Our Team in Thailand

Ms Gita Sabharwal

Gita Sabharwal

Resident Coordinator
Ms. Gita Sabharwal was appointed as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Thailand on 15 March 2020. As the UN Resident Coordinator, she leads 21 UN agencies under the UN Country Team to deliver the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) to advance the Sustainable Development Goals in coordination with the government, private sector, civil society and young people. Ms. Sabharwal has close to three decades of development experience working across multiple country contexts in Asia. Her work has focused specifically on peacebuilding, governance and social policy, while generating and applying empirical and big data analysis to deal with emerging development challenges. Preceding her appointment to Thailand, Ms. Sabharwal was the Peacebuilding and Development Advisor at the United Nations in Sri Lanka, for nearly seven years. Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Sabharwal was The Asia Foundation’s Deputy Country Representative for Maldives and Sri Lanka and has held positions as the Poverty and Policy Advisor for the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) in India and Viet Nam.
unfpa country director

Asa Torkelson

Country Director
Ms Asa Torkelson is the Country Director for UNFPA Thailand Country Office since November 2021. Previously, she was the UNFPA Representative for Bangladesh. She has more than 20 years of experience with international organizations, academia, government, NGOs, the private sector, and the UN system including with FAO, IFAD, World Bank and UN Women. Ms Asa holds an MSc. in Development Economics from the Gothenburg School of Business and Commercial Law, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Stockholm and has an extensive background in Gender.
Atsuko Okuda

Atsuko Okuda

Regional Director
Ms Atsuko Okuda is the Regional Director of ITU in Bangkok. Prior to the new assignment, she was the Chief of the ICT and Development Section of ESCAP in Bangkok from 2015. Ms Okuda also served the ESCWA in Beirut as the Chief of the Governance and State Building Section and as the Team Leader responsible for ESCWA Knowledge Management. Ms Okuda obtained a BA from Kyoto University, MA from Helsinki University, and is enrolled as a research fellow on e-governance at the United Nations University – Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology. Her academic articles on broadband and AI were published by the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy.
Dip Magar

Dip Magar

Team Leader for Thailand
Dip Magar brings over 12 years’ experience in the field of monitoring and protection of human rights, particularly serving OHCHR missions/offices in Central Asia, South-East Asia, the Pacific and Africa. Prior to accepting the assignment in SEARO, Dip has been working with the Joint UN Human Rights Office in Sudan and was responsible for coordinating a team focused on integrating human rights in sustainable development, enhancing equality and countering discrimination. Previously, he was posted with OHCHR in the Regional Offices of the Pacific, Central Asia and for a brief time at SEARO. He also worked for the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office in Nepal where he advised and assisted the UN Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team Nepal on human rights-related affairs, particularly focusing on transitional justice and mainstreaming human rights in the UN planning and programming. Dip holds a Master’s degree in English and a Bachelor’s degree in law. He is also a founding member of the Justice and Rights Institute Nepal (JuRI-Nepal), a non-governmental organization that works for human rights through strategic litigation in Nepal.
Géraldine Ansart

Géraldine Ansart

Chief of Mission
Ms. Géraldine Ansart is the Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Thailand since October 2020. She has more than 15 years of experience in humanitarian aid and development programming. Previously she was the IOM Syria Crisis Coordinator; she led the IOM ECHO partnership team in Brussels and worked as a Migration and Development Specialist covering the Great Lakes region of Africa. Ms Ansart holds a degree in Public Law as well as Political Sciences and a master’s degree in International Administration from Sorbonne University.
Giuseppe De Vincentiis

Giuseppe De Vincentiis

Mr Giuseppe De Vincentiis has been serving as the UNHCR Representative in Thailand, to which function he was appointed in 2018. Prior taking up his assignment in Thailand, he was UNHCR Representative in Myanmar. Mr De Vincentiis has some 30 years of experience with UNHCR and has served in various roles in China, Geneva, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Iran. He was also based in Italy on secondment to UNDP. He is a lawyer by background and completed his education at the Faculty of Law at the University of Naples. Mr De Vincentiis is a citizen of Italy. He is married and has two children.
แกรม บัคลีย์

Graeme Buckley

Country Director
Mr Graeme Buckley has held the post of Director of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team for East and South-East Asia and the Pacific and ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao People’s Democratic Republic since 2017. Mr Buckley began his career at the ILO as Senior Specialist on Poverty Reduction Strategies in 2006. Prior to joining the ILO, he spent seven years working as an economic advisor at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the UK Department for International Development. Mr Buckley holds a PhD in development economics, a master’s degree in Business Administration and a first degree in economics.
Jaime Moll de Alba

