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UNSG Awards

2016 Secretary-General Awards Finalists

in alphabetical order


  • The Global Banking Harmonization Project

Title/Team:            Ms. Nuala Moreau, Banking Operations Officer; Ms. Shoba Pala-Krishnan, Legal Officer
Department:          Office of Legal Affairs / UN Treasury
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Jay Pozenel
Summary:             This project developed and painstakingly negotiated a series of standard banking agreements with five global banks for use by the Secretariat, the Funds and Programmes and other organizations of the UN System. In more than 45 countries where banking arrangements were difficult to come by, the UN System now has reliable and cost-effective and long-term stable banking services for its operations.

  • gText

Title/Team: Ms. Cecilia Elizalde, Ms. Yaroslav Kurennoy, Mr. Roman Boyko, Mr. Ryan Adler, Mr. Evgeny Stanovoy, Mr. Kirill Borisov, Ms. Jordina Guitart
Department:          DGACM
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Jose Garcia-Verdugo, Cecilia Elizalde
Summary:              Through the introduction of innovative language technologies developed in-house by UN staff, the gText project dramatically challenged traditional translation methods and improved the quality and efficiency of translation processing in the four duty stations of the DGACM.

  • Mr. Ben Majekodunmi

Title/Team:            "Human Rights Up Front"
Department:          EOSG
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Katarina Mansson
Summary:              With tireless dedication, commitment and creativity Ben Majekodunmi has led the work of the EOSG’s team charged with both conceptualization and implementation of Human Rights up Front, an initiative by the Secretary-General to change the way that the Organization seeks to prevent serious violations of human rights and conflict in unprecedented ways.

  • Ms. Kyoko Maki

Title/Team:            Chief Cashier, UNHQ
Department:          DM/OPPBA/Treasury
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Carlos Perrone
Summary:              Ms. Kyoko Maki has been instrumental in transforming the UN's archaic payment system into a state of the art system integrated into its ERP. Displaying vision, perseverance, tenacity and direction during the Umoja implementation, she created a streamlined payment infrastructure that has significantly improved efficiencies.


  • The "Next SG" Project

Title/Team:           Ms. Susan Alzner, Head of NY Office; Mr. Tomas Anker Christensen, Chef de Cabinet; Ms. Mareike Eberz, Associate Expert on Sustainable DevelopmentSteen Hansen, Senior Advisor; Ms. Katharina Kandt, Public Information Assistant; Mr. David Lonnberg, Office Coordination Assistant, Mr. Michael McManus, Speechwriter; Meena Syed, Senior Advisor; Mr. Daniel Thomas, Spokesperson; Mr. Georg Zeiner, Political Affairs Officer
Department:          UN-NGLS, OPGA, DGACM
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Jaspreet Kindra
Summary:             The team achieved an unprecedented standard of transparency and inclusivity for the process of selection and appointment of the next UN Secretary-General, building on a mandate provided by UN Member States to the PGA.


  • Umoja - ERP Implementation Project

Title/Team:           Mr. Ernesto Baca, ASG; Ms. Patricia Dann, Team Lead Solution and Business Analysis; Mr. Ian Divers, Organizational Change Management; Ms. Ann Kenney, Team Lead Technology Solutions; Mr. Gary Landes, Team Lead a.i. Deployment Coordination and Production Support; Ms. Anne Matthews, Team Lead Deployment Coordination and Production Support, Mr. Massimo Nasta, Team Lead Delivery Management, Ms. Olga de la Piedra, Deputy Director; Ms. Vera Rajic, Team Lead Finance Integration; Mr. Chandramouli Ramanathan, Project Director a.i.
Department:          DM/Umoja
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Kornelija Juskaite
Summary:              Since its start of the project in 2008 to date, the Umoja Team has been planning, monitoring and executing the deployment of one of the most ambitious transformative initiatives the United Nations has undertaken in its history, transforming how the UN Secretariat conducts its business and manages its resources, and changing work patterns for 33,000 staff members at 400 UN locations across the globe in almost 100 entities.



  • The Ozone-friendly UN Bangkok

Title/Team:           Mr. Paul Thompson, Manager: Building Management Manager; Teera Siratanapanta, Supervisor- Building Management, Jenwit Panchan, Assistant Supervisor- Building Management
Department:          UN ESCAP
Location:               Bangkok
Nominated by:      Artie Dubrie
Summary:              The project replaced ozone-depleting substances (HCFC-22 and CFC-12) from the air-conditioning and refrigeration systems at UN offices in Bangkok.


