Volume 16, No.10 - October 2012

Comings and goings


Ms. Kathleen Abdalla, Chief of the Emerging Issues Branch of the Division for Sustainable Development, retired at the end of September 2012 after serving more than 15 years in DESA and more than 27 years in the United Nations. An economist, she specialized in energy and sustainable development issues and during her tenure also served as Chief of the Energy and Transport Branch. In addition to preparing numerous UN reports and papers, she has published in professional journals on these topics.

Ms. Abdalla contributed to the United Nations work on climate change, including as an original member of the Secretary General’s Climate Change Team that launched the SG’s High level event on climate change prior to COP15. 

She served as Acting Director of the Division for Sustainable Development for one year during which the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) successfully concluded its 16th session. She provided support to the various sessions of the CSD and to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in the areas of energy, transport, atmosphere and climate change. Most recently, Ms. Abdalla was the Cluster Leader on Fundraising and Logistics for Rio+20 and worked closely with the Brazilian National Organizing Committee for Rio+20. 

Prior to joining DESA, Ms. Abdalla served the United Nations in Iraq, Jordan and South Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Connecticut.

The following staff members also retired in September:

Martha Luque, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Michael Mimicopoulos, Senior Economic Affairs Officer, Division for Public Administration and Development Management



The following staff members were promoted in September:

Elvira Cachola, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management

Jean Collison-Morris, Budget & Finance Assistant, Executive Office

Eder Garcia, Budget & Finance Assistant, Executive Office

Maria Guran, Meetings Services Assistant, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination

Saw Htoo, Technical Co-operation Assistant, Development Policy and Analysis Division

Matthias Reister, Senior Statistician, Statistics Division

Igor Ribeiro, Computer Information Systems Assistant, Population Division

Suwanee Thatchaichawalit, Team Assistant, Executive Office

Oksana Yarashuk, Programme Assistant, Division for Public Administration and Development Management