Our Team in Egypt

Elena Panova UNRC

Elena Panova

UN Resident Coordinator
Ms. Panova took up her appointment as the UN Resident Coordinator in Egypt in 11 January 2021. She has more than 22 years of development and management experience, including all aspects of programme management, cross-areas collaboration and resource mobilization, with specific experience in government and private sector financing.

At the United Nations, she most recently served as Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, having held several leadership positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including Senior Programme Coordinator overseeing the coordination of all regional UNDP and inter-agency programmes at the UNDP Regional Hub in Istanbul.
Before joining the United Nations in 1999, Ms. Panova was the Executive Director of a local non-governmental organization, delivering business support services to micro-, small and women entrepreneurs in Bulgaria.

She holds a master’s degree in international law and foreign trade from the University for National and World Economy and a master’s degree in microelectronics from the Technical Chemical University, both in Bulgaria.
Adel Darwish

Adel Darwish

Regional Director Regional Office for the Arab States
Adel Mohamed Darwish, the recently appointed Director, Regional Office of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the Arab States, covering 22 Arab countries, has more than 20 years’ experience in the field of telecommunications, spanning incumbent operator, startup operator, and regulator. In his different roles, Mr. Darwish has been involved with international relations, not only in the ITU, but also in organizations including ICANN, GSMA, the GCC Council, the League of Arab States, Arab Regulatory Network (AREGNET), and SAMENA Council.
Based in Bahrain, Mr. Darwish has held leadership positions in major conferences at the ITU and outside. He is known for his leadership of the GCC Council Roaming Working Group from 2009 to 2020, during which time the
group achieved a major reduction in roaming rates in the region. Mr Darwish was also active in international bilateral projects and negotiations both within the Arab region and beyond.

Mr. Darwish, with the experience from both private and public sectors, is committed to strengthening regional ICT evolution as well as further enhancing the role of the ITU at the Arab regional level, coordinating globally with other
regions. His vision is to help achieve an information society, empowered by the interconnected world, where telecommunication/information and communication technologies enable and accelerate social, economic and
environmentally sustainable growth and development for everyone.

Alessandro Fracassetti

Resident Representative
Mr Fracassetti brings to the position over 25 years of management and development experience in international organizations and has a track record of strong partnerships with governments and development partners in transition and middle-income countries.
His last post has been as UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan. His prior assignments in UNDP include Deputy Resident Representative in Azerbaijan from 2016 to 2018, Deputy Resident Representative in North Macedonia from 2011 to 2016, Deputy Resident Representative in Croatia from 2006 to 2011 and Assistant Resident Representative in Belarus from 2004 to 2006.
Before UNDP, he served with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Bosnia and Herzegovina from 1996 to 1998 as Senior Election Officer and from 1998 to 2000 as Senior Political Advisor, and in Croatia from 2000 to 2004 as OSCE Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs.
Mr. Fracassetti is a national of Italy. He holds a Master’s degree in Politics and Administration of the European Union from the College of Europe in Bruges, a BA in International Relations from the University of Sussex and a Certificate of Political Studies from Science Po Strasbourg. He is married and has two sons.
Carlos Oliver Cruz

Carlos Oliver Cruz

Chief of Mission of International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Egypt
Oliver Cruz has an extensive professional experience who, before coming to Cairo, served as IOM’s Senior Policy and Liaison Officer in Athens, Greece. Carlos has also worked at Headquarters in the Office of the Director General as Special Assistant to the Deputy Director General.
Prior to joining the IOM in 2012, he worked at the Kofi Annan Foundation, a non-for-profit organization established by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, the late Kofi Annan, to promote better global governance and more effective responses to emerging threats.
Previously, he worked at DARA, a non-profit organization in Madrid, where he was part of the team that established the Humanitarian Response Index, which measures the performance of the OECD/DAC humanitarian donor countries.
Carlos started his professional career at the Club de Madrid, an organization of more than 100 former heads of state and government working to promote and improve the well-being of people around the world.
He holds a bachelor and master’s degree in diplomacy and International Relations from Seton Hall University in NJ, USA. During his teenagerhood, he lived in Cairo for over 3 years and attended the Lycée Français du Caire in Maadi.

