Our Team in Moldova

Simon Springett

Simon Springett

RCO
UN Resident Coordinator
Mr. Springett brings 25 Years of international experience in humanitarian and development work, including as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative, and UNFPA Representative for both The Republic of Mauritius and The Republic of Seychelles (20012-2017). His last posting was as Chief Operating Officer & Deputy Director for Response Operations (UK Department for International Development / Palladium). Prior to this he worked in senior management posts with Oxfam primarily focused on first phase humanitarian responses and has served as Director and Trustee in a number of international organisations.
He holds a Master of Science in Development Practice (Humanitarian Protection) from Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, UK).
Ala Lipciu

Ala Lipciu

ILO
National Coordinator
 
Ms. Ala Lipciu has a long working experience with the International Labour Organization (ILO), serving since 2005 as National Coordinator (NC) for Moldova. The ILO NC mandate involves country-level co-ordination and liaison on behalf of the ILO Decent Work Technical Support Team and Country Office for Central and Eastern Europe to facilitate and strengthen implementation of the Decent Work Country Programme (DWCP) in Moldova. Ms. Lipciu provides necessary programming and administrative support to the ILO technical cooperation activities carried out in the country. She also facilitates interagency information sharing and interaction with the UN Country Team in Moldova. She has degrees in public communication and economics. Ms. Lipciu holds master degree on Law, European Social Security from the Katholic University of Leuven, Belgium. She was awarded Master degree in Applied Labour Economics for Development by the University of Turin and the Institute d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po). Ms. Lipciu has a PhD degree in Economics from the Moldovan Academy of Economic Science.
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Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores

UNESCO
Director, Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
 
 
 
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Antonia Marie de Meo

UNICRI
Director
 
 
 
Bea Ferenci

Bea Ferenci

OHCHR
International Adviser on Human Rights/Head of OHCHR Moldova
 
As Human Rights Adviser to the United Nations Country Team, Bea Ferenci is also heading the presence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Moldova. She has over 20 years of work experience in human rights.
In 2002 Ms. Ferenci began her international career with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in West Africa. She first joined OHCHR in 2005 in Cambodia, and later moved on to work with OHCHR in Nepal, Gaza (occupied Palestinian territories), and Central Asia. She also worked with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Kosovo* (as per SC res 1244).
In her various assignments Ms. Ferenci engaged among others with state authorities, civil society and National Human Rights Institutions to contribute to their efforts to an improved human rights record including by contributing to capacity building efforts, by providing technical expertise, by supporting legislative drafting processes as well as facilitating the engagement of various stakeholders with UN human rights mechanisms.
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Daniela Gasparikova

UNDP
UNDP Resident Representative
 
 
Ms. Daniela Gasparikova (Slovakia) serves as UNDP Resident Representative to the Republic of Moldova since May 2023.
In her role, Ms. Gasparikova is the UNDP Administrator's representative at the country level, and head of the country office, being ultimately responsible for the quality and sustainability of UNDP interventions, including corporate policies and procedures.
Daniela has 20 years of experience working for UNDP both in Europe and Asia-Pacific regions. Prior to this appointment, Daniela served as the UNDP Resident Representative in Montenegro (2019-2023) and the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Mongolia (2016-2019).
She also served as the RBM, Monitoring and Evaluation Team Leader in UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub (2011-2016) and led the UNDP Country Programs’ implementation in five Central European Countries out of the UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava, Slovakia (2005-2010).
In all leadership positions she has avidly advocated for and pursued gender equality and women empowerment, climate change mitigation/adaptation, human capital development and digitalisation as central to the UNDP’s work.
Daniela started her development professional career as a Program Officer for Social Inclusion with UNDP Regional Centre in Bratislava, Slovakia.
She holds a Postgraduate Diploma in International Relations and Master’s degree in Pedagogy of Modern Linguistics, both from Comenius University in Slovakia.
She speaks English, French, Russian, and Montenegrin/Serbian.
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Dmitry Mariyasin

UNECE
UNECE Deputy Executive Secretary
 
 
 
Dominika UN Women

Dominika Stojanoska

UN Women
Country Representative
 
Ms. Dominika Stojanoska is the UN Women Representative to Moldova since August 2020.
Prior to joining UN Women Moldova country office, Dominika worked in Ukraine where she managed the programme portfolio of UN Women in Eastern Ukraine between 2018-2020 and was acting as the Head of Office ad interim from January to July 2020. Dominika’s career with UNIFEM/UN Women initiated in North Macedonia, where she was the Head of the Office for more than 7 years. Dominika has over 15 years of work experience in the area of development, human rights and gender equality.
She started her work experience at the Institute for Central and Eastern Europe of the University of Bologna in 2001 and managed projects focusing on the Inter-university cooperation in the frame of the Adriatic Ionian Initiative, promoted within the EU Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe. Dominika holds B.A. in Political Sciences and a PhD in International Relations and Sustainable Development Policies, with research on gender and development.
She is native Macedonian and speaks English, Italian, French and Serbian language.
francesca bonelli

