Ms. Michaela Friberg-Storey is the UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan since November 2020. Prior to it, she has worked on strategic leadership of humanitarian operations and diplomacy for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement through the Swedish Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). She also served as Head of the Security Sector Reform Division of the Agency for Peace, Security and Development (FBA) of the Swedish Government and worked at the Security Policy Department of the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs. She started her international career with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders). She holds a BA in Political Science from Stockholm University and Master’s degree in Humanitarian Assistance at Uppsala University.
UNDRR - United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, Regional Office for Europe
Mr. Abdurahim Muhidov is a Tajik national who brings over 26 years of experience in the international development, humanitarian affairs, communications sectors, including 12 years in the United Nations system. Mr. Abdurahim Muhidov joined the UNDRR Europe Office in November 2019. Prior to this, he worked with UNDGC, UNOCHA, and UNISDR.
Head of UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia
Ms. Aidai Kurmanova started her assignment as the Head of Central Asia Office in Almaty on 2 February 2019. She has 21 years of experience in the field of sustainable development. Prior to joining UNEP, she worked as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic for five years. Her main areas of expertise include design and implementation of policies on sustainable economic development. She developed strategic documents on green economy, e-governance, small and medium enterprise. She led the process of nationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals in the Kyrgyz Republic. She has significant practical work experience with the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic in improving the environment for business and has promoted draft laws on economic growth. She holds Master degrees on Development Economics from International University of Japan and Public Governance from the Academy of Management under the President of Kyrgyz Republic.
Dr. Alexander Goliusov has 39 years of experience in public health and over 22 years of experience in the field of HIV/ AIDS prevention. He joined UNAIDS in 2014. Prior to this post he had various positions in the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation. For a number of years Dr. Alexander Goliusov was a Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) of the Joint United Nations Program on AIDS (UNAIDS), Chairman of the Coordinating Committee of the CIS countries on HIV. He graduated from the Moscow Medical University with the speciality Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology. Candidate of Medical Sciences.
Arthur van Diesen is the UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan, where he took up his post on 1 June 2019. Arthur previously served with UNICEF as Regional Social Policy Adviser in the Middle East and North Africa (2015-2019) and as Deputy Representative in Tajikistan (2010-2015). Before joining UNICEF, Arthur worked for DFID, UNDP and various international NGOs. He worked and lived in Africa, South and Central Asia, and the Middle East. Arthur has over twenty-five years of experience in social policy, applied social research, monitoring and evaluation and programme management. He is a sociologist by training, with a Master’s Degree from Tilburg University in The Netherlands. He is a national of The Netherlands, married and is the proud father of three daughters and a son.
Ms. Mittal has worked with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for over twenty one years on drugs, transnational organized crime and terrorism, in diverse capacities. Prior to taking her position as the Regional Representative for UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia, that covers the Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan and the three southern Caucuses Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, she served as the Officer-in-Charge and the Deputy Representative, UNODC Country Office in Afghanistan (COAFG)from 2009 to 2014. She served as the Deputy Representative, UNODC, Regional Office for South Asia, covering Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka from 1995-2009. Prior to this, she served with the World Food Programme in India, engaging on food security. From 1986 and 1993, she worked extensively with civil society on drug use prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in India and was well recognized for her pioneering work in this field. She also worked on child rights issues among vulnerable street and working children. She also served at an inner city hospital -Alcove Drug and Alcohol Centre, West Jersey Hospital, USA. As a development practitioner and social scientist, her work on policy, advocacy is nuanced with rule of law, justice, health, rights and gender perspectives. She has authored and co-authored several articles, reports and research, especially on drug control issues.
With a Graduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Delhi University in India, Ms. Mittal was also a Fulbright Fellow (1989-90) in USA.
Mrs. Chandana Tiwari joined as the Security Advisor United Nations Department of Safety and Security, Kazakhstan on 11 August 2018. Mrs. Tiwari has joined UNDSS on 07 March 2007, serving initially in UN Security in Sudan and in UNOPS, Kabul, Afghanistan. Mrs Tiwari has also served as Project Support officer, to DOA, UNMIK Kosovo (UNV) and as Station Commander, Kosovo Polije Police Station in Pristina, Kosovo (UN CivPol). After joining UNDSS she has served as the Field Security Coordination Officer, UNDSS in East Jerusalem and Israel for four years and then as the Deputy Security Advisor for UNDSS Jordan for four years. From July 2015 to July 2018 Ms. Tiwari served as the Security Advisor, UNDSS in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Prior joining UN DSS, Mrs. Tiwari has been an officer in the Government of India, having served as Deputy Commandant in the Central Industrial Security Force. She has served at Force Hqs and also in units in various parts of India. She has been trained in conflict management, conflict resolution and facilitation management (University of Bradford); Marketing of Services Course (National Industrial Security Force ), Logistics officers course (National Industrial Security Academy),Course on office automation(National Records Bureau) and Information Management and Crisis Anticipation Course(New Delhi). Mrs Tiwari holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Indira Gandhi National Open University. She is a distinction holder in Botany from the University of Pune, Maharashtra. As the Head of the Central Asia office she oversees implementation of activities on climate change, disasters and conflicts, ecosystem management, environmental governance, chemicals and waste, resource efficiency in all five countries of the region.
UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan, Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan
Originally from Italy, Ms. Giulia Vallese joined the UN in 1995 and started her assignment as UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan from end September 2017. From 2013 to 2017 she worked as UNFPA Representative in Nepal. In different periods of her professional life, Ms. Vallese worked for UNFPA in the capacities of Officer in Charge in South Sudan, Adviser in the Resource Mobilization Branch in Headquarters, Deputy Representative in the Pacific Sub-Regional Office (covering 14 Pacific Island countries), Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director Management in HQ, Programme Officer in the Asia and Pacific Division, and Programme Analyst in Eritrea (including with UNDP). Ms. Vallese is holding Master Degrees in Political Sciences from University La Sapienza and in Management of International Organizations from New York University.
Previously Mr. Schodder served as Representative of UNHCR in Serbia, including one year as Resident Coordinator a.i. of the United Nations. In 2012-2015 Mr. Schodder was Deputy Chief of Mission of UNHCR in India, Senior Emergency Coordinator of UNHCR for the Syria Crisis (2014) and Representative of UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan (2008-2012). Mr. Schodder began his career with UNHCR in 1991 in Hong Kong, followed by subsequent assignments in Viet Nam, as Senior Liaison Officer of UNHCR to the OSCE in Vienna (1996-2001) as well as Senior Protection Officer of UNHCR in Ukraine, in Sudan, and in Sri Lanka (2001-2008). He is married with two children and graduated with a BA (hons) in Social Anthropology and Vietnamese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Education: University of International Business (UIB), Kazakh National Agrarian University (KazNAU). At various times, he was an economist at CARANA Corporation (1994-2001), the Asian Development Bank (2002) and the World Bank (2003-2004), as well as an international expert on economics and investment FAO (2004-2019), including at headquarters FAO apartment (Rome, Italy) and the FAO regional office for Europe and Central Asia (Budapest, Hungary). Since 2017, he heads the FAO Liaison and Partnership Bureau in Kazakhstan. He has many years of international experience in 18 countries around the world in economics and investment in the development of the agri-food sector and rural areas, improvement and rehabilitation of forestry and fisheries, sustainable land and water management, the introduction of resource-saving and climate technologies in Eastern Europe (Albania, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Northern Macedonia, Moldova, Serbia, Ukraine, Montenegro), the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia), Central and Southeast Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan ZSKA Republic, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, the Philippines).
UNESCO Representative in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan
Having joined UNESCO in 1997, Krista Pikkat worked at the UNESCO Headquarters (Paris) for the Programme for Central and Eastern European Development (PROCEED), the Sector for External Relations, the Office for the Director-General and the Bureau of Strategic Planning. From 2012 to 2017, Ms Pikkat was the Head of the UNESCO Tashkent Office and UNESCO Representative to Uzbekistan. Since April 2017, she is the Director of the UNESCO Almaty Office and UNESCO Representative to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Ms Pikkat holds a Master's Degree in the English language and literature and a Master's Degree in Development Management.
Ms. Sarieva takes overall responsibility for the implementation of the joint UN programme on “Strengthening the management of violent extremist prisoners and the prevention of radicalization to violence in prisons” (2018-2021), which is situated under the UNODC Global Programme on Addressing Prison Challenges. Ms. Madina Sarieva has over 11 years of progressively responsible work experience in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice. During her tenure, she has focussed on implementation of technical assistance projects to countries of Central Asia aimed at promoting prison reform, police reform, improving quality of forensic services and strengthening criminal justice responses to trafficking in persons and migrants smuggling. From 2007 to 2010, she worked for UNODC on combating illicit drug trafficking, anti-money laundering, and anti-corruption issues. Ms. Madina Sarieva holds Master’s Degree in Law and Public Administration.
