Our Team in Bangladesh

Gwyn Lewis

Gwyn Lewis

UN
Resident Coordinator
Ms. Lewis brings more than 20 years of experience in international development, peacebuilding, and humanitarian affairs to the position. Prior to her assignment in Bangladesh, Ms. Lewis served as Director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Affairs in the West Bank from 2019; leading a 4,000 strong team in providing essential services and humanitarian aid to more than 850,000 Palestine refugees in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Before being assigned to Jerusalem, she was the Deputy Director for Programs for UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon. Prior to working with UNRWA, Ms. Lewis worked with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) where she managed the Global Clusters Coordination section in UNICEF’s Emergency Division. She joined UNICEF from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in 2012, where she focused on humanitarian policy and supporting FAO country offices. Ms. Lewis has worked with the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva, building UN and NGO partnerships, and supporting the roll out of the humanitarian reform agenda. Ms. Lewis has also worked for both OCHA and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the occupied Palestinian territory, the United Nations Mission in Kosovo and various NGOs in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Albania.
Fluent in English and French, she holds a master’s degree in International Relations and European Studies from the University of Kent, Canterbury, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Economics from San Francisco State University.
Abdusattor Esoev

Abdusattor Esoev

IOM
Chief of Mission
Abdusattor Esoev, the Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangladesh since April 2022, was previously Chief of Mission in the Russian Federation from 2018 to 2022. In 2020, during Abdusattor’ s time as Chief of Mission, the Russian Federation became a Member State of IOM.
From 2015 to 2018 Abdusattor was Deputy Chief of Mission for IOM Bangladesh and was involved in the scale-up of IOM Bangladesh’s operations in Cox’s Bazar. During his almost 20 years career with IOM, he has held senior positions in Tajikistan (2003-2008) Afghanistan (2008-2013) and Sudan (2013-2015).
Abdusattor completed his MBA (University of Liverpool, UK) and MPhil in Public Policy and Administration (Walden University, USA). He also holds two Bachelor’s Degrees in Economics and Linguistics.
Portrait of the WHO Representative in Bangladesh

Bardan Jung Rana

WHO
Representative
 
Dr. Bardan is WHO Representative to Bangladesh as of December 2017. Previously, Dr. Bardan was the Regional Advisor and Team Lead for Country Health Emergency Preparedness and International Health Regulation at the WHO South East Asia Regional Office, New Delhi. Before joining WHO, Dr. Bardan was the Health Coordinator in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Public Health Officer in Sudan with UNICEF. Dr. Bardan is a Medical Doctor who received his postgraduate in tropical medicine and hygiene at London University and has completed his master’s degree in Public Health from the National University of Singapore. A Nepali national, Dr Bardan is married, with two children.
WFP Representative Dom Scalpelli

Dom Scalpelli

WFP
WFP Representative
Dom Scalpelli has over 31 years of experience in operational management, leadership and fundraising, in international development, humanitarian and peace/conflict settings.
Dom is currently WFP’s Country Director in Bangladesh. Previously, he was WFP’s Food Systems Summit Coordinator. He has been WFP Resident Representative in Myanmar; double hatted as Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar; Founding Chair of the UN Nutrition Network in Myanmar; Director ai and Deputy Director of WFP Government Donor Relations; WFP Resident Representative in Malawi; double/triple-hatted as UNRC ai and FAO Representative ai for extended periods in Malawi; as well as various roles in wartime and post war Mozambique, in wartime Angola, in São Tomé e Príncipe, and as Chief of Office in WFP’s Operations Dept in Rome. Dom has also served in various short term senior positions in WFP, namely, Country Director ai in Mozambique; Project Manager in the Resource Management Department; and Director for tsunami response in Japan. Before WFP, Dom worked for a couple of years in AIDAB (then Australia’s international development aid agency) in Canberra, Australia.
Dom is an Australian national, born in Melbourne in 1966, and has dual Italian nationality through his parents, who both emigrated to Australia from Italy in the 1950s. He is married to Liz Shick, an American national, and together they have two daughters, Rebecca and Amanda, both born in Rome, Italy. Dom graduated from the University of Melbourne in Australia with a Masters Degree in Engineering Science (Development Technologies) and a Bachelor Degree in Civil Engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese and Italian, and has a working knowledge of French. Dom is an avid fan of world music, and enjoys cooking and walking.

