Our Team in Maldives
Adnan Hameed Aliani
Officer in Charge for UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asia Office
Adnan Hameed joined the UN Country Team in Maldives as the Officer-in-Charge of UNESCAP Subregional Office for South and South-West Asoa Office in May 2021. Adnan serves as the Director of Strategy and Programme Management Division (SPMD) at ESCAP and is responsible for coordinating programme of work, budget, monitoring and evaluation. He is also responsible for coordinating ESCAP’s extra budgetary resources, donor relationships, and partnerships with other UN and other partners. Prior to his current position, Adnan served as the Secretary of the Commission at ESCAP from 2012 to 2014 as well. Adnan has worked with the UN for over 20 years in project areas related to poverty reduction, housing, urban planning, environmental management, community-based development, and local Government development in almost all developing countries of Asia and the Pacific. He holds a degree in Civil Engineering from the US and a Master’s Degree in Planning from the Asia Institute of Technology.
Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives
Chiyo Kanda is the World Bank’s Country Manager for Maldives and Sri Lanka. She has held technical and managerial positions in the World Bank and other international development institutions for nearly 30 years. Prior to joining the South Asia Region, Chiyo worked as the Manager of the Results Unit of the Operations Policy and Country Services (OPCS), Operations Manager for the Philippines Country Management Unit and as deputy to the Country Director in Tanzania. She holds an MBA and a Master’s Degrees in Economics and in International Development.
Eric Falt is the Director and UNESCO Representative for New Delhi Cluster Office since May 2018. Before assuming his position, Eric served as the Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. He also held the position of Director of the Outreach Division at UN Department of Public Information in New York, as well as Director of Communications for UNEP and UNIC for Kenya and Uganda. Before joining UN, he was posted for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Chicago and New York.
Marjan has more than 30 years of professional experience in the field of international and community development, rights advocacy, social policy and leadership development working with foundations and not for profits in Canada and in the Balkans region. She joined UNICEF in 2008 as a national staff in Iran and since then has served the regional office of UNICEF in Middle East and North Africa (Amman, Jordan) as Planning Specialist, Deputy Representative in Tajikistan and recently Deputy Representative in Burundi. She has a successful track record in designing integrated innovative programmes focused on children and adolescents, partnership development and resource mobilization. She has a bachelor’s degree from Brussels, Belgium and a Masters’ degree in Political Science and International Relations from Toronto, Canada.
Dr. Nazneen Anwar has more than 35 years of professional experience in the field of public health including mental health; health policy, planning and capacity development; non-communicable diseases; nutrition; vaccine preventable diseases; disability prevention; health research and development; and health advocacy. She joined the WHO Country Office Bangladesh in 2010 as a National Consultant and since then has served the WHO Regional Office for South East Asia first as Technical Officer, and subsequently Regional Advisor on Mental Health. She has a successful track record in strengthening the mental health and substance use policy, plan, programme and legislative framework across the Member States of WHO South-East Asia Region. She is credited with facilitating the development and implementation of various innovative approaches targeted at strengthening of mental health care systems and capacity across the region by leveraging on partnership development and resource mobilization. She is a qualified Medical Doctor and holds a Master’s degree in public health.
Chief of Mission for India & Maldives
Oscar Mundia is the UNHCR Chief of Mission for India and Maldives. Previously, he worked as the Senior Solutions Coordinator, Bureau of Africa at UNHCR Headquarters. He has served in many field operations as well as UNHCR Headquarters in various capacities for over 25 years of his career. He has also worked on secondment to the Department of Peace Keeping Operations with the UN Mission in Liberia as a Special Assistant to the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General. Oscar holds a Master’s degree in Management from Thunderbird – American Graduate School of International Management in the USA; and a Bachelors’ in Political Science from the University of Nairobi, Kenya.
Chief of Mission
Sarat Dash is the Chief of Mission for IOM Srilanka and Maldives since March 2019. Previously, Sarat was working as the Chief of Mission of the Republic of Yemen, managing one of IOM’s largest humanitarian assistance programmes in the world. He also served as IOM’s Chief of Mission in Bangladesh and Nepal, and has served IOM in Azerbaijan, Islamic Republic of Iran and India in various capacities. Following the 2001 earthquake in the western Indian state of Gujarat in January 2001, he was assigned to lead IOM’s relief and rehabilitation programme for affected migrant workers and established first IOM presence in India.
