Our Team in Bangladesh


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.

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

Chief of Mission
Abdusattor Esoev (Tajikistan) has been serving as the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Bangladesh since April 2022, overseeing and strategizing the mission’s overall programme including strategic partnership with key stakeholders.

Prior to his current appointment, Abdusattor was IOM Chief of Mission in the Russian Federation between 2018 to 2022, during which time 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 following the massive influx of Rohingya refugees in August 2017.

Abdusattor has almost 24 years of experience in emergencies/post crisis and development sectors. During his 20 years’ career with IOM, he served in a number of senior key positions across the organization in Tajikistan (2003-2008), in Afghanistan (2008-2013), in Sudan (2013-2015) and also in Bangladesh (2015-2018).

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. In additions to his mother tongue (Tajik) and English he speaks fluent Russian, Dari/Farsi and basic Arabic.
Bardan Jung Rana

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.

Domenico Scalpelli

Dom Scalpelli, current WFP Representative, has over 31 years of experience in operational management, leadership and fundraising, in the context of international development, humanitarian and peace & conflict.

Previously, he was WFP’s Food Systems Summit Coordinator. He has been WFP Resident Representative in Myanmar; alongside being Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator & Founding Chair of the UN Nutrition Network in Myanmar. He was the Director ai and Deputy Director of WFP Government Donor Relations, and WFP Resident Representative in Malawi. He was also the UNRC ai and FAO Representative ai for extended periods in Malawi. He also carried out duties in various roles in wartime and post-war Mozambique, in wartime Angola, in São Tomé e Príncipe, and WFP’s Operations Dept in Rome.

Dom graduated from the University of Melbourne in Australia with a master’s degree in engineering science (Development Technologies) and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is fluent in Portuguese and Italian and has a working knowledge of French.
Dr Arnoud Hameleers

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 & development partners. He also leads communication and knowledge management activities to ensure high visibility of IFAD’s presence in Bangladesh.

Previously, Hameleers 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 Jiaoqun Shi

Country Representative
Dr Jiaoqun Shi is Representative for Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Bangladesh. Dr Shi will lead the planning and implementation of FAO programmes in the country.

He joined FAO in 2019 as Senior Compliance Advisor to the Deputy Director-General at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. since January 2021, he had been serving as Special Adviser at the FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (RAP) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Jiaoqun Shi started his career in 1988 as Researcher in the Xiangfan division, Government of China, in Xiangfan, China. From 1996 to 2004, he served as Deputy Director of Personnel in the Appointment Division at the Ministry of Finance in Beijing, China. Between 2007 and 2010, he was Director of the General Division at the Ministry of Finance in Beijing, China. In 2009, he worked as Deputy Prefecture Governor for the Tujia and Miao Autonomous, Government in Xiangxi, China. From 2010 to 2016, he served as Deputy Director-General of the General Office at the Ministry of Finance in Beijing, China. Between 2016 and 2019, he was Deputy Representative at the Permanent Representation of the People’s Republic of China to the three United Nations Rome-based Agencies (RBAs) in Rome, Italy.

Dr. Shi, a national of China, holds a Master of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wuhan University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Law from the National Academy of Governance in China.

Dr. Saima Khan

Dr. Saima Khan

Country Director
Dr. Saima Khan is the Country Director of the UNAIDS Country Office in Bangladesh. 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.

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.

Dr. Susan Vize

Dr. Susan Vize, UNESCO Officer-in-Charge

Sue Vize took up the duties of Officer-in-Charge in UNESCO Dhaka in July 2022 and oversees 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. She is also a qualified teacher and trainer, and founding Principal of FNQ Training, a community based TVET organization working with Aboriginal communities and the unemployed in north Queensland, Australia.

Sue holds a PhD in community natural resource management from the University of Melbourne and a master’s in social science from RMIT University, both in Australia.

Felipe Ramos

Head of Office a.i.
Mr. Felipe has over 18 years of professional experience acquired within diverse national and international environments.

He started his career in 2005 as an agent of Rio de Janeiro's Harbor Guard. In 2008 he joined Rio de Janeiro State Police Department (PMERJ) where he led the 4th Company of the 20th Battalion and co-led the 1st Company of the 27th Battalion in Rio de Janeiro City. He also worked as the Deputy Commander of the Community Policing Unit in the city of Duque de Caxias, and as the Deputy Chief of the Planning Section of different operational units.

Felipe was deployed to the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Haiti from 2014 to 2016. He also worked for INTERPOL from 2019 to 2024, first at the Strategic Planning Unit in Lyon, France, and more recently as a Criminal Intelligence Officer at the Maritime Security Unit in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and in Nairobi, Kenya.

Felipe graduated from Rio de Janeiro State Police Officer’s School in Brazil, holds a Bachelor of Law degree and a master's degree in international public administration and politics.
UN Women Country Rep

Gitanjali Singh

UN Women
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 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.

She 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 Sriram College in India.
Country Rep UNCDF BD

Jesmul Hasan

Country Focal Point
Jesmul Hasan, a development professional with over two decades of experience, is the Country Relationship Manager 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 several publications on human rights issues.