  • Sustainable United Nations Team

Title/Team:           Ms. Isabella Marras, SUN Coordinator, Mr. Shoa Ehsani, UNEP Climate Neutral Officer, Ms. Emma Hakansson, EMS Officer
Department:          UNEP/DTIE
Location:               Paris, Geneva, NY and all UN locations
Nominated by:      Ligia Noronha
Summary:              The nominated team and its Sustainability Focal points across the UN are transforming the environmental performance of the UN system. By working with staff at all levels of the organization, the initiative has succeeded in creating an enthusiastic attitude for “Greening the blue”.


  • Treated Wastewater as additional source of water in UNAMID Camps

Title/Team:           Ayeni Olatunji, Chief, Water Sanitation; Pauline Bonga, Water Sanitation Technician; Mandal Paritosh, Water Sanitation Technician; Mahadev Prasad Joisy, Water Sanitation Technician; Germain Ntembi, Water Sanitation Technician; B. Honorat Kidjo, Water Sanitation Technician; Ldyia Ramos, Water Sanitation Technician; Abu Bakarr Bangura, Water Sanitation Technician; Elfatih Musa, Water Sanitation Technician; Aziza Basher Hassan, Water Sanitation Technician
Department:          UNAMID Water and Environment Protection
Location:               El Fasher
Nominated by:      Richard Oyoo
Summary:              Placed 125 wastewater treatment plants throughout the camps to re-use wastewater in Darfur for non-potable water needs, thereby utilizing the limited water source in Darfur. This also helped boost tree plantations in Mission camps and their surroundings through dry seasons.


  • UN Climate Change Campaign (#AngryBirdsHappyPlanet)

Title/Team:           Mr. Maher Nasser, Director, Outreach Division; Mr. Jeffrey Brez, Chief, NGO Relations; Mr. Carlos Islam, Manager, Special Events; Ms. Anna Dzhenkova, Public Information Assistant; Ms. Francyne Harrigan, Chief, Development Section; Ms. Charlotte Scaddan, Information Officer - Social Media, Ms. Florencia Soto Nino, Public Information Officer; Mr. Ariel Alexovich, Public Information Officer; Mr. Ziad Al-Kadri, Team Lead, GDU; John Gillespie, Graphic Designer
Department:          DPI
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Carlos Islam
Summary:              Launched the “Angry Birds for a Happy Planet” climate action campaign, featuring characters and actors from The Angry Birds movie for the UN International Day of Happiness. The campaign brought together multiple stakeholders and contributed to raising awareness of SDG #13 amongst outside audiences.


  • UNISDR Greening and Accessibility Team

Title/Team:           Mr. German Velasquez, Chief of Branch; Ms. Aurelia Blin, Programme Management Officer; Ms. Tomoko Minowa, Programme Officer; Ms. Christine Alessi, Programme Management Officer; Ms. Yuki Matsuoka, Administrative Officer; Mr. Joel Margate, Information Systems Officer; Mr. Hugo Jacquet, Information System Assistant; Mr. Sebastien Penzini, Conference Organizer; Mr. Craig Duncan, Senior Information Systems Officer; Revati Mani Badola, Information System Officer
Department:          UNISDR
Location:               Geneva
Nominated by:      Neil McFarlane
Summary:              Initiated, delivered, and set a new standard for a green conference through initiatives such as electronic conference documents, iPad loans, and a reward system for carbon offsets of travel.



  • Bomb Disposal in Gaza

Title/Team:            Mr. George Tan, Mr. Mark Frankish
Department:          UNMAS
Location:               Gaza
Nominated by:      Paul Heslop
Summary:              During the 2014 Gaza conflict, over 70,000 items or ordnance were deployed over Gaza with an estimated 7,000 items failing to explode as intended. This team continues to clear these deep-buried Explosive Remnants of War with a focus on technically challenging large aerial bombs


  • Mr. Hyun Kim

Title/Team:            Political Affairs Officer
Department:          DPA
Location:               New York
Nominated by:      Tariq Chaudry
Summary:              As the Acting Head of Office for UNSOM Beletweyne when the regional Governor had allegedly ordered to kill a local UN contractor, he engaged with key stakeholders, persuaded the AU peacekeepers to increase their presence in the area, and assisted  UNSOM and the diplomatic community to push the host government to resolve the issue. This resulted in the arrest of the then-Governor and those responsible for the killing of the UN contractor.


