Our Team in Afghanistan

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov

Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-​General Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
Before joining as the UN Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan, Dr. Ramiz Alakbarov worked for UNFPA HQ, most recently serving as Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director (Management) ad interim.
Dr. Alakbarov has 25 years of service in the United Nations, including as the UNFPA Director of the Policy and Strategy Division, UNFPA’s representative on the UN System High-Level Committee on Programmes, and on the InterAgency Standing Committee on Humanitarian Affairs. He has actively contributed to the ongoing UN Reform process. Dr. Alakbarov has served in various positions in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and the Caribbean, including in development, humanitarian and integrated peacekeeping missions settings.
Abdallah Dardari

Abdallah Al Dardari

Resident Representative
Before joining UNDP, Mr. Al Dardari served as Senior Advisor on Reconstruction at the World Bank MENA Vice Presidency, leading a large analytical program to design and pilot a new approach to reconstruction in MENA conflict countries. Before joining the World Bank, he served as Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA). Mr. Al Dardari studied economics and international relations at Richmond College, the University of Southern California, and at the London School of Economics.

Aleksandar Sasha Bodiroza

Dr. Aleksandar Sasha Bodiroza, MD brings to the position of UNFPA Representative in Afghanistan over 20 years of management, programmatic and technical experience.
Dr. Bodiroza served as the Head of Integrated Field Support Unit of the Arab States Regional Office of UNFPA and Senior Technical Advisor on Youth, His background spans the fields of strategic direction, planning, management, and partnership; peacebuilding, public health, including HIV prevention, youth health development, and protection and strategic communication for behavior change. Before joining Afghanistan CO, Dr. Bodiroza served as UNFPA Representative in Egypt.

Alison Davidian

UN Women
Representative a.i.
Alison Davidian is the UN Women Representative in Afghanistan a.i. From 2017-2019 she worked as a Programme Specialist on Governance, Peace and Security with UN Women's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, based in Thailand. In this role she has managed the implementation of over $USD 20 million in governance, peace and security programmes with a focus on preventing violent extremism, anti-trafficking, and access to justice. From 2013-2017, she was a Policy Specialist in the Peace and Security Unit at Head Quarters where she managed the Transitional Justice portfolio and led the creation of the Preventing Violent Extremism portfolio for UN Women. Before her time at UN Women, she worked for organizations including the International Center for Transitional Justice in the Democratic Republic of Congo, UNDP in Somalia, and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service in Australia. She has a BA (Government) and an LLB from the University of Sydney, and an LLM from Harvard.

Anubha Sood

Anubha Sood is the UNODC Representative in Afghanistan. She has 24 years of professional work experience in development and humanitarian settings. She worked with a grassroots organization and many national and international organizations- (ActionAid, Oxfam, Danish Refugee Council, Urmul Trust) across India, the Middle East, East Africa and South Asia.
The focus of her works has been exploring alternate models and partnerships between non-profits, businesses, the private sector and the Government and looking at viable and sustainable livelihood options for the most vulnerable. Ms. Anubha Sood holds a Master's from London School of Economics and Political Science in Social Policy and Planning in Developing Countries'; another Master's in 'Social Work' from Delhi University.

Dr Luo Dapeng

Dr Luo Dapeng (China) was appointed as WHO Representative in Afghanistan in March 2020. He has been working in the field of international public health for over 20 years, with particular experience in communicable disease prevention and control, country capacity-building for health security, health system strengthening, particularly at the primary health care level, and providing leadership in managing complex emergencies and coordinating the humanitarian health response. Prior to joining WHO in Afghanistan, Dr Luo served as WHO Representative in Papua New Guinea for almost four years between 2017 and February 2021.

Fiona Frazer

Ms. Fiona Frazer has been the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Afghanistan since August 2019. She also serves as the Human Rights Chief within the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Frazer was Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine from 2015 to 2019. She has also served as Deputy Representative for OHCHR in Central Asia and was Deputy Head of the OHCHR HQ based Europe and Central Asia Section. With her additional human rights work in Bosnia Herzegovina, Belarus, and the Philippines, Ms. Frazer has over 25 years of professional experience in conflict, humanitarian, and development settings.
Fran Equiza

Fran Equiza

Mr. Fran Equiza is the UNICEF Representative for Afghanistan. Prior to assuming this role, Fran served as the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan between January 2022 – January 2023, leading the UN’s humanitarian assistance work.

Fran has a vast background of fostering humanitarian work across diverse regions and in volatile environments. His career in the development sector and in the UN has spanned over two decades. Each country context and experience has given him the opportunity to meet with women, children, families, community leaders, donors, NGOs, non-state actors, and politicians to better understand their perspectives. These same experiences have enriched his political acumen, critical thinking, and leadership style so that he can better negotiate and influence, especially in complex, politically sensitive and challenging environments.