Dr Arnoud Hameleers

FAO
FAO Representative Ad Interim
Arnoud Hameleers, IFAD Country for Bangladesh, is appointed as the FAO Representative ad interim effective from August 2023. He leads the FAO Bangladesh operations, policy engagement, and partnerships with the government and development partners. Before he was IFAD’s Country Director for Bolivia and Honduras. Moreover, Hameleers has experience working as a Senior Technical Advisor for DANIDA’s agriculture and economic development programmes in Bolivia, Senior Dairy Scientist for the Ministry of Agriculture in Northern Ireland, as Program Director for a University support program in Bolivia, and as a Dairy Research Program Manager for the Scottish Agricultural Colleges in Scotland. Hameleers holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Systems from the University of Glasgow, an M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh, and a B.Sc. from the Tropical Agricultural College in the Netherlands. Please check his bio at IFAD for more details.

Dr Arnoud Hameleers

Dr Arnoud Hameleers

IFAD
IFAD Country Director
Arnoud Hameleers is IFAD’s Country Director for Bangladesh, effective from April 2021. He leads the Bangladesh operations, including, the formulation of new strategies and programmes and policy engagement and partnerships with the government and development partners. He also leads communication and knowledge management activities to ensure high visibility of IFAD’s presence in Bangladesh.
Hameleers also served as IFAD’s Country Director for Bolivia and Honduras. Prior to joining IFAD in 2016, he worked as a Senior Technical Advisor for DANIDA’s agriculture and economic developments programmes in Bolivia. His earlier positions include Senior Dairy Scientist for the Ministry of Agriculture in Northern Ireland, Program Director for a University support program in Bolivia and Dairy Research Program Manager for the Scottish Agricultural Colleges in Scotland.
Hameleers holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Systems from the University of Glasgow, an M.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh and a B.Sc. from the Tropical Agricultural College in the Netherlands.
Dr. Saima Khan

Dr. Saima Khan

UNAIDS
Country Director
 
Dr. Saima Khan is the Country Director of the UNAIDS Country Office in Bangladesh. She has an MBBS from Dhaka Medical College and an MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has also completed Certificate Courses on Health and Human Rights from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg’s School of Public Health and on the AIDS Epidemic Model from the East-West Center, Hawaii. She joined UNAIDS in 2012. Prior to that, she worked in various capacities with UNICEF, Save the Children, the World Bank, icddr,b, etc. Dr. Saima has actively applied innovation and strategic thinking in the field of preventing HIV, while upholding the human rights aspects of disease prevention efforts.
Susan Vize Photo

Dr. Susan Vize

UNESCO
Officer-in-Charge
 
Sue Vize took up the duties of Officer-in-Charge in UNESCO Dhaka in July 2022 and is in charge of the UNESCO mandate in Bangladesh covering Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information as well as Social and Human Sciences program. Prior to this she was the UNESCO Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences in Asia and the Pacific based in Bangkok. Sue holds a PhD in community natural resource management from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Social Science from RMIT University, both in Australia. She is also a qualified teacher and trainer, and founding Principal of FNQ Training, a community-based TVET organisation working with Aboriginal communities and the unemployed in north Queensland.
UN Women