Maria Dotsenko (national of Ukraine) is an international development professional with over 20 years of experience working with the United Nations and other international organizations. Prior to joining UN Women, she worked with the UN Department of Global Communications in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Armenia. Maria also served with the OSCE in Eastern and Central Europe and with the USAID Regional Mission to Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.
Head of the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia
Mr. Pomoshchnikov has an extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy. Before joining ESCAP in 2011, he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to ESCAP. He has the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (second class). He holds a PhD in Political Science.
Mr. Ryszard Komenda assumed his duties as a Regional Representative for OHCHR Regional Office for Central Asia as of May 2016. He was selected for this post after completing his job as the Senior Advisor on Human Rights to the UN Country Team in the Russian Federation. Mr. Komenda is a human rights lawyer with Master’s of Laws (LL.M.) degree in International Human Rights (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Magister Juris (University of Gdansk, Poland). His professional career spans over the last twenty years advancing international agenda with relation to human rights, human security and gender equality. The area of his expertise include: international human rights protection, international development, peace and security, gender and peacebuilding. His professional assignments included the organizations such as the Canadian Red Cross Society, the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Canadian Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian International Development Agency, the Council of Baltic Sea States; the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and the UN department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO). Among others, Mr. Ryszard Komenda was the Head of Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia (UNOMIG) in November 2007, and held this position till the closure of the office in 2009.
Joined the ILO in 1997. Head of External Relations Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. In 1989 – 1993 Deputy Director of the National Center for Public Opinion and Market Research In 1985- 1989 Senior Editor of Sociological Service of the Kazakh State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting. ILO National Coordinator in Kazakhstan promotes Decent Work Agenda and is responsible for the implementation of Decent Work Country Program for the Republic of Kazakhstan, arranges technical assistance on ratification of ILO conventions, as well as he provides support and development of cooperation between ILO and tripartite partners. Identification of social and economic development priorities for formulation of ILO targeted activities in the country is also his priority; He is member of UNCT and keeps close relationship with other International organizations in the country.
Representative of the United Nations Department of Global Communications
Mr. Vlastimil Samek is the Representative of the United Nations Department of Global Communications and the Head of the United Nations Information Office in Kazakhstan. Prior to that he worked for the United Nations as the Representative of the United Nations Department of Public Information and Head of the United Nations Information Office in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Director a. i. of the United Nations Information Centre in Indonesia and Director a. i. of the United Nations Information Centre in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Has more than 30 years of extensive experience in international affairs, diplomacy, economic diplomacy, communications, advocacy and public relations. He joined the United Nations after serving his country in various senior positions at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, including long-term assignments to Diplomatic Missions in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Mongolia. Holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Economics in Prague (Czech Republic).
Yakup Beris assumed his function of UNDP Resident Representative on 23 April 2019. Mr. Beris has more than 20 years of work experience in various international organizations at headquarters, regional, and country levels. Prior to joining UNDP in Kazakhstan, Mr. Beris led UNDP’s Regional Programme for Arab States based in Amman, Jordan and served as Regional Programme Adviser for the UNDP Regional Bureau for Arab States in New York. He lead a team delivering various regional projects in a diverse development setting across the region, including on economic integration, social cohesion, anti-corruption, gender, climate resilience, and crisis response. Mr. Beris also worked in senior positions in UNDP country offices in Khartoum, Sudan, during the finalization of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement as well as in Amman, Jordan, leading a programme focusing on policy advise and capacity support in a middle income country setting. Prior to UNDP, Mr. Beris worked for the World Bank in its several departments in Washington, DC, focusing on social development, governance, and decentralization in Africa and Middle East. He also worked for Turkish Business Association (TUSIAD), an NGO/think tank, established by business leaders in Turkey, both in its Istanbul and Washington, DC offices. Mr. Beris co-authored book chapters and articles on governance and decentralization and wrote on political and economic reforms in Turkey. He holds an MA in public management from Maryland University, College Park in USA and a BA (double major in political science/international relations and sociology) from Bogazici University in Turkey.
Sub-Regional Coordinator for Central Asia, Chief of Mission in Kаzakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan
Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev was appointed as Chief of Mission in IOM Kazakhstan, Coordinator for Central Asia, non-resident Chief of Mission in Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in October 2019. Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev holds Advanced Diploma in Public Administration from the The Nottingham Trent University, UK (1997) as well as Diploma in Engineering from Moscow Bauman State Technical University, RF (1986). His academic background is coupled with extensive experience in more than 25 years, such countries as Belarus, Iraq, Kosovo. Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev reaffirms his commitment to support the Governments of the Central Asian countries and civil society in preventing and eradicating human trafficking, as well as to ensure safe migration.