A humanitarian at heart, Fran joined UNICEF in 2014, serving as Representative in Mali, Syria, and the Central African Republic after which he was seconded to join the UN Mission in Afghanistan as Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator. Prior to UNICEF, he spent the early part of his career with Oxfam, serving in Spain and later in Mexico and Kenya as the Regional Director.

Fran's academic achievements include an MBA from Esade Business School in Spain; a Master’s degree in Development Studies and Governance from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain; and a Master’s degree in Economics from Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Spain. In addition, Fran has completed courses in Executive Education Leadership at Harvard University, and in Leadership in Complex Organizations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

A Spanish national, Fran is also fluent in English and French.
Hsiaowei Lee

Hsiao-Wei Lee

Representative and Country Director
Ms. Hsiao-Wei Lee assumed her responsibilities as WFP Representative and Country Director in Afghanistan in January 2023. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Lee served as WFP Afghanistan’s Deputy Country Director for Programme and Operations. Previously she was WFP South Sudan’s Head of Programme and, for a period, acting Deputy Country Director for Operations.
She also worked at WFP headquarters in Rome, where she contributed to the development and implementation of the corporate transition from project documents to Country Strategic Plans (CSPs), and supported a number of countries doing so, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Prior to joining WFP, Ms. Lee worked for USAID in Sudan and South Sudan on conflict mitigation and peacebuilding. Her experience includes both strategic engagement and operational implementation in conflict-affected areas.
Ms. Lee has also practiced law in New York, Beijing and London with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP. She holds a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School and a Bachelor’s in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

Isabelle Moussard Carlsen

Country Director
Isabelle Moussard Carlsen joined OCHA Afghanistan in June 2021. Isabelle has been engaged in the humanitarian sector since 1987. Her first field experience was in Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan. She subsequently spent 12 years working in the field in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Kenya and Somalia. Back in France in 1999, she worked for four years with the Samu Social de Paris before joining ACF in January 2005 as a Desk Officer. In March 2013, Isabelle was promoted to a Regional Director position and was then Director of Operations for ACF- France from August 2016 to April 2021.

Leonard Zulu

Leonard Zulu is an international human rights and refugee law specialist who has worked for UNHCR Headquarters and Field Operations for over two decades. Prior to his appointment in Afghanistan, Mr. Zulu was UNHCR Representative to South Africa covering nine countries in the region including Botswana, Comoros, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia.
He has held other senior positions with UNHCR including Deputy-Director for the Southern Africa Region, Head of Legal and Policy Unit for the African Bureau, in Geneva, Switzerland, Senior Legal Officer at UNHCR Representation for the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and as a Senior Protection Coordinator for UNHCR in the Dadaab Refugee Camps in Kenya. Mr. Zulu has also worked in emergencies in Kosovo and Eritrea.
Before joining UNHCR, Mr. Zulu worked as a lawyer at Honey and Blankenberg Legal Practitioners in his native Zimbabwe and has been a member of the Zimbabwe Bar Association since 1997. He has a Bachelor of Law Degree from the University of Zimbabwe and a Masters in International Law from Lund University, Sweden.
Maria Moita

Maria Moita

Chief of Mission
Maria Moita is IOM Chief of Mission in Afghanistan. Prior to Afghanistan, Maria was the IOM Regional Director a.i. and the Snr Emergency & Post-Conflict Specialist for Asia & the Pacific region, covering over 30 countries. In addition, she worked in large scale humanitarian responses in Haiti, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Iran and respective regional implications. Maria holds a degree in Architecture and an MA in Development Studies.

Markus Potzel

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Political)
On 17 June 2022, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Markus Potzel of Germany as his new Deputy Special Representative (Political) for Afghanistan in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel brings to the position over 27 years of professional experience in diplomacy and international cooperation, including eight years of professional experience working in and on Afghanistan. Most recently, he served as Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel has held several senior positions with the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including as German Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (2017-2021), Commissioner for Crisis Management (since 2016), Ambassador of Germany to Afghanistan (2014-2016) and Head of the German Federal Foreign Office Middle East Division (2010-2014). He also served as Personal Assistant to the Foreign Affairs Minister (2006-2009), in the Parliamentary and Cabinet Division of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2004-2005), as Head of the Economics and Trade Section in the German Embassy in Tehran (2000-2004) and as Head of the Cultural Section in the German Embassy in Singapore (1997-2000).
In 2010, he was a visiting Fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs studying the relations between Iran and Afghanistan.
Mr. Potzel holds a master’s degree in Persian and English language and literature studies from the Humboldt University Berlin in Germany and the University of Dushanbe in Tajikistan. He is fluent in German, English, Persian and Dari.
Melinda Good

