Our Team in Ukraine

Denise Brown

Denise Brown

Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator in Ukraine
Ms. Brown brings more than 25 years of experience in humanitarian affairs and recovery programmes, with a particular concentration on complex emergencies and a thematic focus on operations, programme development, coordination and interagency relations.

Since 2019, Ms. Brown served as Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA), and as United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator.

Prior to this, she worked at the World Food Programme (WFP) headquarters in Rome, first as Director of the Emergency Preparedness and Supportive Response Division and then as Director of Policy and Programmes.

From 2013 to 2016, Ms. Brown was WFP's Director for West and Central Africa, based in Dakar, Senegal, serving 20 countries. She spent most of her career in the field with WFP, covering a range of situations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Kenya, Niger, and Somalia. She has also worked with non-governmental organizations in Haiti and Cambodia. Ms. Brown has also served in New York.

Ms. Denise Brown holds a master’s degree in Children’s Development from Purdue University in the United States.

She is fluent in English and French.
Alessia Schiavon

Alessia Schiavon

Chief of Mission
Alessia Schiavon has been the Chief of Mission of IOM Ukraine since August 2023.

She is an Italian national with a degree in Law from the University of Ferrara, Italy. She also holds a Master's Degree in International Law from the University of Tor Vergata and the Italian Society for International Organizations in Rome.

Alessia has been with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) since 2007, serving in various capacities and field locations. Prior to her current role as Chief of Mission of IOM Ukraine, Alessia held the position of Deputy Chief of Mission and Head of Programmes at IOM Colombia from November 2018 to August 2023. Her extensive IOM journey includes diverse roles worldwide, such as Deputy Chief of Mission at IOM Ukraine (2016–2018), Project Developer and Reporting Officer at IOM Nepal (2015–2016), and Programme Manager at IOM Kosovo (2011–2015). She also held multiple positions at IOM Moldova (2007–2011).

Alessia's career spans various contexts, where she has managed substantial portfolios and large teams. Her expertize encompasses a broad spectrum of themes, including migrant assistance and protection, labour migration, and humanitarian, stabilization and recovery responses in crisis scenarios arising from conflict and natural disasters.
Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi

Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi

Head of Desk
Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi is the Head of UNESCO Desk in Ukraine, since October 2022. She has over 22 years of professional experience with the Organization, mainly working in fragile states and emergency contexts. She has previously served as Executive Officer, Coordination and Partnership Officer at the Regional Office for Central Africa region (Yaoundé) (2018-2019, 2021-2022), Programme Coordinator of the Culture component of UNESCO's flagship initiative 'Li Beirut' – (Beirut, Lebanon 2020/21) and Senior Advisor and programme coordinator in several UNESCO Field Offices, among which Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Mozambique, Namibia, among others. For Iraq, she served as Culture Programme Specialist-Secretariat of the International Coordination Committee IRAQ (2004-2005). In 2006, she established the UNESCO Antenna Office in Juba, South Sudan, where she then served as a Liaison Officer. For UNESCO she has contributed to strategic papers in the field of heritage protection.

Ms. Chiara Dezzi Bardeschi holds a P.hD. in cultural heritage, and is Professor of protection of archaeological sites and then of architectural preservation at the Polytechnic University of Milan (Italy). She is author of several scientific publications.
Danielle Bell

Danielle Bell

Head of Mission, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine
Ms Bell has led UN human rights programmes for more than two decades, working mainly in conflict and post-conflict contexts.

As the Head of Mission, UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine (HRMMU), Ms Bell leads a team of over 70 national and international staff. Prior to joining the HRMMU, Ms Bell served as the Chief of the Human Rights Office in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) and the representative in Iraq of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), a position she held since 2018, after leading the UN human rights component in Afghanistan at the same level 2015 to 2018.

Within UNAMI’s mandate, Ms Bell was responsible for the promotion of accountability and the protection of human rights as well as judicial and legal reforms in Iraq.

Since 2001, Ms. Bell has also led human rights teams within UN peace missions in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Sudan (Darfur) and Timor-Leste.

Ms. Bell has worked in the field of human rights at the policy, programme and field level since 1995, mostly working for the United Nations and the Government of British Columbia.

Ms Bell holds a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and a Master’s from the University of Victoria.
Harsheth Virk

Harsheth Virk

Head of Office
Ms. Harsheth Virk was appointed as the Head of Office, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Ukraine in November 2022.

In the course of a career spanning over 22 years, she has worked in various UNODC mandate areas; health, drug control, organized crime, prisons and trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants (TIP/SOM) with a focus on policy support and programme development and implementation.

She has served in various capacities in country and regional settings within UNODC including the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa in Cairo, Country Office of Nigeria, Regional Office for Southern Africa in Pretoria; Country Office in Afghanistan and the Regional Office for South Asia in New Delhi.

