Volume 18, No.07 - July 2014

Comings and goings


Pingfan1Pingfan Hong was appointed Director of the Development Policy and Analysis Division (DPAD/DESA) effective on 1 July 2014. A Chinese national, Pingfan Hong joined the United Nations in 1989 and has since worked mostly in the areas of economic research and policy analysis, particularly on global economic outlook, macroeconomic policies, and international policy coordination.

Since April 2013, Mr. Hong has been serving dual roles as Acting Director of DPAD and Chief of the Global Economic Monitoring Unit.  He is the lead author and coordinator of the World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) and has also worked extensively with Project LINK in global modelling and forecasting.

Mr. Hong worked as an Officer in the State Planning Commission of China and as a Research Fellow and Assistant to Professor Lawrence Klein at the University of Pennsylvania. He earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania, a Dual Master in Computer Sciences and Management Sciences from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and a Bachelor in Engineering from Wu Xi Institute of Light Industrial Technology. He is the World Bank McNamara Fellow of 1985.


Stefan Schweinfest was appointed Director of the Statistics Division (STAT/DESA) effective on 1 July 2014. Mr. Schweinfest studied Mathematical Economics at the Universities of Wuerzburg and Bonn, Germany. He holds a Diplome D’Etudes Approfondies from the University of Paris (Sorbonne/Pantheon) in these fields. During his M.Phil studies at the London School of Economics, he also held a position as teaching assistant at the LSE.

Mr. Schweinfest joined UN DESA’s Statistics Division in 1989 and worked in various areas, such as national and environmental accounting, statistical capacity building programmes, and indicator frameworks. He was also responsible for external relationships of the Division, both with member countries as well as with international partner organizations. In this context, he has been the substantive Secretary of the United Nations Statistical Commission since 2002. He was also closely involved since the beginning in the establishment of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) programme and acted as the key liaison between the Division and the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) during the negotiations of the UN resolution that formally launched UNGGIM in 2011.

In his private time Stefan likes to sing and has performed numerous concerts with his chorus in Carnegie Hall. He is also a passionate marathon runner and loves to hit the road all over the world.


The following staff members were also promoted in June:

Dominika Halka, Chief of Unit, Economic Affairs, Financing for Development Office
Oliver Schwank, Economic Affairs Officer, Financing for Development Office
Amson Sibanda, Senior Social Affairs Officer, Division for Social Policy and Development



The following staff member retired in June:

Andrei Abramov, Chief of Branch, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination