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.
He is currently 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 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.
Mr. Richard Dictus has taken up his new functions as the new DCO Regional Director for Arab States ad interim. Richard brings considerable expertise to DCO, with over 35 years of experience within the United Nations with posts in Arab States, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, as well as Europe and the US. From 2012 to 2016, Richard served as Executive Coordinator of the UNV. He held various Resident Coordinator positions in Fiji, Malawi and Egypt, and served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Iraq ad interim in 2019.
Mr. Dictus is a national of the Netherlands.
Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean
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.
Chief of the Business Management Branch for the Resident Coordinator System
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.
Chief of Communications and Results Reporting Section
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.
From 2016 to 2019, Lars was the Deputy Resident Representative managing Programmes and Operations for UNDP in Eswatini. Before that he was Business Operations Advisor of DOCO, advising the UNDG on issues related the Operational Reform, the first-generation Business Operations Strategies and the piloting of new business models. From 2009 to 2012, Lars served as Chief of the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Papua New Guinea. Prior to 2009, he held posts in the UNDP Management Consulting Team focusing on country and corporate level reform and change management, and in Malawi as Coordination Specialist. Prior to the UN, Lars worked for 5 years for KPMG Management Advisory Services in the Netherlands and in Malaysia. Lars is from the Netherlands and holds a master’s in international development from the University of Amsterdam and a post graduate certificate in Strategy and Internal Control from IACA.
Chief of Staff, Office of the Assistant Secretary-General
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.