Our Team in Sri Lanka

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy

Hanaa Singer-Hamdy

UN
Resident Coordinator
Ms Singer, who was appointed UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka in September 2018, has close to 30 years of experience with the UN. Prior to taking up her current role, she has held several senior management positions in UNICEF offices across the world. She was the Associate Regional Director UNICEF Geneva, Country Representative for UNICEF Syria, Nepal, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan. Ms Singer has led humanitarian programmes in Burundi and Haiti, and managed cross border humanitarian operations to Afghanistan and Iraq.
A national of Egypt, Ms Singer holds a Master's degree in Political Sociology and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo, Egypt. She also holds a diploma in “Planning and Management of Decentralized Development Projects” from Bradford University in the United Kingdom.
Abdur Rahim Siddiqui

Abdur Rahim Siddiqui

WFP
Country Director
 
Abdur Rahim Siddiqui assumed duties as Representative and Country Director of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Sri Lanka in April 2021, overseeing the management of WFP’s operations in the country. Mr Siddiqui brings extensive knowledge from the fields of food and nutrition security with a strong background in emergency operations. Harnessing over 30 years of experience with WFP, he spearheads WFP Sri Lanka’s activities outlined in its Country Strategic Plan (2018 – 2022), which was developed to support the government in improving food security, ending malnutrition, and building the resilience of smallholder farmers against recurring climate-related shocks.
Alaka Singh

Alaka Singh

WHO
Representative
 
An Indian national, Alaka Singh has worked in health and development for over two decades. With WHO she has held positions at all three levels of the Organization, supporting countries in the South-East Asia as well as the African and Eastern Mediterranean Regions. Her technical experience has been focused on health systems, primary health care (PHC) and universal health coverage (UHC). Prior to joining WHO, Alaka Singh worked for the World Bank in the New Delhi and Washington offices with the Health, Nutrition and Population cluster, participating in some of the first lending programmes for health systems in India.

Alaka Singh has an educational background in economics and development with a first degree from the Delhi University and advanced degrees from the College of William and Mary, Virginia, USA and Cambridge University, UK.

Chiyo Kanda

Chiyo Kanda

World Bank
Representative
 
Chiyo Kanda is the World Bank’s Country Manager for Maldives and Sri Lanka. She has held technical and managerial positions in the World Bank and other international development institutions for nearly 30 years. Prior to joining the South Asia Region, Chiyo worked as the Manager of the Results Unit of the Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS), Operations Manager for the Philippines Country Management Unit and as deputy to the Country Director in Tanzania. She holds an MBA and a Master’s Degrees in Economics and in International Development.
Christian Skoog

Christian Skoog

UNICEF
Representative
 
A Swedish national, with over 25 years of professional experience working in human rights, humanitarian crisis and emergencies, as well as in management and administration of UNICEF offices in different countries.
Before joining the team in Sri Lanka, Skoog was UNICEF Representative in Mexico, and Guatemala. He also served as the Deputy Representative in Haiti. He has also Worked in the UN Offices in New York and Geneva.
Skoog has a Master's degree in Economic Development from Stanford University, in California, and a bachelor's degree in quantitative economics from the same institution.
Eric Falt

Eric Falt

UNESCO
Regional Director for South Asia
 
Eric Falt is the Director and UNESCO Representative for New Delhi Cluster Office since May 2018. Before assuming his position, Eric served as the Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. He also held the position of Director of the Outreach Division at UN Department of Public Information in New York, as well as Director of Communications for UNEP and UNIC for Kenya and Uganda. Before joining UN, he was posted for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Chicago and New York.
Juan Fernandez-Jardon

Juan Fernandez-Jardon

OHCHR
SENIOR HUMAN RIGHTS ADVISOR
 
Juan Fernandez-Jardon is the Senior Human Rights Advisor (OHCHR) in the Office of the Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka since 2015. He joined the United Nations in 2003 as legal researcher for Timor-Leste´s Hybrid Court -the Special Panels for Serious Crimes- (2003-2005) and served as Public Defender before the courts of Timor-Leste (2005-2006). Mr Fernandez has also served in the Republic of Congo, Angola, and Colombia in various capacities defending Human Rights.
Kunle Adeniyi

Kunle Adeniyi

UNFPA
Representative for UNFPA Sri Lanka and Country Director for The Maldives
 
 
 
