 2019, he was appointed Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for MONUSCO and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he played a critical role in leading the reconfiguration of the UN system in the context of the progressive drawdown of MONUSCO, including through the implementation of the Humanitarian Development Peace Nexus.
YACOUB EL HILLO
Yacoub joined Development Coordination Office (DCO) as Regional Director a.i. on 1 August 2021 after he had completed his tenure as DSRSG/RC/HC in Libya in December 2020. He wrote the nexus/complex emergencies play-book having served his 32 years in some of the UN’s largest humanitarian and most complex peacekeeping operations, including in his native Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Iraq, Tanzania, the Gulf, Liberia, Libya, among others. Before Libya, he served as DSRSG/RC/RR in Liberia and led the post-mission transition there. He played a critical role as RC/HC/RR in Syria from 2013 to 2016. Yacoub has been the quintessential RC/HC. A Sudan national, he will be holding the reins of the DCO Africa Regional Office for at least four months from 1 August 2021.
Ms. Barbara Manzi has taken up her new functions as the new DCO Regional Director for Arab States ad interim. Ms. Manzi has long-standing United Nations experience in development and complex settings, focusing on planning and delivering services to people. Within the Organization, she most recently served as Resident Coordinator in Burkina Faso and Djibouti, after holding other leadership positions, including Head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Ukraine, Iraq, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. She also served with the Organization in the southern Africa region, as well as in Angola, Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Haiti.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Manzi worked in the private sector and collaborated with non-governmental organizations, think tanks and universities on development, disaster management and reconstruction, as well as peace building initiatives.
She holds a master’s degree in post-war reconstruction and development studies from the University of York in the UK, and a master’s degree in architecture from the Universita’ degli Studi di Firenze in Italy.
Born in 1965 (Udine, Italy), Mr. Valent holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in political science from Bologna University, Italy, and another master´s degree in International Relations from the University of Sussex. Mr. Valent brings 24 years of service to the United Nations, with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in the Africa, Central America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. For the past three years, he served as UN Resident Coordinator in Argentina. Previously, he has served as Special Representative of the UNDP Administrator for the Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People. He has also served as UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in El Salvador and Belize (2010–2015), holding leadership positions with UNDP in the Democratic Republic of Congo (2005-2007) and in Sudan (2002-2005). Mr. Valent also held UNDP positions in Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Comoros, Kosovo and Macedonia.
Gwi has 26 years of diverse international development experience, during which she has remained focused on those left furthest behind and has continuously leveraged humanitarian-peace-development nexus practice, organizational and technological innovation and strategic partnerships. Most recently, Gwi completed a two-year assignment as the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and Designated Official in July 2020 in Sudan. During this period, Gwi supported three simultaneous transitions: the transition from the 30-year dictatorship to a people-led democracy, the transition from peacekeeping to peacebuilding in the conflict-affected region of Darfur and the transition from humanitarian-centered UN action to SDG-centered sustainable development as underscored by the humanitarian-peace-development nexus. Most recently, she was instrumental in organizing the Berlin Partnership Conference that mobilized over USD 1.8 billion for Sudan, reversing the funding trend from humanitarian to development, contributing to political and socio-economic stability while protecting the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable. Gwi is from the Republic of Korea.
Helena Fraser joined Development Coordination Office (DCO) on 1 September 2021 after having served as UN Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan from July 2017 to August 2021. She was concurrently UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan until December 2018. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Fraser served for twenty years with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), including two assignments in UN peacekeeping operations (Kosovo and Timor-Leste). Most recently, Helena headed OCHA’s Regional Office for the Syria Crisis in Amman (2014-2017). In this role, she supported coordination of the humanitarian response inside Syria across five different response hubs, as well as overseeing inter-agency needs assessment, humanitarian access analysis and reporting. Prior to this, Helena established and led OCHA’s Partnerships & Resource Mobilization Branch in Geneva, serving simultaneously as Chief, Private Sector Section, following a four-year stint as Chief of OCHA’s Donor Relations Section. Helena has also served twice at UN Headquarters in New York. She began her UN career in 1997 as a Field Adviser with OCHA in Georgia. Helena is from the United Kingdom and holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Oxford and a Bachelor’s degree in History and Russian Language and Literature, also from Oxford. She speaks English, French and Russian.