Ms. Virk has a Masters in Political Science and International Relations from the University of Delhi.
Jaco Cilliers, portrait

Jaco Cilliers

Resident Representative
Jaco Cilliers assumed the role of Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Ukraine on 9 November 2022. Previously, he was Manager of Bangkok Regional Hub since August 2019, and prior to that, he served the organization as Chief, Regional Policy and Programme Support for Asia and the Pacific since September 2017. Simultaneous to that position, Cilliers served as Senior Advisor for Innovation and Business Development at UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub. Between April 2011 to August 2017 Jaco was the Country Director of UNDP India and served as the Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP in Uzbekistan. In these roles ,he was responsible for the management and coordination of UNDP Programmes and Operations. From November 2005 to March 2011 he worked with UNDP Cyprus as Peace and Development Advisor (PDA), and Senior Programme Manager/Head of Office.

Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Cilliers worked for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as Deputy Regional Director for Southern and Central Africa, and their senior advisor for conflict, peace, and reconstruction. He held management positions for other international development organizations in various parts of the world, including in Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war. He also worked as an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Conflict Analysis at George Mason University and taught seminars and courses in conflict, reconstruction, and peace at Sabanci University (Turkey), Nelson Mandela University (South Africa), and the University of Notre Dame (US).

Mr. Cilliers completed his Ph.D. and Master’s Degrees in recovery, reconstruction, and peacebuilding from George Mason University in the United States, and his Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) and BA Honours (cum laude) degrees from Nelson Mandela University in South Africa. He is married and has two children.
Jarno Habicht

Jarno Habicht

Representative and Head of WHO Country Office in Ukraine
Dr. Jarno Habicht is WHO Representative and Head of the WHO Country Office in Ukraine since November 2018. Dr. Habicht 's past experience includes working in the UN system, namely WHO, where Dr. Habicht has worked for the past few decades. Since 2003, Dr. Habicht has headed WHO Country Offices in Estonia, Republic of Moldova, Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine. As the Head of a WHO Country Office, he has experience managing WHO teams to ensure ongoing dialogue on health issues, providing targeted assistance in the development of health systems and key health issues, and responding to health crises in complex political, economic and geopolitical situations. Dr. Jarno Habicht graduated as a medical doctor and received a PhD in public health and health services research from the University of Tartu, Estonia. He has worked for the Estonian Health Insurance Fund, as well for the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia, and at the same time he has carried out research on equity in access to health services and financial protection.
Karolina Billing

Karolina Lindholm Billing

Representative in Ukraine
Karolina Lindholm Billing joined UNHCR in 1999, as Associate Protection Officer in the then-Liaison Office for the Baltic Countries, which was located in Riga and covering Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Since then, she has worked for UNHCR in various management, legal and protection policy functions, in field operations in Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and at UNHCR’s Headquarters in Geneva.

Her latest assignments in UNHCR include Deputy Representative (protection) in Lebanon, Deputy Regional Representative for the Nordic and Baltic Countries, Senior Protection Officer in Zambia, Senior Liaison Officer (Human Rights) in the Division of International Protection at UNHCR’s Headquarters and Protection Officer in North Macedonia.

Karolina holds a Master’s in Law degree, with a specialization in human rights and refugee law from the University of Stockholm. She speaks Swedish, English and basic French, is married and has three children.
Filon Morar

Manuel Filon Morar

Chief of the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs in Ukraine
Mr. Morar arrived in Ukraine in June 2015 after working with the Department of Political Affairs at UN headquarters in New York. He has been working with the UN in several capacities since 2004, including in his previous assignment as UNSMIL-ED Head of Field Office and Head of External Relations in Libya (2012-2014). He worked with the UN Missions to Iraq (2004-2006; 2010), Afghanistan (2014), Republic of Moldova, Algeria, Guyana and with EU missions in Georgia (2008-2009) and Sudan (2011). Prior to joining the UN, he was Minister Counselor with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Romania (2000-2012). He was an assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Bucharest (1997-2003) and a foreign policy expert with the Romanian Presidency (1997-1999). Mr. Morar has a PhD in Political Philosophy, a Masters in Political Science, and has published four books and over 70 articles in the fields of political science and international relations.
The photograph shows Massimo Diana - UNFPA Representative in Ukraine

Massimo Diana

Representative in Ukraine
With 30 years of international experience in post-conflict leadership across diverse regions, Mr. Massimo Diana brings a unique blend of expertise to complex humanitarian and development challenges.

As of September 1, 2023, he serves as the UNFPA Representative to Ukraine, building on a successful tenure as Deputy Director of UNFPA's Humanitarian Response Division based in Geneva, where he directed global operations and emergency responses.