Melinda Good

World Bank
Country Director
Melinda Good joined the World Bank in 2005. Her most recent assignment was Operations Manager based in Pakistan. She previously held the managerial position of Chief Counsel for South Asia, and the position of Senior Counsel both in Indonesia and in Washington, DC. Before joining the World Bank, Ms. Good worked in the private sector in New York and Singapore, and with the Asian Development Bank in Manila. She brings more than 25 years of operational and corporate experience, including 15 years living and working in Asia. She holds degrees from Harvard and Duke University.
Mohammad Hasnain

Mohammad Hasnain

Country Program Manager
Mr. Mohammad Hasnain has over 20 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector, working mostly on issues of environmental sustainability, and particularly with mountain communities in the South Asian Hindu Kush Himalayas. Before joining UNEP, he worked as the Afghanistan Country Director of GERES, a France based NGO working on issues of Climate Change and Clean Energy. He holds a Master’s of International Affairs (MIA) degree from Columbia University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Forest Management from the Indian Institute of Forest Management.

Nathan Walker Stroupe

Country Programme Manager
Mr. Nathan Walker Stroupe is the Country Programme Manager for UN-Habitat in Afghanistan. Prior to his appointment in October 2022, Mr. Stroupe spent the last 16 years studying in and working on projects in Southeast Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East, including the last six years as the Country Director for the Turquoise Mountain Trust in Afghanistan where he managed programmes in urban regeneration, livelihoods and job creation, community health, and vocational education. Mr. Stroupe holds degrees in Near Eastern Studies, Politics, and Islamic Studies from the University of California-Berkeley, Columbia University, and the University of Tehran.
Nicholas George

Nicholas George

Country Director and Representative
Nicholas George brings more than 20 years of experience in development and humanitarian mission settings to the role. Mr. George has held senior positions with UNOPS, including the Head of the Washington DC Office, Country Director a.i. in Myanmar, Director of Partnerships a.i. and Head of Global Communications. He completed his studies at the London Schools of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and the University of Manchester.

Paul Heslop

Head of Mission and Chief Technical Advisor
Mr. Paul Heslop joined UNMAS Afghanistan as Head of Mission and Chief Technical Advisor in January 2021. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Chief of Programmes of UNMAS HQ since 2011. Throughout his 27-year long career in mine action, he has obtained wide-ranging technical, programmatic, and managerial experience by delivering demining projects in over 25 mine-affected countries. Mr. Heslop is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom and holds an MBA from the London Business School.
Ramin Behzad

Ramin Behzad

Ramin Behzad is the Senior Coordinator of the International Labour Organization (ILO) for Afghanistan.
Mr. Behzad represented his home country Iran at the ILO, including at the International Labour Conference and Governing Body Sessions, from 2013 to 2020. He served as the Coordinator of the Government Group and the Asia and Pacific Government Group (ASPAG) of the ILO.
He held managerial positions in the Statistics Centre and the International Affairs Department of the MCLSW during 2002-2013.
Mr. Behzad holds a PhD in Statistics from Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran, and two master’s degrees in Actuarial Science from the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, and Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran.

Reza Mohammadi

Programm Manager
Mr. Mohammadi is a program and project management professional with a master's degree focused on Management Information Systems with long term experience in program management at post-conflict countries and regional development & connectivity. He has more than 25 years of work experience in development processes, accompanied by extensive knowledge of the entire project/program cycle. Before joining UNCTAD, Reza has experience working with UNOPS and government experience as a civil servant.
Richard Trenchard

Richard Trenchard

Richard Trenchard has more than 25 years humanitarian, crisis and development. A land tenure and property specialist by technical background, he has worked for the United Nations at FAO, IFAD and WFP.
Before his appointment as FAO Representative in Afghanistan in August 2021, he has served as FAO Representative ad interim for Indonesia and Timor-Leste. Previously, he worked as head of Regional Policy and Senior Adviser for the Near East and North Africa, based in FAO’s regional office in Cairo and focusing on food systems transformation; also, as FAO’s first “Whole of Syria Coordinator” and FAO Representative in Somalia.
He has worked in a range of sudden-onset and complex emergency settings, including South Sudan, Sudan (Darfur), Liberia, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Rwanda and has supported development programmes and operations in more than thirty other countries.
He has a PhD from Cambridge University (UK).

Yuki Takemoto

Country Director
Yuki Takemoto joins the United Nations in Pakistan as Country Director for UNAIDS. She brings over twenty years of experience in development cooperation, including fifteen years leading policy, programmes and strategic partnerships for health, HIV and sustainable development at the global, regional and country levels.
Ms. Takemoto is from Japan and holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Laws from Kyoto University.