Head of Office
Ms. Shadiya Ibrahim is the Head of Office at UNFPA in Maldives since 2020. She leads the country team in the development and management of the UNFPA country programme of cooperation which supports efforts to achieve UNFPA’s transformative results contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She has been in UNFPA in various portfolios since January 1997 with over 20 years of experience. She has a Masters in Social Change and Development, a Post Graduate Diploma in Social Science Research and Bachelors (hons) in Computing and Mathematics.
Country Director – Maldives and Sri Lanka
Ms Sherina Tabassum is a Country Director in the Asia and the Pacific Division in IFAD and leads the management of the Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka portfolios since March 2021. She is a policy and rural development specialist and leads the work on partnership building with the Government, development partners and civil society, and the work on knowledge management and communication in the countries. Prior to joining IFAD in 2017, Ms Tabassum served as the Governance Advisor in the United States Agency for International Development for nine years. She also worked as a project director at the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute, a private sector development think tank. In addition to Bangladesh and Maldives, Ms Tabassum has worked in Timor-Leste and Thailand. Ms Tabassum received her education in Bangladesh and Thailand in international relations, management and climate change.
Simrin Caroline Singh
Simrin Singh is the ILO Country Director for Maldives and Sri Lanka since April 2017. Ms. Singh has held various positions in different country offices and headquarters of ILO. Previously, she was the Senior Specialist on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work based in the ILO Regional Office for Asia and Pacific, Thailand. Ms. Singh holds a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Connecticut College in the USA and a Master’s Degree in International Development Studies from The George Washington University, USA.
Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives
Sudhir Muralidharan has been heading the UNOPS office for Sri Lanka & Maldives since September 2017. He brings with him 15 years of international development experience with progressively higher responsibilities within UNOPS. Prior to joining UNOPS in 2005, Sudhir had a richly diversified experience of over 16 years within the Indian Private Sector. A qualified Chartered Accountant and Management Accountant by qualification, Sudhir has experience of working in various country contexts including India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, DPRK, Vietnam, Laos, and Indonesia besides Sri Lanka and The Maldives. He has in-depth experience in fiduciary oversight of IFAD and GFATM programs across the Asia Pacific Region.
Head of Office a.i.
Mr. Vester holds a Master’s degree in Law from University of Copenhagen and has been the UNODC Head of Office ai. for Sri Lanka and Maldives since July 2020. Prior to taking up his current position, Mr. Vester was Country Manager for UNODC in Myanmar from September 2015-2020 and Country Manager for Indonesia and Timor-Leste, and liaison to ASEAN from June 2013 to August 2015. He was also Officer-in-Charge of the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama. In Panama, he also worked as Regional Manager for the UNODC Container Control Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to this, Mr. Vester worked as a Crime Prevention Expert at the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit of UNODC in Vienna and as a Technical Advisor, Legal and Law Enforcement at the UNODC Country Office in Vietnam. Before starting his career at the UN, Mr. Vester worked as a Lawyer at the Danish Ministry of Justice and as a Prosecutor for the District Attorney in Copenhagen.
Resident Representative a.i.
Ms. Vera Hakim, an Indonesian national, with over 10 years work experience with UNDP and the United Nations. She was appointed as the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative to the Maldives in 2019. Prior to this appointment, she worked with the UNDP Bureau for Policy Programme Support (BPPS) in New York since 2009 as the Operation Specialist for the global health that included the vertical fund portfolio from the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria (GFATM). Prior to New York, she worked with UNDP Indonesia as the National Programme Manager for Gender and HIV since 2004. Before joining the UNDP, she worked with AusAID/ DFAT in Indonesia, ASEAN Secretariat and various UN agencies including UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR and UNAIDS secretariat. She holds a Master’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia.
FAO Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives
Vimlendra Sharan is the FAO Representative for Sri Lanka and Maldives since June 2021. He previously served as the Director of the FAO Liaison Office for North America and brings with him three decades of national and international Government leadership experience focusing on rural development, agriculture, and food security issues. Prior to his role in Washington, he also served as Permanent Representative of India to the Rome based UN Agencies and filled positions of the Vice President of the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Board, Chairman of the Evaluation Committee at International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Asia Group Representative on FAO Programme Committee, and a member of the FAO Council as well. Vimlendra has further worked with the Indian Government extensively in related areas. He holds a degree in Economics from St. Stephen’s College in New Delhi, India and an MBA in Public Policy from University of Birmingham, UK.