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.
Team in Africa Region
Eskedar Nega, Team Leader/Strategic Planner/Senior Regional Coordination Officer
Hodane Youssouf, Senior Regional Coordination Officer (based in Dakar)
Laila Baker, an American of Arab origin, comes from a background in health policy from Cardiff University and 25 years of international experience in global humanitarian and development settings primarily in the Arab region. Her career also includes work with major non-UN organizations such as the International Planned Parenthood Federation’s Regional Office in Tunisia, OXFAM UK and as the Director of Strategic Planning of the national branch of the IFRC in Palestine. In her position as Director for UNRWA’s Relief and Services Program at HQ in Amman, Jordan from 2014-2016, she instituted a series of reforms to the poverty and social inclusion programs. A member of the RC/HC pool, Laila comes from a long history of service with the United Nations, most notably, UNDP, UNRWA and a twenty-year career with UNFPA, where she served in Palestine, Geneva and as Representative in Syria from 2012-2014 and Jordan from 2016 until the present.
Team in Arab States
Bradley Foerster, Senior Coordination - Team Lead
Valentine Hoschet-Verdier, Regional Liaison Officer for Arab States - Desk NY
Chakib Zouaghi, UNSDCF Partnership and Programme Officer
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 HDP nexus.
Team in Asia-Pacific
Narmina Guliyeva, Regional Liaison and Sustainable Development Officer (based in NY)
Sarwat Adnan, UNSDCF Partnership and Programme Officer
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.
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.
Team in Latin America
Elisabeth Diaz Hochmann, Senior Regional Coordination Officer
Rafael Beleboni, Regional Liaison and Sustainable Development Officer (based in NY)
Yolanda Durant Mc Klmon, UNSDCF Partnership and Programme Officer
Karine Lopez Schmalz, Administration and BOS Officer