UN Women Country Rep

Christine Arab

UN Women
UN Women Egypt Country Representative
Christine Arab has worked on gender equality and women’s human rights in the UN System for over 20 years. Ms. Arab began her career with UN Women in 1998 in Jordan, and has worked in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Caribbean.

Ms. Arab has twice served as UN Women Country Representative prior to her appointment in Egypt – in with the Caribbean Multi-Country Office and the Albania Country Office. Ms. Arab was the UN Women Chief of the Asia-Pacific Section at HQ, and served as an advisor on the UN Women Executive Director’s Transition team when UN Women was established. Ms. Arab has headed up UN Women (formerly UNIFEM) offices in the Southern Caucasus and Afghanistan, and worked in the former sub-regional offices as a programme specialist for the Arab States, Central Europe and the Balkans, and Central Asia.

Ms. Arab has a Master of Arts in Political Science from Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada.
Cristina Albertin

Cristina Albertin

Regional Representative
Ms Cristina Albertin is the UNODC Regional Representative for the Middle East and North Africa. Working for UNODC since 1994, Ms Albertin has served in different capacities in Peru and at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna (Regional Section Latin America and the Caribbean) before becoming a Representative in Bolivia, South Asia, and Nigeria. Before joining UNODC, she worked for three years with the World Food Programme in Bolivia.
Dr. Walid Kamal

Dr Walid Kamal

Country Manager
Dr. Walid Kamal is a medical doctor graduated from Cairo university in 1996, he has a fellowship of epidemiology and has a health care management and Infection control diploma from the American University in Cairo.
He brings over fifteen years experience in the field of public health and infectious diseases. He started his career in 2002 as Monitoring and Evaluation Officer in the Ministry of Health and Population and held many positions until appointed as the National AIDS program Director in late 2013. He led the process of restructuring Egypt national response and updating the National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2015 and 2018-2022 as well as the related M&E Plan and tools.
Prior to joining UNAIDS in 2020, he worked as Program Manager at UNDP for the Global Fund for HIV and TB project in Egypt July 2019.
He contributed as team leader for many surveys and researches related to HIV and key population as Population Size Estimate, integrated bio behavior survey, HIV and hepatitis in Egypt.
Dr. Kamal conducted and contributed to the preparation of many national guidelines for different topics such as counselling, care & antiretroviral therapy, sexual and reproductive health (SRH). He participates as faculty member on setting the national strategic plan and STI national framework.
Dr. Kamal has extensive experience on preparing training curriculum and manuals as well as conducted many studies on HIV and AIDS related sociology and behaviors of affected population and Co-infections.
He was assigned by the Ministry of Health and Population as core member in the National HIV Scientific Committee in Egypt and representing UNAIDS in the independent oversight committee.

Dr Hanan Ramadan-UNHCR Egypt Rep.

Dr. Hanan Hamdan

UNHCR Egypt Representative
Dr. Hanan Hamdan has been appointed as the Representative of the United Nations Refugee Agency, UNHCR, to Egypt and to the League of Arab States in March 2023. Previously, she was the Representative of UNHCR in Tunisia, and the Head of UNHCR Office in the State of Kuwait. During her service, she was simultaneously assigned the post and duties of Acting Resident Coordinator for the United Nations Country Team.

Prior to her current appointment, Dr. Hamdan worked at UNHCR in a number of different posts and positions in Geneva, Cairo, Beirut, Algeria, Baghdad and Amman as a consultant and legal officer, serving refugees.

Previously, Dr. Hamdan was a lecturer and senior consultant at the American University of Beirut.