Prior to this assignment, Kunle served as the Country Representative of UNFPA in The Gambia and previously, as Head of Office in the same country.
He brings nearly two decades of experience in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRH), human rights, public health, public policy, and law.
Kunle’s foray into development started as a Senior Programme Officer for Nigeria’s National Agency for the Control of HIV & AIDS (NACA). He also served as Special Assistant and Head of Project Implementation Secretariat in Nigeria’s Health Ministry before returning to the NACA as the Head of Legal and Human Rights. He was a Technical Lead for both the HPDP II World Bank Credit Programme and the Global Fund HIV Grants in Nigeria.
An Alumnus of John Hopkins Centre for Communication Programs Baltimore, Maryland USA, he holds an MBA, an LLM and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) Degree.
Menique Amarasinghe

Menique Amarasinghe

UNHCR
Head of office
 
Ms Menique Amarasinghe (Sri Lanka) holds an LL.B. from the Faculty of Law, University of Colombo and is an Attorney-at-Law. She has extensive experience in human rights and humanitarian work. She first joined the UNHCR in Sri Lanka in 2005 in the aftermath of the devastation caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami and has remained with UNHCR for the past 15 years, working on forced displacement issues in Sri Lanka in post-tsunami, conflict and post-conflict operational settings.
Ramaaya Salgado

Ramaaya Salgado

UN Women
Country Focal Point
Ms Salgado assumed her position as Country Focal Point in 2014 when UN Women established a programme presence in Sri Lanka. Previously, she served in different capacities in various international development agencies and local not-for-profit organisations, including the UNDP Regional Centre in Colombo, Care International, Save the Children, and the Centre for Policy Alternatives. A national of Sri Lanka, Ms Salgado holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the National Institute of Social Development, Sri Lanka, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Delhi in India. She has over 14 years of experience in International Development and has worked extensively on issues pertaining to women’s rights and gender equality with a special focus on governance, peace and security issues.
Rene Van Berkel

Rene Van Berkel

UNIDO
Representative
 
Mr Rene Van Berkel (Netherlands) assumed duties as UNIDO regional representative covering Sri Lanka in February 2017. He previously served for UNIDO as Chief Technical Advisor in Indonesia and as Unit Chief (Cleaner and Sustainable Production) at headquarters in Austria. Mr Van Berkel has over 30 years’ development experience covering environment, climate change, technology and innovation, sustainability and social responsibility. He holds a PhD in Environmental Science (University of Amsterdam) and a Masters in Environmental Hygiene (Wageningen Agricultural University).
Robert Juhkam

Robert Juhkam

UNDP
Representative
 
Robert Juhkam joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Resident Representative in August 2019. He has close to 30 years of experience in international development. Prior to his appointment in Sri Lanka, Mr Juhkam served as the Strategic Planning Advisor at the UNDP Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy in New York for five years. Previously, Mr Juhkam served in the Asia-Pacific region for over 10 years as the Deputy Country Director for UNDP Bangladesh (2008 - 2014), the Team Leader of Knowledge and Policy Services at the Regional Centre in Bangkok (2004-2008) and the Deputy Chief of the UNDP Bangkok Sub-Regional Resource Facility – SURF (2003 to 2004). Mr Juhkam’s career with UNDP began in Estonia as the Deputy Representative and Programme Advisor (1997-2000). A national of Estonia, Mr. Juhkam, holds an Interdisciplinary Diploma in Social Sciences (Development Studies) from Stockholm University, and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (International Relations) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A.
Sarat Dash

Sarat Dash

IOM
IOM Representative FAO Representative a.i.
 
Mr Sarat Dash was appointed Chief of Mission to Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 2018. Additionally, he serves as the IOM Director General’s Special Envoy to Bhutan since August 2019. He was previously Chief of Mission in Yemen, Bangladesh, Nepal and Azerbaijan, managing some of IOM’s largest humanitarian assistance programmes. Mr Dash joined IOM in November 1998 after a 15-year career with NGOs in India and Nepal. Following the 2001 earthquake in the western Indian state of Gujarat, he was the lead in IOM’s relief and rehabilitation programme for affected migrant workers and went on to receive the IOM Director General’s Award for his work. Mr Dash is also FAO acting Representative in Sri Lanka.
Sharmalee Jayasinghe

Sharmalee Jayasinghe

UNV
Country Coordinator
 
Ms Sharmalee Jayasinghe joined UNV as the Country Coordinator in January 2018. She has over 25 years of experience in the development sector. She initially joined the UN system through UNDP and subsequently served with ILO prior to joining UNV. Her experience is largely in the volunteering sector. With a background in management, she has extensive experience in large-scale advocacy initiatives, partnership development, project management and working with youth. Sharmalee was educated in Sri Lanka and she holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Sherina Tabassum