Francesca Bonelli

UNHCR
Country Representative
 
 
 
Ms Bonelli has 22 years of humanitarian work experience, mainly with UNHCR, in protection of refugees and displaced persons in protracted displacement situations and in management of emergency response. Experience in various operations in Africa, Asia, Europe and Americas.
Areas of Ms Bonelli’s expertise include, inter alia, community-based protection, protection of unaccompanied children, support to economic and educational empowerment of refugees and the displaced populations, work with local communities to promote refugee integration, humanitarian interagency cooperation, emergency response coordination.
She holds University degree and Master in Political Sciences at La Sapienza, Rome.
Her specialization includes International Relations at the University of Lyon Lumiere Deux and Refugee Law at London School of Economics.
Inguna D.

Inguna Dobraja

World Bank
Country Manager for Moldova, Europe and Central Asia
 
Inguna Dobraja, a Latvian national, is the World Bank’s Country Manager for Moldova effective July 1, 2021.
Dobraja has been the World Bank’s Country Manager for the Cambodia Country Office since 2016. Prior to that she was the Country Manager for the Liberia Country Office.
Dobraja has been working in the World Bank for more than 25 years. She has professional experience in the managerial, operational, and corporate areas of the institution encompassing: country office, program and portfolio management, extensive operational work, including World Bank's financial and knowledge products, as well as specific social protection technical expertise.
ITU head of office

Jaroslaw K. Ponder

ITU
Head of the International Telecommunication Union Office for Europe
 
Mr. Jaroslaw K. Ponder is Head of the Office for Europe at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) (Geneva, Switzerland). He represents ITU in Europe and directs actions, projects, initiatives and experts groups targeting 46 countries of the Europe Region. His portfolio includes set of Regional Initiatives for Europe, designed by the European Member States and focusing on the ICT Infrastructure, Digitization, Digital Inclusion, Accessibility, Innovation and Cybersecurity.
Along the professional career, Mr. Ponder held official positions in the public sector and was a contributor to the legislative projects having the impact on the public policy. Since 2014, Mr. Ponder has been working for ITU holding diverse positions in the General Secretariat, Telecommunication Development Bureau, and Regional Presence, addressing complexity of information society development and digital transformation at national, regional, international level, including United Nations level. For several years he has managed ITU’s work on the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) process, leading towards the establishment of the flagship platforms, including WSIS Forum, WSIS Prizes, WSIS Stocktaking, others.
K.Ghoos

Katrien Ghoos

WFP
Representative and Country Director, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
 
Katrien Ghoos has headed the WFP’s office in Moldova since December 2022.
She previously served in a number of senior positions with WFP and UNICEF in Africa and Asia, including as deputy country director and senior programme policy officer. Katrien’s area of expertise covers integration of food systems, social protection and nutrition, especially programmes and policies designed to improve affordability of safe nutritious diets in difficult contexts.
Katrien has worked in an array of large-scale high-profile emergencies, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Horn of Africa, the Haiyan response operation in the Philippines, the Sahel and most recently in Ukraine. She was instrumental in guiding WFP’s transitioning from a humanitarian mission to becoming a technical partner of choice for governments in several countries, when required.
Prior to joining the UN, Katrien had worked with NGOs in refugee camps in Burundi and on providing lifesaving assistance to internally displaced populations in Juba (now South Sudan).
Katrien is a Belgian national and holds a master’s degree in Agricultural and Chemical Engineering from the University of Leuven, Belgium, as well as a master’s degree in Food and Nutrition in Developing Countries from the University of Montpellier, France. She is also a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).
Katrien is fluent in Dutch, English and French.
LLonnback

Lars Johan Lönnback

IOM
Chief of Mission
 
Mr. Lars Johan Lönnback assumed the position of IOM Chief of Mission in Moldova in September 2018.
Mr. Lars Johan has worked with IOM since 2010, where he started as Head of Division and Senior Migration Policy Advisor at HQ in Geneva. Mr. Lönnback was most recently posted in Bangkok, Thailand where he was Program Manager within the Bali Process, and Senior Migration Policy Advisor on Migration and Development at the IOM Regional Office for Asia Pacific. Prior to working with IOM, Mr. Lars Johan worked for the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs posted in Brussels at the Swedish Permanent Representation as Counselor, and at the European Commission as National Expert. Prior to his time in Brussels, Mr. Lönnback was posted in Sarajevo at the Office of the High Representative for the Dayton Peace Accords as political officer. Mr. Lars Johan has also prior experience of working with UNHCR in Northern Iraq and the Russian Federation.
Mr. Lönnback holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the University of Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden. Lars Johan is a Swedish national and speaks English, Italian and French.
maha damaj unicef

