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Department of Political Affairs

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman

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USG Jeffrey Feltman

Jeffrey Feltman of the United States assumed the post of Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 2 July 2012. He was appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.   

As Under-Secretary-General and head of the Department of Political Affairs, Mr. Feltman advises the Secretary-General on peace and security issues globally, while overseeing “good offices” initiatives and field-based political missions carrying out peacemaking, preventive diplomacy and peace-building activities in Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. He also oversees the United Nations electoral assistance provided to dozens of its member states each year.  

Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Feltman served for nearly thirty years in the United States Foreign Service, focused especially on the Middle East and North Africa. His last position was as Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, from which he retired at the rank of Career Minister. Mr. Feltman served previously as United States Ambassador to the Republic of Lebanon, and held earlier diplomatic postings in Baghdad, Erbil, Jerusalem, Tunis, Tel Aviv, Budapest, and Port-au-Prince, as well as with responsibility for coordinating US assistance to countries of Eastern and Central Europe.  

Mr. Feltman speaks Arabic, French and Hungarian. He received his Bachelor’s degree in History and Fine Arts from Ball State University and his Master's degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  

Born in 1959, Mr. Feltman is married. 

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Tayé-Brook Zerihoun

ASG Tayé-Brook Zerihoun

ASG Tayé-Brook Zerihoun

Tayé-Brook Zerihoun of Ethiopia was appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 28 April 2010 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Mr. Zerihoun replaces Mr. Haile Menkerios, who has been appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan for a one-year period.

Mr. Zerihoun brings to this position a wealth of experience and administrative skills from his various assignments with the United Nations since March 1981. He has worked on special political questions in New York, in different capacities and areas: decolonization, trusteeship, conflict prevention and resolution, peacemaking, peacebuilding and peacekeeping. Between 1995 and 2003, he served initially as Deputy and then Director of the Africa I Division in the Department of Political Affairs, with responsibility for the countries of the Horn of Africa, Great Lakes and Southern Africa regions, as well as regional organizations including the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Since April 2008, Mr. Zerihoun has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Cyprus and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP). He was the Acting Special Representative of UNMIS from October 2006 until October 2007, where he also served as the Secretary-General’s Principal Deputy Representative since August 2004 and Chief United Nations Mediator for the Darfur Peace Talks in support of the efforts of Special Envoy Jan Eliasson.

Mr. Zerihoun completed both his undergraduate and graduate studies in New York, and holds a master of philosophy degree in comparative politics from Columbia University.

Mr. Zerihoun was born on 13 December 1942. He is married and has four children.

Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Oscar Fernández-Taranco

ASG Oscar Fernández-Taranco

ASG Oscar Fernandez-Taranco

Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina assumed the position of Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 1 July 2009, having been appointed by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. He is responsible, inter alia, for overseeing the regional divisions of the Department of Political Affairs working on the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, and the Middle East and West Asia, as well as the Decolonization Unit and the Division for Palestinian Rights.

Mr. Fernandez-Taranco came to his current position with a wealth of previous experience, having worked in the United Nations system for over 25 years, both at headquarters and in the field, managing increasingly complex development, political, peacebuilding and humanitarian operations in the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Europe.  From 1994 to 1998, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco served as Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator in the West Bank and Gaza Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People.  He was also the Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director in the Regional Bureau for Arab States in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for five years.  From 1998 to 2001, he served as Resident Representative, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti. Immediately prior to this appointment, Mr. Fernandez-Taranco had been serving as Resident Coordinator in the United Republic of Tanzania, leading the United Nations reform initiative of “Delivering as One”.  He had earlier served as a Country Officer in the United Nations Capital Development Fund and as Country Officer in the Latin American and Caribbean Division of the World Food Programme.  He started his career in the United Nations as a United Nations Volunteer in Benin, after a stint with Oxfam America.

Mr. Fernandez-Taranco was educated at Cornell University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied first economics and then urban-regional economic planning. Born in 1957, he is married and has two children.

Office of the Under-Secretary-General

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Chief of Office, Kyoko Shiotani

 

Africa I Division (Egypt, the Horn of Africa, the Great Lakes, Eastern and South Africa)
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Director, Sam Ibok

 

Africa II Division (West, Central and Northern Africa)
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Director, João Honwana

 

Americas Division
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Director, Martha Doggett

 

Europe Division
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Director, Elizabeth Spehar

 

Asia and Pacific Division
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Director, Mari Yamashita

 

Middle East and West Asia Division
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Director, Antonella Caruso

 

Electoral Assistance Division
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Director, Craig Jenness

 

Division for Palestinian Rights
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Officer-in-Charge, Wolfgang Grieger

 

Policy and Mediation Division
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Director, Levent Bilman

 

Security Council Affairs Division
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Director, Movses Abelian

 

Decolonization Unit
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Chief, Laura Vaccari


 

CTITF

Director, Jehangir Khan
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