Jaime Moll de Alba

Officer-in-Charge, Regional Director and Representative
Dr. Jaime Moll de Alba is the Director, Officer-in-Charge for the UNIDO Regional Hub. Jaime serves as UNIDO’s Director of the Division of Regional Bureaus and Field Offices. He leads the identification of programmatic priorities for UNIDO's services and the Organization’s responses to the needs of Member States and development partners at the regional and country levels. He also leads the development and monitoring of regional strategies and country programmes. He manages UNIDO’s 48 field offices and its five regional bureaus covering Africa, the Arab Region, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Prior to joining UNIDO, Jaime worked for the European Commission in Luxembourg for a decade supporting regional economic development, enterprise competitiveness, small and medium-sized enterprise development, and innovation and technology transfer. Jaime holds a PhD in Economic Development, and a Diploma of Advanced Studies and Research Sufficiency. He graduated from the same university as an Industrial Engineer specialized in Industrial Organization.
Mr. Jong-Jin Kim

Jongjin Kim

Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific
Mr Kim, a national of the Republic of Korea, has a long and distinguished career in public service. He joined FAO in 2013 as Director of South-South Cooperation and Resource Mobilization Division and immediately prior to his present appointment, he had been serving as FAO’s Deputy Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand. Just prior to joining FAO, Mr Kim served as the Deputy Minister for Trade at the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MIFAFF) in the Republic of Korea (2010 to 2013). Mr Kim was awarded a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma State University in the United States, and holds a Bachelor of Economics from Korea University.
จอส ฟอนเดลาร์

Jos Vandelaer

Country Representative
Dr Jos Vandelaer is the WHO Representative to Thailand, taking up office in October 2021. Prior to his current position, Dr Vandelaer was the Regional Director for Emergencies in the World Health Organization Regional Office for South-East Asia from October 2020. He started his career in 1986 with the NGO Médecins Sans Frontières, working in emergencies in Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Surinam, and Thailand. Later he worked in migration/refugee health for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Viet Nam and Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina and for UNHCR in Myanmar. In 1996, he joined the World Health Organization, where he held immunization-related positions in the Philippines, India, and Myanmar. In 2001, he joined UNICEF in Geneva, and from 2009 until 2015, he was Chief of UNICEF’s global Immunization program based in New York, USA. From 2015 to 2020, Dr Vandelaer was the WHO Representative to Nepal, where he oversaw WHO’s support to the government and people of Nepal. Dr Vandelaer is a Belgian national and holds a Medical Doctor degree from the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium), a diploma in Tropical Medicine from the Antwerp Institute for Tropical Medicine (Belgium), and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Harvard University (USA).
Mr Julien Garsany

Julien Garsany

Deputy Regional Representative
Mr Julien Garsany is the UNODC Deputy Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He is supporting countries respond to organized crime, terrorism, corruption, financial crimes, trafficking in human beings, arms and drugs, and strengthen criminal justice, and prevention and treatment of drug use and HIV/AIDS. From 2014-2018, he was the Deputy Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa in Egypt. Mr Garsany has a master’s degree in Defence, International Security and Economic Intelligence from the Nice - Sophia Antipolis University and another master’s in advanced international studies from the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Mr Garsany is a French citizen.
Kyungsun Kim

Kyungsun Kim

Ms Kyungsun Kim is the UNICEF Representative in Thailand since in January 2021. Prior to this, she served as the UNICEF Representative in Panama. Between 2012 and 2016, Ms Kim served as a Senior Advisor at UNICEF in New York, managing external relations and partnerships. Until 2012, Ms Kim served in Khartoum, Sudan, as Senior Programme Specialist with UNICEF. Before joining UNICEF in 2001 as a Junior Professional Officer, Ms Kim worked for the Korea Foundation supporting research on the peacebuilding between the two Koreas. She has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. Ms Kim is a Korean national who is married with two daughters and a son.
Marco Toscano-Rivalta

Marco Toscano-Rivalta

Chief, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
For over 20 years, Mr Marco worked with the United Nations and other international organizations at the Headquarters and in the field in the areas of humanitarian relief, refugee protection, promotion and protection of human rights, justice administration, sustainable development and disaster risk management. He holds a degree from the University of Bologna, Italy.
UNEP-Marlene Nilsson

Marlene Nilsson

Deputy Regional Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Marlene Nilsson joined UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific as the Deputy Regional Director in 2023. Marlene is an experienced staff member with a career spanning over 20 years supporting United Nations leadership. Since 2019, she held the position of Senior Programme Management Officer/Special Assistant in the Office of the UNEP Executive Director. During her 11 years at UNEP, she also gained substantial programmatic and management experience, having worked in the Executive Office, Ecosystems Division and Policy and Programme Division. Prior to joining UNEP, Marlene spent 13 years with United Nations Peacekeeping, working on crisis management, peace negotiations, and political affairs both in the field (Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan) and at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Marlene holds a master’s degree in Political Science.
Dr Patchara Benjarattanaporn

