Volume 15, No.8 - August 2011

Comings and goings


Mr. Donald LeeMr. Donald Lee retired on 31 July 2011 as Chief of the Social Perspectives on Development Branch in the Division for Social Policy and Development of DESA, a position he held with distinction, where he led the team for the DESA flagship Report on the World Social Situation, and provided substantive support to the Commission for Social Development and its Bureau.

He began his career in the UN with ESCAP and moved to DESA to work on finance and trade issues in the Division for Sustainable Development. He later joined the Division for Social Policy and Development to head its work on poverty and employment – development issues that have defined his major contributions in the UN. He helped establish the Youth Employment Network in 2001 and was until his retirement a member of its Steering Committee.

Mr. Lee also had stints as head of the Secretariat of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, and the Communications and Information Management Service (CIMS). In CIMS, he spearheaded a major redesign of the DESA website, with an emphasis on ensuring accessibility for persons with disabilities.

He was the focal point in DESA for the International Year of Microcredit 2005 and a member of its Coordinating Committee. At his retirement, he was the co-Chair of the Coordinating Committee for the International Year of Cooperatives 2012 and Chair of the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC). He relished the challenge of unusual assignments and was Coordinator of side events for the High-level event on MDGs in 2008, and the MDG Summit in 2010.

In recognition of his contribution to poverty issues and the observance of the UN international day for the eradication of poverty, he was invited to join the International Committee for October 17th which actively promotes the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
Mr. Yacob ZewoldiMr. Yacob Zewoldi retired on 31 July 2011 as Chief of the Demographic Statistics Section in the Statistics Division of DESA, a position he held since 2010. His retirement marks 25 years of dedicated service to DESA’s Statistics Division and to the Statistics Division of UNECA, in particular in the area of population and housing censuses.

Mr. Zewoldi has an extensive career in public service, both at national and international levels, working on projects and assignments on population and housing censuses; sample surveys; demographic and social statistics; and statistical capacity building.

Mr. Zewoldi has also served as Chief of the Statistical and Geographic Conferences Unit for three years where he coordinated the preparatory activities for the UN Statistical Commission and headed the Secretariats for the following: UN Group of Experts on Geographical Names; UN Regional Cartographic Conference for the Americas; and the UN Regional Cartographic Conference for Asia and the Pacific.

Mr. Zewoldi holds a BSc in Statistics and a MSc in Demography. He has also completed a UN sponsored one-year program at the Office of Population Research, Princeton University in 2003.

He will be remembered mostly for his many contributions in advancing the principles and recommendations for population and housing censuses under the 2000 and the 2010 round of the World Population and Housing Censuses Programme.

Additional staff members who retired in July:


Jones Joscelyn, Research Assistant, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Valerian Monteiro, Desktop Publishing Assistant, Development Policy and Analysis Division


The following staff members were promoted in July:


Candace Charbonne, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Awet Segid, Statistics Assistant, Statistics Division

Maria Cynthia Sicangco, Meetings Services Assistant, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Catheryn Tajon, Staff Assistant, Statistics Division

Isabel Tanedo, Team Assistant, Executive Office