Leadership

 

Mr Zahir Tanin


Special Representative of the Secretary-General
and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK)

The United Nations Secretary-General announced the appointment of Zahir Tanin as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on 19 August 2015.

Prior to this assignment, Mr Tanin was the Permanent Representative and Ambassador of Afghanistan at the United Nations from 2006 to 2015. During his tenure as Permanent Representative, Mr Tanin also served in a number of other significant roles within the United Nations. He was elected as a Vice-President of the 63rd, 65th and 67th Sessions of the General Assembly on behalf of the Asian Group. In this capacity Mr Tanin served as acting President of the General Assembly several times including during High-Level General Assembly Sessions. As Permanent Representative of Afghanistan, Mr Tanin has participated in high-level meetings and has delivered statements on behalf of the Government of Afghanistan in the Security Council, General Assembly, and other events at the UN in New York and around the world.

Mr Tanin was appointed Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations (IGN) on Security Council Reform and Vice-Chair of the Open-ended Working Group during the 63rd General Assembly in 2008. As Chair of the IGN, Mr Tanin presided over eight rounds of negotiations and produced the negotiating text as the basis of engagement of member states in search of reaching an ultimate agreement on Council reform. Mr Tanin was reappointed to chair the negotiations during the next five consecutive General Assembly sessions. In this capacity he attended a number of convenings across the globe, including in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Qatar, and Turkey. His key remarks from these visits along with other statements were published in Afghanistan on the World Stage in 2014.

In 2014 Mr Tanin was appointed Chair of the Fifth Biennial Meeting of States (BMS5) to Consider Meeting the Implementation of the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All Its Aspects.

On behalf of Afghanistan, Mr Tanin also served as a Vice Chair of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and has chaired or attended numerous global meetings in this capacity.

Before his appointment as Permanent Representative of Afghanistan and Ambassador to the United Nations, Mr Tanin worked for more than a decade with the BBC including as an editor for the BBC World Service, Afghanistan and Central Asia from 2001 to 2003 and as an Editor for Afghanistan of the BBC Persian/Pashto Section from 2003 to 2006.  Amongst other programmes and publications, his corresponding landmark 29-part program, The Oral History of Afghanistan in the 20th Century, was broadcast on the BBC.

Before joining the BBC, Mr Tanin was a research fellow in International Relations at the London School of Economic and Political Science (LSE) of the University of London for two years. During this time he co-authored The Communist Regime in Afghanistan, a study of the political and social changes in Afghanistan from 1978 to 1992, which was published in Europe Asia Studies.  He also authored Afghanistan in the Twentieth Century.

In 1980 Mr Tanin began work as a journalist in Kabul. He was Editor-in-Chief of Akhbar-e-Haftah and Sabawoon Magazine until 1992 and served as the Vice President of the Journalist Union of Afghanistan from 1987-1992.

Mr Tanin was born in Afghanistan in 1956.  He received his Medical Doctorate (MD) from Kabul Medical University and is fluent in English, Pashto, and Dari and also speaks French and Russian. He is married to Dr Zarghoona Sediq Tanin and has two children.

 

Christopher Coleman

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG)

Christopher Coleman was appointed Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) on 23 December 2015. Until his appointment, he had been serving as Deputy Director of the Africa II Division (Central, North and West Africa) in the Department of Political Affairs (DPA) of the United Nations since August 2013.
 
Mr. Coleman has played a central role from 2006 to present in strengthening the UN’s practical work in the prevention and mediation of armed conflict. As Chief of the Mediation Support Unit, from 2006 to 2013, he also carried out special assignments as Director of the Civilian Capacities Project and as a Director at the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General.
 
From 2005 to 2006, Mr. Coleman was Deputy Director of DPA’s Africa 1 Division, dealing with the Greater Horn of Africa, Africa’s Great Lakes Region and Southern Africa.
 
From 2001 to 2005, he was Team Leader for East Africa in the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  In that position he provided strategic direction to the peacekeeping mission that maintained the ceasefire between Ethiopia and Eritrea; played an active role in the three-year peace talks leading to the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (the “North-South Agreement”); and led UN planning for the peacekeeping operation which supported the implementation of that agreement.  He also worked extensively with the African Union (AU) in helping it to strengthen its peacekeeping operation in Darfur (Western Sudan).
 
From 1993 to 2001 Mr. Coleman was Chief of Policy and Analysis in the Department of Peacekeeping Operations.  From 1990 to 1993, as a consultant to major troop contributors and to the UN System, he designed training programmes on the civilian aspects of peacekeeping. From 1984 to 1990 he held a series of positions at the International Peace Academy, including Director of Peacekeeping Training and Director of Conflict Resolution Studies. From 1983 to 84 he worked at the Organization of American States, focusing on the Central American conflict.
 
Mr. Coleman holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations from Texas Christian University and a Master of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. He has been an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and a Visiting Fellow at Brown and Yale Universities. He has authored a number of articles on UN peacekeeping, the exercise of leverage in peace processes, and UN reform.

 

Simona-Mirela Miculescu
 
Representative of the UN Secretary-General,
Head of the UN Office in Belgrade

Simona-Mirela Miculescu has been serving as Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office in Belgrade since July 2015. Prior to this, she was the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Permanent Representative of Romania to the United Nations between 2008 and 2015. During her 24 years of diplomatic career, she served as Spokesperson for the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Senior Media Advisor to the Minister (1993 and 1999), as Director of the Press Department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (1994 and 2008), as Press Secretary of the Romanian Embassy in Washington D.C. (1994-1998), and as Senior Public Information Officer at the Mission of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kosovo (1999-2000).
 