  • Ms. Khawla Mattar

Title/Team:            Head of Office
Department:          Office of the Special Envoy for Syria
Location:               Damascus
Nominated by:      Jeffrey Feltman, Staffan de Mistura
Summary:              Regularly travelled to volatile areas outside of government control for meetings with armed opposition groups and besieged populations amidst aerial bombardment and small arms fire, enabling the UN to develop more accurate assessments and inform better assumptions for humanitarian and political interventions.


  • Reaching Out Saving Lives: Protection of Civilians in Darfur

Title/Team:           Mr. Zurab Elzarov, Chief of Section a.i., Protection of Civilians/Humanitarian Liaison, Mr. Awada Adar, Associate Humanitarian Liaison Officer; Mr. Abdelazeem Aldehaib, Humanitarian Liaison Officer; Mr. Hamid Mohammed, Humanitarian Liaison Officer, Ms. Maha Sheriff, Humanitarian Liaison Officer, Ms. Amira Timan, Humanitarian Liaison Officer
Department:          UNAMID
Location:               El Fasher, Sudan
Nominated by:      Zurab Elzarov
Summary:              After the eruption of violent inter-tribal clashes and violence in North Darfur State in 2013, UNAMID’s emergency operation evacuated 37 wounded civilians, 11 international and national staff, provided emergency transportation of humanitarian relief items, and protected civilians.


  • UN Close Protection Unit Iraq

Title/Team:           Mr. Darrell O'connor, Mr. Senad Delic, Mr. Jason Vasic, Mr. Salim Abdallah, Mr. Mario Radat, Mr. Roland Filipowicz, Mr. Marco Gardella, Mr. Leon Baskovic
Department:          UNAMI
Location:               Baghdad
Nominated by:      Leon Baskovic
Summary:              The unit provides effective, efficient and professional protective security services to UN personnel, specialized agencies, funds, and programmes amidst high-risk and volatile environment in Iraq.




  • Mr. Mark Anthony

Title/Team:            Assistant Supervisor
Department:           DM/OCSS
Location:               New York
Nominated by:       Sandica Dragomir
Summary:              Nominated as the “most collegial person on the work floor.” Helped new colleagues connect and make friends, as well as find roommates. Mr. Anthony established the UN Athletics Club and ensured UN participation in all New York-based running events.


  • Mr. Guy Candusso

Title/Team:            Graphic and Publication Assistant
Department:           DM/OHRM/OASG
Location:               New York
Nominated by:       Jacqueline Aidenbaum
Summary:              Organized lunchtime workshops for staff members planning to sit for the G to P exam for over ten years. Provided briefing and training materials used in the workshops to staff members preparing for the exam at other duty stations.


  • Mr. Alexei Golovko

Title/Team:            Administrative Assistant
Department:           UNOV
Location:               Vienna
Nominated by:       Lisa Schuerer
Summary:              Prepared, trained, and supported the CTU throughout its successful transition to Contractor Management Application (CMA), an initiative to create a shared database of external contractual translators amongst each of the four main UN duty stations (New York, Vienna, Geneva, Nairobi).


  • Mr. Nauludole Mataitini

Title/Team:            Chief Security Advisor
Department:           UNDSS
Location:               Darfur
Nominated by:       Cydia Blackman
Summary:              Established collegial and motivational environment in UNDSS Darfur. Since the nominee’s arrival 34 officers were promoted to a higher level, 234 staff members benefitted from internal and external training, and 480 UNAMID streamlined personnel were employed. He also facilitated 50 in-mission redeployments and 20 reassignments of personnel serving in a single location for more than 5 years.


  • Mr. Youssoupha Niang

Title/Team:            Regional Ombudsman
Department:           UNOMS
Location:               Goma
Nominated by:       Youssoupha Niang
Summary:              Built a teambuilding programme highlighting individual strengths and weaknesses in order to maximize team strength. The programme is now implemented in various DPKO missions, DPA offices and in F&P.


SGA 2012