Patchara Benjarattanaporn

Country Director
Dr Patchara Benjarattanaporn assumed the position of UNAIDS Country Director for Thailand since 1 August 2017. Previously, she served as Strategic Information Adviser at UNAIDS Thailand Country Office. Prior to joining the UN, Dr Benjarattanaporn worked with various international organizations; USAID Regional Development Mission, Population Council/Regional Office and Family Health International/Regional Office, managing strategic information and regional HIV-related activities in Myanmar, China, Laos, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. She holds a Doctoral degree in Demography and a Master's degree in Population and Social Research. She is a Thai national.
Renaud Meyer UNDP

Renaud Meyer

Resident Representative
Mr Renaud Meyer started his assignment as UNDP Resident Representative to Thailand in March 2019. Prior to that, Mr Meyer served as the Country Director for UNDP Nepal from January 2015. Before joining the United Nations, Mr Meyer worked in Tunisia for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A French citizen, Renaud holds a Master’s in International Relations and Development Studies from the University of Strasbourg and graduated from the Institut D’Etudes Politiques of Strasbourg. He also completed a one-year programme of studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., U.S.A.
Ms Samina Kadwani

Samina Kadwani

Multi Country Office Director
Ms Samina Kadwani heads the UNOPS Multi-Country Office out of Bangkok, which oversees Thailand, Indonesia and the Pacific Countries. Ms Kadwani has been with UNOPS for over 20 years and has held several positions with the organisation in the areas of programme management, business development and client relationship management covering several geographical areas including New York, Copenhagen, Geneva and Bangkok. Ms Kadwani is a certified project management specialist with vast experience in managing large programmes and has studied in India and the US.
Sarah Knibbs

Sarah Knibbs

UN Women
Officer-in-Charge, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, and Representative in Thailand
Ms Sarah Knibbs has been working in the Asia Pacific region for the last 25 years, with a range of organisations including UN Women, UNFPA, DFID China, Save the Children Fund, VSO and the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance. Her work has focused on gender, violence against women, HIV, youth issues, and sexual and reproductive health and rights. Ms Knibbs joined UN Women Cambodia in 2014 and has been the acting Country Representative since January 2018. Sarah is from the UK and studied History at Oxford for her first degree, later taking an MSc in Development Management specialising in Population and Reproductive Health at the University of Wales Swansea.
Shalina Miah

Shalina Miah

Regional Manager
Ms Shalina Miah is the Regional Manager for Asia-Pacific of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme. Previously, she was leading the Partnerships Unit in UNV in Bonn. Shalina joined UNV after serving as the Regional Office Manager for UNCDF in Bangkok. Prior to joining UNCDF, Shalina held the position of Co-Financing Agreements Specialist in UNDP in New York. Before joining the UN, she served as Legal Counsel in Manila at the Asian Development Bank and in Washington DC at the World Bank. Shalina has over 20 years of experience both in the private sector and multilateral organizations. Shalina holds three Master’s degrees in: International Trade Law from King’s College University; European Business Law from La Sorbonne in Paris, France; and, Corporate Law from University Catholique of Louvain in Belgium.
Shigeru Aoyagi

Shigeru Aoyagi

Regional Director
Mr Shigeru Aoyagi is the Regional Director of the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau for Education in Bangkok and Representative to Thailand, Myanmar, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Singapore. He has been associated with UNESCO since 1984 through educational and cultural programmes of the Asia-Pacific Cultural Centre for UNESCO in Tokyo. Mr Aoyagi joined the UNESCO in 2002 as Chief of the Literacy and Non-Formal Education in Paris. Mr Aoyagi was Director of the UNESCO Office in Kabul and Representative to Afghanistan. He initiated the largest literacy project in the history of UNESCO, “Empowerment of Literacy in Afghanistan” in 2006. In 2012, Mr Aoyagi took up the post of Director of the UNESCO Office in New Delhi, and Representative to India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. He led the development of SAARC Framework for Action for SDG4: Education 2030.
Mr Srinivasa Popuri

Srinivasa Popuri

Senior Human Settlements Officer
A development professional by profession, Srinivasa Popuri has worked over 28 years in the field of human settlements advancing Habitat agenda. Of these, over 22 years with United Nations in several countries in Asia and the Pacific after his service over for 5 years with Government of India and International Organisations.
Since September 2012, he has been assigned as Senior Human Settlements Officer based in Fukuoka, Japan in overseeing programmes of UN-Habitat in Asia and the Pacific countries such as Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, India, Iran and Thailand.
Sylvie Betemps Cochin

Sylvie Betemps Cochin

Chief, Office for Asia and The Pacific
Ms. Sylvie Bétemps Cochin is the Chief for the Office for Asia and the Pacific. Previously, she was adviser to a large regional trade and economic integration programme in Africa, and was also responsible for managing regional projects, supporting south-south trade promotion, institutional strengthening, and the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises in Asia and Africa. Sylvie has a Master’s Degree from the Institute of Political Economy, France.