In some of the world's most challenging environments, including Syria and Sudan, Mr. Diana often assumed the role of acting Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator. As the UNFPA Representative in Syria and Sudan, he fostered productive relationships with governments, partners, and civil society in politically charged contexts. His leadership prioritized prevention and response to gender-based violence, as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Mr. Diana's journey began in the private sector, focusing on construction and logistics, followed by military service. He transitioned to the humanitarian field during the Sarajevo Airlift with UNHCR in 1993. Subsequently, he worked with esteemed organizations such as the Office of the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina (OHR), International Management Group (IMG), International Rescue Committee (IRC), and GOAL Ireland. In 2002, he joined the UN system as the UNDP Area-Based Development Senior Advisor in Bosnia.

Mr. Diana holds a Master of Business Administration from Pacific University, complemented by undergraduate studies in political science at Milan University and a high school diploma in civil engineering.

Fluent in English and Italian, Mr. Diana possesses mid-level proficiency in Bosnian and Croatian, with a basic command of French.
Matthew Hollingworth

Matthew Hollingworth

WFP Representative & Country Director
Mr. Hollingworth has worked for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for over 20 years. In May 2022, he became Emergency Coordinator for WFP’s support to people affected by the war in Ukraine, and in September was appointed as WFP Representative & Country Director. Prior to this appointment, he served as Representative and Country Director in South Sudan from 2019 to 2022; as Representative and Country Director in Sudan from 2016 to 2019; as Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, with an emphasis on supporting country offices facing large-scale and complex emergencies, and as Representative and Country Director for WFP operations in Syria, from 2013 to 2015. Throughout his WFP career, Matthew has served in many challenging settings, including Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Pakistan, with extensive experience in logistics and emergency response. Mr. Hollingworth holds a Master of Science degree in Supply Chain Management from Cranfield University (UK), a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Politics from Southampton University (UK), and an International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance from the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland).

Munir Mammadzade

Munir Mammadzade

Representative in Ukraine
Mr. Munir Mammadzade has assumed the role of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative to Ukraine in November 2023.

Prior to this appointment, he served as the UNICEF Representative in the Republic of Uzbekistan for the past three years, overseeing the development and management of the UNICEF Country Programme and representing the organization in all collaborative efforts with the Government of Uzbekistan and other stakeholders.

In his previous roles, Mr. Mammadzade served as the Deputy Representative in Kyrgyzstan, where he led programs and facilitated system-wide collaboration within the UN Country Team as the chair of the Programme Management Team. His extensive experience also includes work in UNICEF Country Offices in Azerbaijan, Moldova, and Nepal, as well as at the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia.

Before joining UNICEF almost 17 years ago, Mr. Mammadzade held various positions, including the Executive Director of one of the largest youth NGOs and Head of the International Department in the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office in Azerbaijan. With 24 years of professional experience in the fields of human rights, children's rights, youth, and development, he brings a wealth of knowledge to his role.

Munir Mammadzade is a national of Azerbaijan. He is married and has a 14-year-old son.
UNEP chief

Pier Carlo Sandei

Senior Programme Officer
Before joining UNEP, Pier Carlo served as Senior Partnership Advisor on Climate, Energy and Environment in UNDP Brussels Office. In this position he led policy engagement with the EU on Climate, Energy and Environment in close coordination with the UNEP office in Brussels. From March 2018 till August 2020, Pier Carlo was the Coordinator of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development in Rome where he facilitated sharing of information on G7 countries’ interventions in Africa with the goal of increasing effectiveness and coordination, with a portfolio of projects and activities of more than 60 million euro in 2 years. In this position he led the opening of the UNDP presence in Rome with all the operations connected to that.

Prior to that, Pier Carlo served as Advisor to the Presidency of the G7 and in particular for assistance in the preparation of the G7 Environment Ministers Meeting. In his function Pier Carlo assisted the Italian Ministry of Environment in the preparation of the Environment Communiqué as well as in providing inputs to and liaison with the summit of G7 Heads of States. Pier Carlo started his career in the UN as a JPO in the UNEP-ROE Office in Vienna. While in Vienna, Pier Carlo led UNEP’s engagement in South Eastern Europe where he secured a relationship with the Balkan countries and successfully developed a solid portfolio of GEF and GCF projects (approx. 18 million USD).

Pier Carlo graduated in Law at Padova University and holds a Master in Environmental Policy & Law at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice) as well as a Master in Energy Technologies and Management from the Venice International University. Before joining UNEP, he worked as Barrister in Venice in environmental law as well as assistant to the professor of International trade law and European law at Padova.
Pierre Vauthier

Pierre Vauthier

Designated Responsible Officer / Head of FAO Ukraine Office
Mr. Pierre Vauthier is a French national with a master's degree in Agroeconomics, an engineer from INP Toulouse. He has been serving the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations for 22 years in various positions at FAO Headquarters, regional, sub-regional and national offices.

