Volume 14, No.8 - August 2010

Comings and goings


Mr. Donald Lee Mr. Donald Lee was appointed Chief of the Social Perspective on Development Branch in the Division for Social Policy and Development, DESA, effective 1 August 2010. With this move, he returns to the Division for Social Policy and Development where he had earlier served as Chief of the Poverty Eradication and Employment Section from 2000 to 2007. Currently, Mr. Lee is the Officer-in-Charge of the Communications and Information Management Services (CIMS), a position he has held since July 2009. He has served as Secretary of the Executive Committee for Economic and Social Affairs since June 2007, and was also a member of the Strategic Planning Unit in DESA when it was launched in late 2009.

Mr. Lee joined the United Nations in 1991 as a Transnational Corporations Officer in the UNCTAD/ESCAP Joint Unit on Transnational Corporations. He later served as an Economic Affairs Officer with ESCAP in Bangkok, until he moved to New York in 1997 to join the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (now the Division for Sustainable Development) in time for the preparations for the Rio+5 Summit. Mr. Lee has an MSc and PhD in Economics from University College London. He is married with two daughters.

The following staff members were promoted in July:

Matthias Bruckner, Economic Affairs Officer, Development Policy and Analysis Division

Vilma Frani, Staff Assistant, Statistics Division

Anke Green, Social Affairs Officer, Division for Social Policy and Development

Justine Jacques, Staff Assistant, Division for the Advancement of Women

Doris Schmitz -Meiners, Economic Affairs Officer, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Silvia Schwarz, Public Information Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Thu Rein Win, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division

Wai-Lan Wu, Administrative Assistant, Statistics Division

Maria Marchione-Novoa, Research Assistant, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination


Ms. Elsa Stamatopoulou Ms. Elsa Stamatopoulou left the United Nations on 31 July 2010 as Chief of the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, in DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development, a position she held with distinction since the establishment of the Secretariat of the Forum in 2003. Her departure marks 31 years of service at the United Nations (Vienna, Geneva and New York) of which some 23 were dedicated to the human rights field. Indigenous issues were part of her portfolio since 1983.

Ms. Stamatopoulou’s academic background in law, international law, criminal justice and political science and her rich experience, including in international normative frameworks, institution-building, the rights of indigenous peoples, cultural rights, rights of children, rights of women, human rights and development, human rights learning, development and marginalized groups, private sector issues, and inter-agency inter-governmental cooperation as well as cooperation with civil society equipped her with a keen understanding of the potential and avenues for impacting on public policies to improve the lives of indigenous peoples around the world. She worked tirelessly to serve the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and support its mandate as a cornerstone in this filed.

Mr. Vladimir Markhonko Mr. Vladimir Markhonko retired on 31 July 2010 as Chief of DESA’s Trade Statistics Branch, a position he held with distinction since 2003. His retirement marks many years of dedicated service to the Statistics Division and, in particular, to the field of international trade statistics.

With a PhD in Economics from Belarus State University and his experience as an associate professor there, he started his United Nations career in New York in 1982. During his twenty eight years of service many UN methodological publications and technical reports were prepared under his direct guidance and supervision in the areas of international trade, distributive trade, tourism and energy statistics.

He will be remembered mostly for his many contributions in advancing the recommendations for international merchandise trade statistics. As a fitting conclusion, the newly revised recommendations in this area were adopted by the UN Statistical Commission at its most recent session in February this year.

The following staff members retired in July:

Theresa Chu, Programming Assistant, Communications and Information Management Service

Julitha Kiswaga, Documents Management Assistant, Office of the Under-Secretary-General