Dr. Hamdan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Studies and Public Administration from the American University of Beirut. She received her Master of Arts in International Conflict Analysis and Doctorate degree in International Relations specializing in Refugee Studies from the University of Kent, Canterbury.
Eric Oechslin

Eric Oechslin

Director of Cairo Office and Decent Work Team for North Africa
Mr Oechslin is an economist holding a postgraduate certificate in Mathematical Economy and Econometrics from the Pantheon-Assas University (Paris). He joined ILO in 2012 as Senior Specialist for Employers’ Activities for the North African region. Prior to that, he worked for more than 13 years as Senior Adviser for Europe at the International Organization of Employers.
Heba Nosseir

Heba Nosseir

UNV Egypt Country Coordinator
Heba Nosseir has more than 15 years of wide-range experience in community development, youth engagement and volunteerism, in addition to, good knowledge in urban inclusion, education and child rights issues. She has previously served for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) before joining the UNV in 2020. She has B.Sc. in Economics and Political Science from Cairo University.

Jeremy Hopkins

Jeremy Hopkins is half Kenyan and half British and graduated with a MA in Arabic and Social Anthropology (Edinburgh) and a MSc in Development Studies (SOAS – University of London).

He started his career with WFP in Somalia then moved to UNICEF where he worked in Somalia managing programmes at the field level in Child Protection, Youth Engagement, children affected by HIV and related Behaviour Change Communication. He continued to work on Child Protection in Mozambique with a specific focus on HIV.
More recently Jeremy was acting as a Representative for UNICEF in South Sudan and has just completed his tour of duty as UNICEF Representative in Burundi August 2020.
Margo El Helou

Marguerite El Helou

Director of United Nations Information Centre in Cairo
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Marguerite El Helou (Margo El Helou) of Lebanon as Director of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Cairo. She assumed her new duties on 1 June 2023.
A field office of the United Nations Department of Global Communications, the United Nations Information Centre in Cairo provides services to Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Ms. El Helou has 25 years of experience in communications, including eight years as Director, UNIC Beirut. She also worked for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. Prior to the United Nations, she was responsible for communications in the Near East for Procter & Gamble and a marketing manager for several companies.
Ms. El Helou has extensive experience in designing and implementing communication strategies for the United Nations in the Middle East and North Africa. She has developed communications campaigns on the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, women’s empowerment, migration, racism and hate speech. She has worked with both traditional and digital media, including the web and social media platforms. She also has a wide knowledge of the media scene in the Middle East and North Africa region as well as a deep understanding of the political, economic and social issues in the region.
Ms. El Helou holds a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the American University of Beirut as well as certificates in media, television, external relations, marketing, and business solutions. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Mohamed Abdelgadir

Mohamed Abdelgadir

Country Director for Egypt Head of IFAD Multi-Country Office for the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division
Mr. Abdelgadir served IFAD for more than 17 years as Country Director for Bosnia, Jordan, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Yemen. In this capacity, he led the design of a number of country strategic opportunities programmes (COSOPs), designed and supervised more than 27 projects in the five counties. His responsibilities include managing projects under the portfolios; promoting capacity building of rural people to participate in local and national policy and advocating for programmes that improve the access of poor rural people to natural resources; agricultural technologies; financial services; markets; employment opportunities and enterprise development.
Before joining the Fund in 2005, Abdelgadir served in the FAO Regional Office in Cairo. He has contributed to many policies in the Near East region, including those related to agricultural trade, market access and food safety. His earlier positions include Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute of the National Centre for Research in Sudan, Director of the Finance and Investment for the Gezira Scheme and faculty member at the University of Gezira in Sudan.
Abdelgadir holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Hohenheim in Germany.

Ms. Nuria Sanz

Ms. Nuria Sanz

Director, UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States, ai Cluster Office for Egypt and Sudan, and UNESCO Representative in Egypt.
Ms. Nuria Sanz assumed her post as Director of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States, Cluster Office for Egypt and Sudan and as UNESCO Representative in Egypt on 20th October 2022. Ms. Nuria Sanz has been Head and Representative of the UNESCO Office in Mexico since November 2013. She has a PhD in history and archaeology from Universidad Complutense de Madrid and La Sapienza in Rome.

