20 January 2010
Secretary-General
SG/A/1215
BIO/4161

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note


Secretary-General Appoints Filippo Grandi of Italy

 

Commissioner-General of UNRWA

 


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, following consultations with the Advisory Commission of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), is pleased to announce the appointment of Filippo Grandi (Italy) as the Agency’s new Commissioner-General, effective 20 January 2010.


He replaces Karen AbuZayd, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her tireless and dedicated service to the Palestinian people and excellent leadership of UNRWA at an important juncture.


Mr. Grandi has been Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA’s since September 2005.  A strong advocate for the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees and an excellent manager, he has been instrumental in the success of the Agency’s comprehensive and far-reaching management reforms.  He brings to his new position a record of outstanding service under the banner of the United Nations.  With his appointment as Commissioner-General, his energy, leadership and understanding of humanitarian issues will remain at the service of UNRWA and Palestine refugees.


Prior to joining UNRWA, Mr. Grandi distinguished himself in a variety of Headquarters and field functions encompassing refugee assistance, protection, emergency management, donor relations and humanitarian and political affairs.  He was responsible for political affairs at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), where he served as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative.


With the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mr. Grandi’s roles included Chief of Mission in Afghanistan and Chief of Staff in the High Commissioner’s Executive Office.  His vast field experience includes various positions in the Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, the latter during and in the aftermath of the first Gulf war.  He also led emergency operations in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, Congo, Yemen and Afghanistan.


Mr. Grandi was born in 1957.


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For information media • not an official record