Sherina Tabassum

IFAD
Country director
 
Ms Sherina Tabassum is a Country Director in IFAD's Asia and the Pacific Division and she's been leading the management of the Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka portfolios since March 2021. She is a policy and rural development specialist and leads the work on partnership building with the Government, development partners and civil society, and the work on knowledge management and communication in the countries. Prior to joining IFAD in 2017, Ms Tabassum served as a Governance Advisor with USAID for nine years. She also worked as a project director at the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, a private sector development think tank. In addition to Bangladesh and Maldives, Ms Tabassum has worked in Timor-Leste and Thailand. She received her education in Bangladesh and Thailand in international relations, management and climate change.
Simrin Singh

Simrin Singh

ILO
Country director
 
Ms Singh (USA) has been an ILO staff member since the year 2000. She has held various positions in different ILO offices as well as at ILO headquarters in Geneva. Her most recent post, held between 2008 and 2017, was as Senior Specialist on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work in the ILO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, Bangkok, Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Connecticut College and a Master’s Degree in International Development Studies from George Washington University (USA).
Sudhir Muralidharan

Sudhir Muralidharan

UNOPS
Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives
 
Mr Sudhir Muralidharan (India) has more than 30 years of professional experience, including 15 years in the international development sector. His expertise includes country office management & representation, programme and portfolio management, supervision of multi-functional and multi-disciplinary teams, supervision of fiduciary aspects of loans and grants, and quality assurance. Before joining UNOPS in 2009, Mr Muralidharan served as a Financial Management, Loan Administration and Procurement Consultant with IFAD in Rome, covering the Asia Pacific Region. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce.
Sylvie Bétemps Cochin

Sylvie Bétemps Cochin

ITC
Senior Trade Promotion Officer Office for Asia and the Pacific
 
Sylvie Bétemps Cochin is Senior Trade Promotion Officer, Country Manager for Myanmar, within the Office for Asia and The Pacific, at the International Trade Centre (ITC). Sylvie Bétemps Cochin has more than 17 years of experience in international trade, project management and trade-related technical assistance in Asia and Africa. She is responsible for a portfolio of 14 Asian countries, including least developed countries (LDCs), for which she leads country coordination and client relationships. She has managed and developed multi-disciplinary trade-related technical assistance projects in Asia, including in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Previously, she was the Adviser for a large regional trade and economic integration programme in Africa. She was also responsible for managing regional projects, supporting south-south trade promotion, institutional strengthening and the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia and Africa.
Troels Vester

Troels Vester

UNODC
Head of Office
 
Mr Vester holds a Master’s degree in Law from the University of Copenhagen and has been the UNODC Head of Office ai. for Sri Lanka and the Maldives since July 2020. Prior to taking up his current position, Mr Vester was Country Manager for UNODC in Myanmar from September 2015-2020 and Country Manager for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and liaison to ASEAN from June 2013 to August 2015. He was also Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama. In Panama, he also worked as Regional Manager for the UNODC Container Control Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to this, Mr Vester worked as a Crime Prevention Expert at the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of UNODC in Vienna and as a Technical Advisor, Legal and Law Enforcement at the UNODC Country Office in Vietnam. Before starting his career at the UN, Mr. Vester worked as a Lawyer at the Danish Ministry of Justice and as a Prosecutor for the District Attorney in Copenhagen.
Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan

Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan

IMF
Representative
 
Dr. Tubagus Feridhanusetyawan has been the IMF Resident Representative (RR) for Sri Lanka and Maldives since November 2018. A national of Indonesia, Mr. Feridhanusetyawan, joined the IMF in 2003. He has worked in many regions, including Middle East, Central Asia, and Asia Pacific. Dr. Feridhanusetyawan. received his PhD in Economics from the Iowa State University, USA. Other than his service with the IMF Dr. Feridhanusetyawan has served in many advisory panels of renowned universities around the globe.
Vimlendra Sharan

Vimlendra Sharan

FAO
Representative
 
Sharan brings with him nearly three decades of national and international government leadership experience focusing on rural development, agriculture and food security issues. As a former member of the Indian Administrative Service, he has worked with the Indian Government extensively in rural and tribal areas of Maharashtra and has also been actively involved in agriculture and food policy formulation working with the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare in New Delhi. Sharan holds a degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in Delhi, India and an MBA in Public Policy from the University of Birmingham, UK.