Our Team in Bangladesh

UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Gwyn Lewis

Gwyn Lewis

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

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

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.
Charles Callanan-UNOPS

Charles Callanan

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

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.
Dr. Saima Khan

Dr. Saima Khan

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

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.
Country Representative, UN Women

Gitanjali Singh

UN Women
Country Representative
Gitanjali Singh is the Country Representative, UN Women from July 2022. She has been with UNIFEM and UN Women since 1998 serving in the South Asia Regional Office before joining the Nepal Country Office as the Deputy Representative in 2013. While at the South Asia Office she served as the focal point for Bhutan and Maldives. She has over seventeen 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. She holds a master’s degree in applied psychology from Delhi University.
Jane Pearce

Jane Pearce

Country Director a.i.
With over 25 years of operational and leadership experience with WFP, she has held a variety of policy and programme positions including field assignments in Zaire, Rwanda, Tanzania, DPR Korea and three postings to Iraq with three years as Representative & Country Director (2014 – 2016).
For many years she was on the WFP sudden onset Emergency Team – having been deployed to cover the Rwanda genocide; post-9/11 Afghan operations in Pakistan; and the 2003 Iraq war – among others. She has been Country Director a.i. in Liberia, the Philippines and Nepal.
In WFP’s Rome headquarters Jane worked for many years as a Donor Relations Officer before becoming Chief Reports Officer and then, Director of Performance Management, Monitoring and Reporting.
A native of Australia, she was educated at Monash University. She has done continuing education courses at Oxford University and post graduate studies on Iraq at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). She speaks Italian and French.
Jesmul Hasan UNCDF Focal Point

Jesmul Hasan

Country Focal Point ( Programme Specialist)
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 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

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.
Portrait of the FAO Representative in Bangladesh

Robert Simpson

FAO Representative
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.
Sheldon Yett

Sheldon Yett

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.
Portrait of the UNDP Representative in Bangladesh

Sudipto Mukerjee

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.
Portrait of the ILO Representative in Bangladesh

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 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 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.