Gitanjali Singh

UN Women
Country Representative
 
Ms. Gitanjali Singh is the UN Women Representative in Bangladesh effective July 2022. An Indian national, Ms. Singh brings over twenty years of experience in the field of women’s human rights and gender equality with particular expertise on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) across the development-humanitarian continuum. Prior to her assignment to Bangladesh, she served as the Deputy Country Representative and Head of Office a.i. of the UN Women Nepal Country Office. She has been with UNIFEM and UN Women since 1998, serving in the South Asia Regional Office including as the focal point for Bhutan and Maldives. Ms. Singh holds a master’s degree in Applied Psychology with a specialization in Clinical Psychology from Delhi University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Lady ShriRam College in India.
Jesmul Hasan UNCDF Focal Point

Jesmul Hasan

UNCDF
Country Relationship Manager
 
Jesmul Hasan, is a development professional with 22 years of experience. A graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and a lawyer from Dhaka University, Jesmul is the Country Focal Point for UNCDF in Bangladesh. He plays a coordination role with the UN Resident Coordinator's office, other UN agencies, and the Government. Before joining UNCDF, he worked for DFID, CIDA, UNHCR, ILO, and Save the Children. He also worked as an academic, human rights activist and for print media. He has a number of publications on human rights issues.
Johannes van der Klaauw

Johannes van der Klaauw

UNHCR
UNHCR Representative
Since February 2021, Mr Johannes van der Klaauw is UNHCR’s Representative in Bangladesh where he leads UNHCR’s response for more than 870,000 Rohingya refugees hosted in the country. He is also a Co-Chair of the Strategic Executive Group established by the United Nations to coordinate the humanitarian response to the Rohingya refugee crisis. Mr. van der Klaauw, a national of the Netherlands, was the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in the Republic of Mali before coming to Bangladesh. He began his career with UNHCR as its Senior Liaison Officer with the EU institutions in Brussels in 1995 and served subsequently in senior management and leadership positions in Iran, Morocco, Yemen, Canada, and the South Caucasus as well as its Headquarters in Geneva. He also served as Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen. Prior to joining UNHCR, he worked for Amnesty International. Mr. van der Klaauw has a Masters in Divinity/Comparative Religion and a Bachelors in Arts/Philosophy from Leyden University in the Netherlands.
Kristine Blokhus

Kristine Blokhus

UNFPA
Representative
Ms. Kristine Blokhus is the UNFPA Representative in Bangladesh. A Norwegian national, Ms. Blokhus brings over 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian response.
Prior to her assignment in Bangladesh, she has served as UNFPA´s Representative to the State of Palestine and as the Deputy Representative with UNFPA Nepal. Since beginning her career with the United Nations in 2005, Ms. Blokhus has worked with UNFPA and UNDP in a variety of settings spanning South and South-East Asia, Central America and the Caribbean, the Balkans, and UNDP´s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS.
Ms. Blokhus holds a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a double bachelor’s degree in Political Science and French from the University of Warwick.
UNICEF RR Sheldon Yett

Sheldon Yett

UNICEF
Representative
 
Mr. Sheldon Yett is the UNICEF Representative to Bangladesh. An American national, Mr. Yett has worked for UNICEF since 1997, and has extensive experience managing development programmes and humanitarian emergencies. Prior to his appointment to Bangladesh, he has served as the UNICEF Representative to the Pacific Island Countries. He has also served as UNICEF Representative to Liberia, UNICEF Representative to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and UNICEF Representative to Armenia. Additionally, Mr. Yett has worked with UNICEF in a range of roles in Burundi, Somalia, Kosovo and New York. Prior to joining the UN, Mr. Yett worked as a journalist. He holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and a Bachelor of Arts from Reed College.
UNDP Resident Representative Stefan Liller

Stefan Liller

UNDP
Resident Representative
Stefan Liller (Sweden) is a development professional with close to 20 years serving the United Nations (UNDP and UNODC) at headquarters, regional and country office levels in Asia, Latin America, Europe and CIS and Africa. Prior to taking up his current assignment in Bangladesh, he served as UNDP Resident Representative in Uruguay and before that as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Moldova.
He has worked in conflict, post conflict, low-, middle- and high-income country contexts, and has programmatic and policy experience in a number of thematic areas ranging from socio-economic development to gender, development finance, energy and environment, governance and rule of law. He has a proven track record of turning innovative ideas into programming, advocating for the SDGs and he also has experience from the private sector.
He holds a Master of Laws and a Master of Business Administration and Economics, both from Stockholm University.
Sudhir Muralidharan, Country Manager, UNOPS Bangladesh