Between 2000 and 2004, she served as Foreign Policy Adviser to the President of Romania (with rank of minister), becoming the first woman in the Romanian diplomatic history to be granted the rank of Ambassador.
 
Between 2006 and 2007, as part of Bearing Point, she acted as Senior Advisor for Public Outreach to the Government of Iraq, within a USAID-funded project.
 
Simona-Mirela Miculescu also has an academic background, as well as an extensive experience in public communication. Starting with her PhD in Literature, her academic career - as a professor of International Public Relations at two Romanian universities and as publisher of several books and tens of articles - went in parallel with her evolution in diplomacy. In Romania, she is known as one of the best experts in the area of the management of international public relations, as she developed the first curricula on this topic, which has been now used in several Romanian universities.
 
During her term in New York, Simona-Mirela Miculescu held several positions including: Vice-President of the UNICEF Executive Board, Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Vice-President of the Bureau of the Francophonie, Chair of the Special Political and Decolonization Committee of the General Assembly during its 66th Session, Vice-President of the UN General Assembly for its 68th Session, and Chair of the 53rd Session of the UN Commission for Social Development.

 

Ambassador Jan Braathu


Head of OSCE Mission in Kosovo / Deputy Special
Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG)


Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG)Ambassador Jan Braathu of Norway is the Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo since 1 October 2016. Before taking up this post, he was Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina (2006-2011), and to Kosovo and Albania (2011-2016). A Norwegian diplomat since 1985, Ambassador Braathu has extensive experience and knowledge of the Western Balkans. He holds a PhD degree in Political Science from the University of Oslo

     
 

Sandi Arnold


Chief of Mission Support

On 4 February 2017, Sandi Arnold of United States of America was appointed as the Chief of Mission Support of the UN Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), and brings to the position more than 20 years of experience leading and managing integrated teams in peacekeeping and humanitarian affairs across the globe, as well as wider leadership in policy, strategy, management, operations, and crisis management.  

Most recently, she served as the Deputy Director of Operations of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Syria and led an integrated team for provision of core education (101 schools), health (26 health installations), social and relief services as well as delivering a massive humanitarian emergency response programme (cash and food) to almost 450,000 Palestine refugees. From 2014 to 2015, Ms. Arnold was the Ebola Crisis Team Leader for Department of Peacekeeping (DPKO) and Department of Field Support (DFS) in New York.  Between 2012-2014, she served as the Deputy Chief of Staff of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in Juba.

Ms. Arnold began her United Nations career at the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)  in 1999. She served in subsequent postings with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna from 1999 to 2004; she was also posted in Baghdad as a Nuclear Weapons Inspector.  Ms. Arnold joined peacekeeping in 2004 and served in a diverse range of roles in Freetown (2004-2006), in Abyei, Ed Damazin, Juba, and Khartoum (2006-2008), in New York (2008-2010), Juba (2011-2012) and undertook shorter missions in Haiti, Kosovo, and Sudan.

Ms. Arnold holds an M.A. degree in International Policy Studies, with a specialization in nonproliferation, from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. 

 

Margarethe Matic

Head of the Office of Community Support 

Ms. Margarethe Matic took up her duties as UNMIK Head of the Office of Community Support in October 2020. She has been serving in United Nations peace operations since 2004. In 2014 she was appointed as Deputy Chief of Staff and in 2018 Chief of the Civil Affairs Division in the United Nations Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). Previously she was Chief of the Civil Affairs Section in the United Nations Operations in Cote d’Ivoire (ONUCI) and has also worked as a Civil Affairs Officer and Head of Field Offices in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Earlier Ms. Matic served as the Municipal Representative of the Municipality of Obiliq/Obilić and in the Office of Communities and Returns at UNMIK.


Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Matic worked in humanitarian and emergency assistance for Caritas Austria; in Albania and in Kosovo, followed by an assignment with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Kosovo.


Earlier in her career, Ms. Matic worked in the Press and Public Information Service of the Archdiocese of Vienna and the City of Vienna, organising events throughout Europe, Asia and the United Arab Emirates.


Ms. Matic is a citizen of Austria and holds the degree of Magister der Philosophie, from the University of Vienna.
 

 

Fabiola de Freitas


Chief of Staff

Ms. Fabíola de Freitas assumed her duties as UNMIK Chief of Staff on 28 February 2013. She has extensive international experience including relevant practice in senior positions in political, management, strategic planning, administrative and advisory roles in several UN peace operations (Haiti, South Africa, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Timor-Leste, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

 
She has also worked at the New York Office of the UN Centre for Human Rights; the UN Department of Political Affairs (Security Council Subsidiary Organs Branch) and the UN Department of Field Support. Prior to her service with the United Nations, Ms. de Freitas was with the Brazilian Foreign Service and served in Dakar (Senegal) and New York.
 
Ms. de Freitas holds a Master’s degree in Political Science/Latin American Studies from New York University, a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from the University of Brasília, and a certificate in Environmental Management with specialization in International Environmental Policy from Tufts University (through a UN Environment Programme Fellowship). She speaks English and French and is a native Portuguese-speaker.

 

>>>>Former SRSG's