Maha Damaj

UNICEF
Representative in the Republic of Moldova
 
 
Maha Damaj joined the UNICEF Moldova Country Office in February 2021.
As the new UNICEF Representative, Ms. Maha Damaj will contribute to advancing children’s rights to protection, development and wellbeing as established by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. She will provide leadership and vision to the UNICEF Moldova and leverage resources for the achievement of results for children, heading UNICEF strong collaboration with the government and other partners.
Prior to this current assignment, Ms. Damaj was the Chief of the Zanzibar Field Office for UNICEF Tanzania (2018 – 2021) where she represented UNICEF with the Government of Zanzibar and provided leadership in running UNICEF programmes and innovations in child protection, education, emergencies, health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, social policy and WASH in Zanzibar.
As Deputy Representative to the UNICEF Oman Country Office (2015 – 2018), she led the formulation, management and oversight of UNICEF’s programmes, government and private partnerships, and operations.
Predominantly a practitioner, Ms. Damaj has worked in community development and rights issues for over 20 years, specifically in the areas of child protection, non-discrimination, forced migration, community mobilization, social innovations with youth in decision making, active learning, policy development, and disability and inclusion.
Ms. Damaj is a national of Lebanon. She holds a PhD in Social Health Policy from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, a Master’s degree in Public Health from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and a BSc in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.
WHO Office Moldova

Miljana Grbic

WHO
WHO Representative/ Head of the WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova
 
Dr Miljana Grbic has been appointed as the WHO Representative and Head of WHO Country Office in the Republic of Moldova in July 2021.
Dr. Grbic has extensive experience in medicine and public health. In the work of the UN, she has worked in multicultural and multidisciplinary teams, in many areas related to health and development, human rights, social determinants of health, refugees and other vulnerable groups.
Dr Miljana Grbic has been working for the WHO since 2002, first as a consultant and since 2013 as Head of the WHO Office for Serbia. Between 2016-2021 she led WHO Office in Romania, contributing to the implementation of numerous initiatives that reflect WHO and national priorities, in particular communicable and non-communicable diseases, environment, strengthening the health system, emergency response.

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Natalia Nicula

UNODC
Representing UNODC in the UN Country Team
 
Ms. Natalia Nicula has 17 years of experience in the area of migration, human trafficking, gender equality and HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Moldova. She joined United Nation family in 2006 and during the years has served in such agencies as IOM, ILO and UNODC. She has worked closely with policy makers, non-governmental organizations and governmental leaders in order to promote human rights, access to justice for victims of Human trafficking and access to health services for HIV positive women and their children. Ms. Nicula is Licensed in Psychology at the Pedagogical State University “Ion Creanga” and hold a Master’s degree in Psychology from International Free University of Moldova.
Nigina Abaszada

Nigina Abaszada

UNFPA
Representative
 
Dr. Nigina Abaszadeh has 20 years of experience in the area of population and development, gender equality, programme management and policy advocacy. She joined the United Nations Population Fund in 2005, and has served in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and at the Regional Office in Istanbul covering 17 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region. She has worked closely with policy makers, private sector, non-governmental organizations and leaders from all sectors to champion women and girls’ rights, including in humanitarian and emergency settings. Prior to joining UNFPA, Dr. Abaszadeh worked for the USAID, American Councils of Education and as adjunct professor at several Universities. Ms. Abaszadeh is a Medical Doctor by training. She holds a PhD in Social Psychology and Master's Degree in Gender and Child Studies from Linkoping University, Sweden.
UNDRR

Octavian Bivol

UNDRR
Chief of the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia
 
 
 
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Pedro Manuel Moreno

UNCTAD
UNCTAD Deputy Secretary-General
 
 
 
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Rimma Sabayeva

UNV
Regional Manager for Europe and CIS
 
 
 
Bejaoui Samir

Samir Bejaoui

IFAD
Country Director for the Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Moldova
 
Prior to joining the Programme Management Department in IFAD, Samir served as Policy and Information Management Officer in the Coordination Team of the UN High Level Task Force on Global Food and Nutrition Security.
Further to promoting in-country coordination and alignment mechanisms for UN Coordination Teams, he supported national capacity to map food security and nutrition actions at country level. Bejaoui managed several portfolios in a wide range of contexts from fragile and post-conflict to lower-middle income countries.
His earlier positions include Project Officer at the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Advisor to the Egyptian Embassy to the Holy See and Information and Knowledge Management Officer at the International Development Law Organization (IDLO).
Bejaoui is a Computer Science Engineer and holds two Master’s degrees, one in International Relations and European Integration from the University of Liege, Belgium and another in European Interdisciplinary Studies from the College of Europe, Poland. He has an extensive experience on public procurement, value chain development and farmers organizations support.
He has received specialized training in public procurement and is UNDP/CIPS certified.
solomiya