Sudhir Muralidharan

UNOPS
Country Manager
With more than 33 years of experience, including 17 years in the international development sector, Mr. Sudhir Muralidharan will serve as Country Manager for UNOPS in Bangladesh on 1st July 2022. Trained as a Chartered Accountant and Cost & Management Accountant by profession, he brings his expertise in programme and portfolio management, supervision of multi-functional and multi-disciplinary teams, supervision of fiduciary aspects of loans and grants, and quality assurance. Mr. Sudhir Muralidharan took over the responsibilities as Country Manager for UNOPS in Sri Lanka and Maldives on 1st September 2017 and served in that capacity till 30 June 2022.

Mr. Muralidharan joined UNOPS Sri Lanka in November 2015 as the Head of Support Services for the UNOPS South Asia Region and continued to carry out the duties of this role in addition to his country management responsibilities till the end of 2019.He joined UNOPS as a Senior Financial Management and Systems Specialist for the Global Fund Local Fund Agent (LFA) programme in China in 2005. In 2009 he took over as the Regional Financial Management & Systems Specialist for the LFA Programme in the Asia Pacific region. He was later appointed the Deputy Regional Coordinator for the UNOPS LFA Program for 6 countries in the Asia Pacific region. From 2010- 2014, he functioned as the UNOPS Quality Assurance Lead for the LFA Program in Asia Pacific before moving to UNOPS Cambodia as the Risk and Compliance Advisor for the Global Fund Principal Recipient.

Before joining UNOPS, Mr. Muralidharan functioned as a Financial Management, Loan Administration and Procurement Consultant for International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) based in Rome,
covering the Asia Pacific Region. Prior to this, Mr. Muralidharan ran his own accounting and audit practice in New Delhi, India covering several facets of fiduciary oversight including internal, statutory and management audits covering several industries in India ranging from airport management to electronics.

An Indian national, Mr. Muralidharan is fluent in English, Hindi and Malayalam languages. He is married with 2 children and enjoys reading and listening to music during his free time, and is an avid follower of
cricket. with 2 children and enjoys reading and listening to music during his free time, and is an avid follower of cricket.
Portrait of the ILO Representative in Bangladesh

Tuomo Poutiainen

ILO
Country Director
 
Mr. Poutiainen has worked with ILO for 20 years in the Philippines, Switzerland, Cambodia, Thailand and Bangladesh. During his time with ILO, he has been involved in community-based development, child labour, indigenous people’s issues, livelihoods promotion, and peace and development initiatives. In recent years, Mr. Poutiainen has specialized in developing and running efforts aimed at addressing working conditions, labour rights and managing industry improvement processes in global supply chains. Mr Poutiainen is a Finnish national and has a Master’s Degree from France, Aix-Marseille University, and a Lic.Phil Degree from Finland in General History and Social Policy (Advanced Masters).
UNIDO Representative

Zaki Uz Zaman

UNIDO
UNIDO Representative
 
Mr. Zaman is a national of Bangladesh, appointed as Country Representative of UNIDO in Bangladesh from May 2017. Prior to his appointment, he worked as Head of UNIDO Operations in Bangladesh from 2010 to April 2017. Before joining UNIDO, Mr. Zaman worked for the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, where he developed the agribusiness programme for IFC advisory component. Throughout his career, Mr. Zaman has been involved in inter-agency collaboration with UN sister organizations and international and national NGOs. Mr. Zaman completed his undergraduate studies and an M. Sc in Agricultural Economics from Bangladesh Agricultural University, Mymensingh. He also completed a Masters and PhD in Agricultural Marketing from Hokkaido University, Japan.