Mr. Pierre Vauthier has worked in more than seven countries, including the Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Mali. He has been working on strengthening and re-establishing FAO’s operations and programmes, formulation of the emergency and rehabilitation strategy, the analysis of food security and the implementation of the programme, including the development of a joint resilience and rehabilitation programme, FAO, UNICEF, UNDP and WFP.

Prior to joining the FAO team in Ukraine, for two years Mr. Vauthier has been leading L3 emergency response in Mali, working for the programme development on rural women's economic empowerment, Liptako Gourma conflict mitigation and resilience programme.
Raman Hailevich

Raman Hailevich

Country Director
Mr. Raman Hailevich joined the UN Country Team in Ukraine in September 2018 in the capacity of the UNAIDS Country Director. He had previous been a Regional Adviser at the UNAIDS regional office in Moscow (2013-2018, 2007-2010), UNAIDS Country Coordinator in Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan (2010-2013), a Programme Development Advisers at the UNAIDS headquarters in Geneva (2002-2007) and UNAIDS country adviser in Belarus (2000-2001). Mr. Hailevich came to work for the UN in 1998 and had previously worked for a local university. Before joining the UNAIDS in 2000, he worked as a project manager for the UNDP office in Belarus. Mr. Hailevich holds a Masters in Education from the Minsk State Pedagogical School and a Masters in Drug Control Policies from the Imperial College of London University. Mr. Hailevich is a national of Belarus and speaks Russian, English and French.
Sabine Freizer Gunes

Sabine Freizer Gunes

UN Women
Sabine Freizer Gunes has over 25 years policy and programming experience in good governance, gender equality, human rights, civil society development and conflict prevention and resolution. Until February 2023, she was the Chief of UN Women’s Leadership and Governance Section, a post she held since August 2019. As Chief, she supervised a team working to ensure women and girls’ participation in decision making and that they benefit from gender responsive governance. Sabine previously spent four years in UN Women’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia where she served as a Policy Advisor on Governance, Peace, Security, as well as acting head of office in Turkey and Albania.

Prior to this role, Sabine worked as the acting Eurasia Program Director at the Open Society Foundations (2014-2015). Between 2009 and May 2013, she was the Europe Director at the International Crisis Group, where she started as South Caucasus Director (2004-2009). She began her career with the OSCE Missions in Uzbekistan and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

A national of Belgium and USA, Sabine holds a Ph.D. in Social Policy from London School of Economics and Political Sciences, UK, M.A. in European Politics and Administration from the College of Europe, Belgium and B.A. in Political Science from the Dartmouth College, USA. She is married with two children.
Sarah Hilding der Weduwen

Sarah Hilding der Weduwen

Head of OCHA Ukraine
Sarah Hilding der Weduwen, a Swedish national, is in Ukraine since August 2022 leading the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the country. She brings more than 20 years of experience in complex humanitarian emergencies, including senior positions with OCHA in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and South Sudan, and most recently, in the Operations and Advocacy Division of OCHA Headquarters in New York. In addition, Ms. Hilding der Weduwen held various coordination functions in Nepal, Somalia, Uganda, Afghanistan and Kosovo. She also worked for NGOs in the United Kingdom. Ms. Hilding der Weduwen holds a bachelor's degree in Social & Political Studies and a master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.
Sergiy Savchuk

Sergiy Savchuk

National Coordinator for Ukraine
Sergiy Savchuk has been representing ILO, the UN specialized agency for the world of work, since 2013. From 2001 through 2012, he headed development cooperation projects focusing on labour law and labour administration reform, social dialogue and gender equality at work in Ukraine. Before joining ILO, Sergiy worked for the Federation of Trade Unions of Ukraine, where he held the position of the Deputy International Secretary to enhance solidarity with the international trade union movement, as well as collaboration with the ILO on issues pertaining to protection of workers’ rights. He holds a Master’s Degree in foreign languages and literature from the Kyiv National Linguistic University and currently follows advanced studies in labour law.
Tim Lardner

Tim Lardner

Country Director
Tim Lardner has been the UNOPS Ukraine Country Director since November 2022. Before moving to this position, he headed the UNOPS Somalia office (2015 - 2018) and the UNMAS programme in South Sudan (2012 - 2015). Tim has over 30 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors, especially in matters related to mine action and human security. He started his professional career as a Royal Engineer Officer with the British Army.

Yuriy Savko

Country Coordinator
Yuriy Savko is the Country Coordinator of the UN Volunteers Programme. Before that Yuriy was working as an expert and a senior consultant for IFIs (WB, EIB). He has got more than 20 years of experience of working for civil society projects and organizations, as well as for projects supported by international organizations (CBIE, CIDA, and GIZ). Yuriy has also acquired extended experience in healthcare sector, including his job as Deputy Minister of Ministry of Health in 2014-15 where he was responsible for European integration issues. Yuriy holds a diploma from the L’viv Polytechnic National University.