Our Team in Moldova

Simon Springett

Simon Springett

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

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.
Bea Ferenci

Bea Ferenci

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.
Dima Al-Khatib, UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova

Dima Al-Khatib

UNDP Resident Representative
Ms. Dima Al-Khatib (Lebanon) serves as UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova, as of 24 March 2019. Prior to this appointment, Dima was the Programme and Policy Coordinator at the UNDP Regional Hub in Amman since October 2018. She also served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kuwait (September 2013 - September 2018) and the UNDP Deputy Country Director in Libya (June 2012 - August 2013). She has also assumed several functions in UNDP Headquarters in New York (May 2012 - August 2004). Dima was the Environment Programme Manager in UNDP Lebanon (January 1997 - August 2004) and worked for the UNDP Lebanon Reintegration of the Internally Displaced Project (February 1995 - January 1997). Dima holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental Health from the Lebanese University and France University of Bordeaux II. She also holds a Bachelor of Science and a Teaching Diploma in Environmental Health from the American University of Beirut. She speaks English, French, and Arabic.
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

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.
Ina Tcaci

Ina Tcaci

National Programme Officer
Ms. Ina Tcaci has over 9 years experience in working with UNODC, in providing technical support regarding people in prisons and people who use drugs. Prior to this appointment, Ina has worked as an M&E specialist at the Soros Foundation-Moldova, public health dept. Ina also has worked in academia/universities in Spain and in Tanzania and has experience with volunteering for CSOs. Ina holds three Master Degrees in Public Health Management (USMF, Moldova), NATO Security Studies (SNSPA, Romania), Mphil in Peace, Conflict and Development Studies (UJI, Spain), BA in Political and European Studies (UVT, Romania), Ina is also a Chevening alumni studied at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in London.
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.
Jacek Cukrowski

Jacek Cukrowski

Chief of the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
Jacek Cukrowski is the Chief of the UNIDO Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Prior to joining the Regional Coordination Division, Jacek Cukrowski served as the head of the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development. Previously he worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the capacity of the Adviser on Millennium Development Goals and the Head of the Regional Center for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Earlier, he worked at the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
The academic background of Jacek Cukrowski includes MSc in systems engineering, a PhD in computer science, as well as a PhD and a post-doctoral degree in economics. In recognition of his professional and academic excellence, Jacek Cukrowski received the title of professor conferred by the President of Poland.
ITU head of office

Jaroslaw K. Ponder

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.

Jonathan Campbell

Emergency Coordinator at World Food Programme office in the Republic of Moldova
Jonathan Campbell is the WFP Emergency Coordinator in Moldova where he oversees the operations assisting Ukrainian refugees as well as support to the vulnerable Moldovan host population. He supervises all aspects of WFP operations across Moldova.
A long-term WFP staff member, Jonathan has worked predominantly in emergencies, serving with WFP in various positions before coming to Moldova, including as Deputy Country Director in Jordan and Turkey, Emergency Coordinator for the Syrian response in Jordan, regional emergencies officer for the MENA region during the Arab Spring, support to Western Saharan refugees in Algeria, head of programme for the tsunami and civil war response in Sri Lanka as well as the post-conflict situation in Kosovo.
Before WFP, Jonathan worked for NGOs in DR Congo and Kosovo.

Lars Johan Lönnback

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

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 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.

Nigina Abaszada

Nigina Abaszada

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.
rogers chawani

Rodgers Chawani

Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Moldova
Rodgers Chawani is the Resident Representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Moldova since August 2020.
Rodgers Chawani, a native of Malawi, joined the IMF in 2013. He has served in various roles as senior and desk economist for a wide spectrum of advanced, emerging and low-income countries in both the European and African regions. He has extensive program experience (Angola, Liberia, Malawi, and Sao Tome) and hands-on surveillance work (Estonia and Cabo Verde). He has contributed to Fund-wide efforts for the debt limit policy, creation of the Catastrophe Containment and Relief (CCR) trust and correspondent banking relationships. His research interests cover macrofinancial linkages, exchange rate competitiveness, and monetary policy. Prior to joining the IMF, he worked at the Reserve Bank of Malawi and contributed to formulation of monetary and financial sector policies. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from the University of Malawi, Chancellor College.
Bejaoui Samir

Samir Bejaoui

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.
UNAIDS Country manager

Svetlana Plamadeala

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.
tudor robu

Tudor Robu

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.