Solomiya Omelyan

UNIDO
Chief of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia
 
Ms. Solomiya Omelyan joined UNIDO in 2007. In her current capacity as Chief of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia, Ms. Omelyan is responsible for determining regional strategies and programmatic priorities for UNIDO’s services in 27 countries of the region while ensuring that the Organization responds to the specific industrial development needs and requirements of its Member States.
Prior to joining UNIDO, Ms. Omelyan worked as a Policy Consultant at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Vienna Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (2005-2007) where she implemented regional projects in the area of sustainable development of the mountainous regions. She also worked in the Embassy of Ukraine in Austria, the Committee on Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship at the Parliament of Ukraine in Kyiv and different academic and research institutions.
Ms. Omelyan obtained her master’s degree with honours in international economics and international relations from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and her M.A. (Magister Artium) from the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, Germany. She is the President of the Ukrainian Club at the Vienna International Centre.
svetlana imf 2

Svetlana Cerović

IMF
Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Moldova
 
Svetlana Cerović, a national of Montenegro, is the IMF Resident Representative in Moldova, effective August 2023. Ms. Cerović has joined the IMF in 2007 as an Advisor to the Executive Director. She has worked as Economist and Senior Economist in the European, Middle East and Central Asia, Western Hemisphere and Fiscal Affairs Departments at the IMF. She has an extensive country work experience including in the design and implementation of the IMF-supported programs. She worked on Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Dominican Republic, Bahrain, Albania, Pakistan, and Lebanon. Prior to joining the IMF, Svetlana Cerović worked at the Central Bank of Montenegro. She has a B.A. in Economics, alongside a M.A. in Applied Economics, and postgraduate studies in International Economics.
UNAIDS Country manager

Svetlana Plamadeala

UNAIDS
Country Manager
 
Ms. Svetlana Plămădeală serves as UNAIDS Country manager as of November 1st, 2013. Prior to this appointment, Svetlana was the HIV project director with Public Institution "Unit for Coordination, Implementation and Monitoring of Health Projects" (September 2011 – October 2013). She was the Communication/Stakeholder Coordination Advisor with the TB/HIV Country Coordination Mechanism led by Ministry of Health (2008 -2011) and the Government of Moldova (2005-2008). Svetlana worked as the Coordinator of Communication and Public Relations Department with the TB/HIV Prisons Project funded by Caritas Luxembourg (2002-2005).
Svetlana holds a master’s degree in Management of Public Health with “Nicolae Testemiteanu” State University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Moldova and Post-academic diploma in Communication and Public Relations with National School of Political and Administrative Studies, Romania. She holds a Bachelor of International Relations with State University of Moldova. She also holds a diploma of primary school teacher with the Pedagogical College “Vasile Lupu”, Orhei, Moldova.
unep

Sylvie Motard

UNEP
Acting Regional Director for Europe
 
 
 
tim lardner

Tim Lardner

UNOPS
Country Director, UNOPS Ukraine Country Office
 
 
 
Mr. Lardner has over 30 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sector. Prior to his appointment as Director of the UNOPS Ukraine Country Office, Mr. Lardner was UNOPS Country Director in Somalia since 2018, chief of the United Nations Mine Action Service in South Sudan and also served with UNDP as Chief Technical Advisor to the government of Lao PDR on issues related to bomb disposal in the country between 2012 and 2018.
Mr. Lardner began his career as a military officer with the British Army where he specialised in bomb disposal. After leaving the military, he worked in the field for a number of NGOs and private sector organizations. This included running minefield clearance projects in Mozambique, Cambodia, Taiwan and South Sudan as well as risk mitigation projects in Iraq for BP.
Following his time in the field, Mr. Lardner, as Deputy Director, established a unit within Cranfield University (UK) delivering management training to managers of major international mine clearance programmes. After this, he moved to the Geneva International Centre for Demining, part of the Maison de la Paix, where he managed a couple of major research projects.
Mr. Lardner has an MBA from Cranfield University (UK) as well as a Master of Arts in Global Diplomacy from the University of London (SOAS). He is married with three children, one (very new) grandchild, and is proficient in Portuguese and Norwegian as well as his native English.
tudor robu

Tudor Robu

FAO
Assistant FAO Representative in Moldova
 
Tudor joined FAO in 2014 having over 15 years of experience in economic and development policies. Previously he worked for the Ministry of Agriculture, European Union Delegation in Moldova, Ministry of Economy. Mr. Robu as well lectured at the State University of Moldova. Tudor holds a Phd in Economics.