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. 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. Ms Sabharwal holds a master’s degree in Development Management from the University of Wales, UK and is the author of numerous policy papers on South and South-East Asia. She speaks English and Hindi.
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.
Mr Badar Farrukh

Badar Farrukh

Team Leader
Mr Badar Farrukh joined the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office in Thailand in 2018. He started his UN career working for the Office of the Prosecutor in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. In 2006, he joined the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Nepal. He also worked with the United Nations African Union Hybrid Mission in Darfur, where he managed human rights teams. He served as a sworn police officer in the Police Service of Pakistan for 15 years attaining the designation of Senior Superintendent of Police. He holds a Master of Laws degree in Human Rights and Criminal Justice from Aberdeen University, Scotland.
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.
Ms Isabelle Louis

Isabelle Louis

Deputy Regional Director
Ms Isabelle Louis is the Deputy Regional Director at UNEP’s Asia and the Pacific Office. Prior to this, she was Asia Pacific Regional Director at WWF International. She has over 25 years of experience in sustainable development and natural resource management as well as in programme operations and management, multi-stakeholder and partnership engagement and multidisciplinary team management. She currently oversees UNEP’s programme of work and facilitates partnerships to support UN Member States in the Asia Pacific region. Ms Louis holds a BSc and PhD in Botany and Plant Pathology from Sheffield University in the United Kingdom and experienced a Teaching Fellowship at the National University of Singapore and a Post Doctorate Fellowship at Harvard University.
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.
Ms. Patchara Benjarattanaporn

Patchara Benjarattanaporn

Country Director
Ms 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, Ms 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. Ms Benjarattanaporn 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.
Ms Sarah Knibbs

Sarah Knibbs

UN Women
Country Representative, a.i.
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.
Mr Stein Hansen

Stein Hansen

Regional Director and Representative
Mr Stein R. Hansen is an Economist who has been working in international development for 27 years. Since February 2017, he is the Regional Director and Representative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand, where he also represents UNIDO in the UNSDG Asia Pacific Regional Directors group, and the UN Regional Coordination Mechanism. Stein R. Hansen holds a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University with focus on international development. He is also a Senior Executive Fellow of the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He is married and has three children.
Sylvie Betemps Cochin

Sylvie Betemps Cochin

Senior Trade Promotion Officer
Ms Sylvie Bétemps Cochin is a Senior Trade Promotion Officer, Office for Asia and The Pacific, at the International Trade Centre (ITC). Sylvie has more than 19 years of experience in international trade development, project design and management, fundraising, trade-related technical assistance and trade capacity building in Asia and Africa. 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 in Asia and Africa. Sylvie has a master degree from the Institute of Political Economy, France.
Timothy Wilcox

Timothy Wilcox

Programme Manager for Asia and the Pacific
Mr. Timothy Wilcox is currently the manager of UNDRR activities in South-East Asia and was the former Head of Office for UNDRR’s Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific based in Suva, Fiji for five years. Prior to this, he served in the Australian Aid Program for many years managing Australian disaster mitigation, response, and recovery efforts in the Pacific. He also managed humanitarian policy, disaster risk reduction, regional pandemic and health programs. Familiar with the diverse challenges of natural hazards and disasters, he also served for seven years in the emergency services in Australia and holds qualifications in both Emergency Management and Human Services.