Bakhodir has worked for the UN System since 1998 in progressively responsible positions starting as National Officer with UNIDO. He currently oversees the human resources, financial and operational management support for the RC System globally at UNDCO. In December 2018, he was designated as UNDP Resident Representative for 10 Pacific Island Countries based in Fiji. Prior to that, he served as Country Director for the Pacific Office in Fiji and Head of UNDP’s Pacific Regional Policy and Programme (2016-2018); Deputy Country Director responsible for programme matters in a Delivering as One (DaO) context in Viet Nam (2011-2016); Deputy Resident Representative in Bhutan, a self-starter DaO country (2008-2011) and Donor Relations Adviser at UNDP Headquarters in New York (2004-2008). Bakhodir is from Uzbekistan and holds an MA degree in Business Administration and a BA (Hons) in Political Sciences and International Relations. He is married with three children.
Claire has more than 20 years of experience working at the United Nations. She most recently served as Deputy Executive Director of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Digital Cooperation (2018-2019) and Deputy Director of the UN System Staff College (2015-2018). Prior to that, she worked in various capacities in the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, where she was in particular responsible for the Humanitarian Coordinator system and the leadership pillar of the Humanitarian Reform. A Soviet specialist by training, Claire started her career working on migration and refugee issues in Russia and the former Soviet republics with IOM and UNHCR. She is Italian and a graduate of Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and holds a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University and a PhD from Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris.
Carolina brings 20 years of experience in strategic communications. Prior to joining Development Coordination Office (DCO) in March 2019 she coordinated UNDP´s communications in 25 country offices in Latin America and the Caribbean. She served as Spokeswoman and Chief of Strategic Communications and Public Information in the UN Mission in Colombia between 2016-2017. Carolina first joined the UN as the communications officer for UNODC Brazil and South Cone in 2006. She joined UNDP HQ in 2008 as communications specialist. Prior to the UN she was a senior foreign desk editor with Brazil’s TV Globo, also serving as news correspondent in Berlin, Germany. Carolina holds an MSc in Development Studies (LSE), an MBA from Brazil´s Fundação Getúlio Vargas, and a BA in Social Communications/ Journalism from Pontifícia Universidade Católica in Rio de Janeiro. She is Brazilian and is married with two children.
Rocco brings over two decades of years of UN experience, having served in WFP business management and operations roles – as well in developing humanitarian programmes - at HQ, regional and country levels.
At WFP, he held several leadership positions, including as Deputy Director responsible for Business Services and Operations in South Sudan, Philippines and Democratic Republic of the Congo, and as Chief of Administration, where led the design, development and implementation of mission-critical administrative service. He has significant management experience in large and complex humanitarian emergencies, in Sudan, Iraq, Central African Republic, Libya and more recently in the State of Palestine.
Rocco has in-depth knowledge about supporting UN country teams achieve cost efficiencies, sustainable and inclusive business operations, with extensive experience in leading the design of roadmaps for cost savings, establishing solid policy coherence with intergovernmental bodies and organizing effective operations delivery. His latest interagency experiences included optimizing the operating support models for small-medium country operations in the MENA region, leading the implementation of common services in the joint UN Ebola response (DRC) and more recently developing innovative cash programming and beneficiaries support services in Palestine. Rocco holds a master’s degree in Mathematics from the State University in Florence, Italy. He is fluent in English, French and Italian (mother tongue).
Nadia joins us from OCHA with over 20 years’ experience in the UN system in humanitarian action, development, and peacekeeping operations, spanning Asia and the Pacific, West and Central Africa, the Caribbean, as well as in HQs (Geneva and New York). She has held several management positions, including in her latest role as Section Chief a.i. for Central Africa and the Great Lakes region (OCHA New York); Section Chief a.i. for Asia and the Pacific (OCHA NY) and as Head of the Resident Coordinator’s Office in Timor-Leste. Prior to that, Nadia worked in various capacities for the Department of Public Information, the Office of the Director-General of the UN in Geneva and DPKO. Of mixed ethnicity and nationalities (Egypt, France, U.K.), Nadia holds a Master of Law in European and International Law as well as a Postgraduate Diploma in Criminal Science. Both degrees are from the University of Montpellier in France.