He is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School and a lawyer from Dhaka University, Bangladesh.

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.

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 & French from the University of Warwick.

Shah Mohammad Naheeaan

Mr. Naheeaan brings more than 15 years of experience in development, peacebuilding and corporate affairs to the position.

He has extensive experience in UN, having served for more than 13 years in various capacities with 4 different UN agencies. His areas of expertise ranges from crime prevention and criminal justice, drugs and law enforcement, various gender equality and human rights mandates, health and HIV, alternative development etc. Prior to that, he had worked with private sector and national development organizations, supporting implementation of various corporate and development projects. His responsibilities include providing policy advisory services and technical guidance to the Government in the field of drugs and crimes; human rights; gender; and develop multi-sectoral partnerships and opportunities. He has been working on various issues of drugs, crime, terrorism, violent extremism, criminal justice response including intergovernmental mechanisms at UNODC. Before joining UNODC, he had worked with UN Women on Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW), Gender Responsive Budgeting and Planning (GRB&P) and Gender & HIV areas. He had also worked with UNDP on Business and Human Rights and GRB&P areas. Before that he had worked with UNAIDS, Cairn Energy Bangladesh Limited; and SHURID-Bangladesh at various capacities.

He holds two master's degrees - one in Governance Studies and the other in Development Studies, as well as a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science.
Sheldon Yett

Sheldon Yett

UNICEF Representative
Mr. Sheldon Yett is the current 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.
Sonia Mehzabeen Programme Coordinator

Sonia Mehzabeen

Programme Coordinator
Ms. Sonia Mehzabeen has more than 20 years of professional experience in both private and development sector in different fields of Operations and Project Management. Before joining UNV Bangladesh, she was with UNDP Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific as Management Specialist based in Bangkok. Prior to that, she worked with UNDP Timor-Leste and Bangladesh Country Office as Operations Manager. She also worked with UNDP Maldives, Nepal and Malaysia Country Office operations as well as with the Bureau of Policy and Program Support in UNDP Corporate HQ at New York on short term assignments. In her early years of career, she worked with Private sector Multinational Organizations in the Oil and Gas and Telecom sectors.

She holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Dhaka.
Stefan Liller

Stefan Liller

UNDP Resident Representative
Stefan Liller, a Swedish national, is a development worker with 20 years of experience in serving the United Nations at headquarters, regional and country office levels in Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa.

Prior to taking up his current assignment in Bangladesh, he served as UNDP Resident Representative in Uruguay ; before that he was UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Moldova. He has worked in conflict & post conflict in the context of low, middle and high-income country contexts. He has programmatic and policy experience in a number of thematic areas including, socio-economic development, gender, development finance, energy and environment, governance and rule of law. He has a proven track record of turning innovative ideas into programmes, advocating for the SDGs. 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

UNOPS Country Manager
Sudhir Muralidharan, UNOPS Country Manager

With more than 33 years of experience, including 17 years in the international development sector, Mr. Sudhir Muralidharan is serving as Country Manager for UNOPS in Bangladesh.

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. 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.

An Indian national, Mr. Muralidharan is fluent in English, Hindi and Malayalam languages.

Sumbul Rizvi

UNHCR Representative in Bangladesh
She has spent over 35 years in human rights and humanitarian work — as an NGO advisor, with the United Nations, and as litigating counsel in Indian courts. She brings a breadth of experience addressing situations of internal displacement, refugees and asylum-seekers, statelessness, and migration. Across her work, she demonstrates a strong partnership approach, working closely in support of national and local stakeholders, especially affected communities, together with the United Nations and international organisations. This is her second posting to Bangladesh, having served as the UN Coordinator establishing an inter-agency response to the Rohingya refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar in 2018.

Most recently, Ms. Rizvi was the Principal Advisor on Internal Displacement to the High Commissioner in Geneva, leading a system-wide strengthening of UNHCRs IDP response across the world. She has been instrumental in supporting the development of the UN Secretary General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement. In November 2022, she aided the UN Country Team and the Resident Coordinator in Afghanistan to develop solution-oriented approaches to forced displacement.

She has served with UNHCR in operations including Iraq during the Mosul conflict, Afghanistan, and Darfur-Sudan. She established emergency response and humanitarian coordination mechanisms in Syria and Kyrgyzstan during the early stages of the conflict, and served as UNHCR’s Policy Adviser on Asylum and Migration in Geneva during the Mediterranean Crisis, working with the Global Migration Fora and on the Sustainable Development Goals.

An Indian national, Ms. Rizvi holds degrees in law and in economics, from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), India (1979-86) and spent over a decade as a practicing lawyer in India working on corporate and criminal law and engaged in probono human rights interventions. She also served as Additional Standing Counsel for the Union of India in administrative matters and taught law as a part-time lecturer in New Delhi prior to joining the UN.
Tuomo Poutiainen

Tuomo Poutiainen

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 labor, 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, labor 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 an advanced master’s degree from Finland in General History and Social Policy.

Zaki Uz Zaman

Mr. Zaman, a national of Bangladesh, was 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 master’s and PhD in Agricultural Marketing from Hokkaido University, Japan.