Mia Seppo joined the UN Country Team in Bangladesh as the UN Resident Coordinator in October 2017. With broad expertise and experience including in post-conflict and peacekeeping contexts, with managing support for complex elections and in humanitarian crises and responses, Mia has served the majority of her career in senior managerial roles within the UN - working in Tajikistan, Sierra Leone and Malawi as well as in UN HQ in New York with the UNDP Regional Bureaus for Africa and for Europe & CIS. Mia launched her UN career in 1996 with a focus on governance and human rights issues. Prior to joining the UN, Mia worked for civil society and think tanks, including the Finnish Committee for European Security. Mia is a Finnish national and holds a master’s degree in Social Sciences from the University of Helsinki, Finland.
Dr. Torkelsson, a national of Sweden and incoming representative of UNFPA in Bangladesh, took office in January 2018. Previously, she served and acted in several UN Women positions, as advisor for economic empowerment in Eastern and Southern Africa region, based in Nairobi, and in the Asia Pacific (AP) region, based in Bangkok, as well as deputy representative for the UN Women Multi-Country Office for India, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka, based in Delhi. Dr. Torkelsson holds a PhD in sociology from the University of Stockholm, an MSc in development economics from Gothenburg School of Business and Commercial Law, a BSc in social sciences from Vaxjo University, and executive education from Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Bardan Jung Rana
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.
Ms. Beatrice Kaldun is the Head of Office and UNESCO Representative to Bangladesh since 2014 and is in charge of the UNESCO mandate in Bangladesh covering Education, Science, Culture, Communication and Information. Ms. Kaldun holds an MA in Chinese studies, art history and anthropology from the Ludwig-Maximilian'sUniversity in Munich, Germany, and a BA in Chinese language from Taiwan National University. Prior to her career with UNESCO, Ms. Kaldun worked as coordinator of study tours in China at TUI International and for the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan.
Director of UNOPS Bangladesh Multi-country Office
With more than 20 years of experience in development and operations across several different regions and organizations, Charles Callanan now serves as the Director of UNOPS Bangladesh Multi-country Office. This office, relocated from Nepal to Bangladesh in 2021, is responsible for UNOPS operations in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Previously Charlie was running UNOPS hub and country operations in Nepal after the devastating earthquakes in 2015, where he led the production of detailed damage surveys of one million houses, as well as large-scale reconstruction efforts and capacity building. Prior to this, he served as Director of UNOPS New York office where he managed operations in 110 countries and represented UNOPS at the Executive Board.
Charlie holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an MIT Sloan Fellow and has a Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons) specializing in Environmental Geology.
Dr Arnoud Hameleers
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.
Giorgi (George) Gigauri is serving as the Chief of Mission of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in Bangladesh since 2018. Previously he was the IOM Chief of Mission in Papua New Guinea, leading programmes in emergency response, community stabilization, and migration management. Prior to this, he was the IOM Deputy Chief of Mission in Indonesia, overseeing a programme portfolio, which included humanitarian emergencies, migrant protection, governance and development. Giorgi is a national of Georgia and holds a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford, Bachelor’s degree from the University of Warwick, and a PhD from The Grigol Robakidze University. He speaks Georgian, Ukrainian, Russian and English.
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.
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.
Mr. Ragan is the current Representative of WFP in Bangladesh. Prior to joining as the WFP representative in Bangladesh Mr. Ragan worked as Country Director in Libya and Tunisia. He served as Emergency Coordinator during the Nepal Earthquake and as Assistant Secretary General and Head of Operations during the Ebola Emergency Response in Liberia. Mr. Ragan completed his bachelor’s in business from 'Ole Miss' University of Mississippi, and a master’s degree in International Development and Administration from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont. He can speak English (mother tongue), Ilocano , Spanish and Chinese.
Mr. Simpson has been the FAO Representative in Bangladesh since September 2018. He is a US citizen who joined FAO in 2008, initially working for the Forestry Department. Previously, he managed the FAO-EU Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) programme at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Previously, Mr. Simpson worked for the United States Embassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, and for a conservation and forest management organization in the country. Mr. Simpson has also worked for the United States Forest Service’s Liberia Forest Initiative Program.
Dr. Saima Khan is the Country Manager 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.
UN Women Representative
Shoko Ishikawa has over 18 years of experience working with the UN advocating for gender equality and women’s rights. She was appointed Country Representative for the UN Women in Bangladesh in August 2017. Ms. Ishikawa started her career in the UN as a Programme Officer for the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) Sub-Regional Office in Bangkok managing projects in Cambodia, China, Indonesia, and Thailand. She has since held various positions in UNIFEM and UN Women in Headquarters and the Regional Office for Asia-Pacific, including as Regional Programme Manager covering 7 countries in Southeast Asia. Most recently, she was Country Representative for UN Women in Viet Nam from 2013 to 2017. Ms. Ishikawa holds a MA in International Development Studies from George Washington University and a Bachelor’s degree from Keio University, Japan.
Sudipto (Indian National) is an Architect & Town Planner with more than two decades of experience in international development. He is a joint recipient of the International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISoCaRP, Netherlands) and IKEA Foundation-sponsored International Urban Ecology Award. Sudipto possesses significant experience in UN Country Programming and UN country team coordination, having held responsibilities for chairing interagency thematic groups as well as leading specific areas related to Common Country Assessments (CCA) and formulation of the UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAF). Sudipto is also affiliated with the UN Staff System College as an Expert on Strategic Planning.
Prior to joining UN Bangladesh, Mr. Tomoo Hozumi worked as Representative of the UNICEF Country Office in Nepal since August 2014. A national of Japan, he worked for UNICEF in various capacities since 1990 in Bhutan, India, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines prior to his posting in Nepal. He graduated from the Graduate School of International Relations, Tokyo University, Japan and obtained MPhil. in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, in the U.K.
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).
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.