For over 20 years, Ms. Sanz has worked in international organizations such as the European Commission, the Council of Europe, and UNESCO, and a large focus of her work has been on the field of the protection of cultural and natural heritage. From 2002 to 2013, she was Chief of the Latin American and Caribbean Unit of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris, France. She has edited more than 20 World Heritage publications and has carried out extensive literary work in cultural cooperation, and on culture and development issues.

For 9 years, Ms. Sanz coordinated the largest World Heritage nomination project in the history of the 1972 World Heritage Convention: the Qhhapaq Ñan Andean Road System. The serial nomination was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2014 and was selected as a project that exemplified the good practice of cultural integration of indigenous people.
Nasreldin Hag Elamin

Nasreldin Hag Elamin

Country Representative
Mr. Hag Elamin has more than 30 years of experience in agricultural development. He joined FAO in 1999 as Trade Economist, served as a Senior Policy Officer in the FAO Regional Office for the Near East. From 2009 to 2014, he served as a Senior Policy Officer, and after that, as FAO Representative in Jordan. He holds d a PhD in Economics from the University of Lancaster, England.
Patrick of UNIDO

Patrick Jean GILABERT

Representative UNIDO Regional Office Hub Egypt
Mr. Patrick Jean GILABERT, Ph.D., is the UNIDO Representative of the Regional Office Hub in Egypt, responsible for its host country and oversees the coordination of UNIDO's programme and projects in Algeria, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. Mr Gilabert is also accredited to countries without UNIDO country representatives, namely Djibouti, Libya and Yemen.

He is a development economist with 30 years of experience managing industrial and private sector development portfolios in Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, North Africa and sub-Saharan countries, including 15 years as UNIDO Representative in Madagascar, Vietnam and Brussels.

Mr. Gilabert began his career at the smart card company Gemplus Electronics in France and at the French Embassy Trade Commission in Tokyo, Japan and Colombo, Sri Lanka. He then joined the UNIDO country office in Hanoi, Vietnam, before being appointed as an investment promotion expert at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, where for 10 years he developed technical cooperation projects in the Maghreb countries, sub-Saharan Africa and China.

He was then selected UNIDO Representative in Antananarivo, Madagascar, with coverage of the Union of Comoros, Seychelles and Mauritius (2007-2010), Representative in Hanoi, Vietnam (2010-2016), Deputy Representative to the United Nations in New York (2016-2018) and Representative to the European Union and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) in Brussels (2018-2022). His last position was in the Policymaking Organs Division (PMO) at UNIDO headquarters.

Fluent in French and English, with knowledge of Spanish and Japanese, he holds a doctorate in information science - technology foresight and a master's degree in socioeconomics (University of Aix-Marseille, France), as well as the Trium Executive MBA from HEC Paris, the London School of Economics (LSE) and the New York University Stern School of Business (NYU Stern). He is co-author of several publications, including "Un défi pour la planète : Les Objectifs de développement durable en débat", prefaced by French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Le Drian (Institut de recherche pour le développement, 2017).

Patrick, national of France, enjoys participating in agricultural development, particularly olive growing, contemporary art and sport. He is married with one son and one daughter.

Praveen Agrawal

Praveen Agrawal

Representative and Country Director
Praveen Agrawal has spent most of his professional career in the development and humanitarian sectors. He is a strong advocate of public-private partnerships, which he firmly believes are essential to fulfil the SDGs to change the lives and livelihoods of millions of marginalized people.

Before he was appointed in Egypt as Representative & Country Director for World Food Programme (WFP) in August 2021, he served as Representative and Country Director of WFP in other countries last of which was in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for the past four years. Mr.Agrawal has held several different positions since he joined WFP in 1989 bringing with him a well balance experience of essential operational field knowledge and that of Headquarters in the development of Policy and Strategy.
Mr. Agrawal is an Indian national. He holds a Master’s of Science Degree in Business Administration from Boston University, USA and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, USA. He is multilingual with proficiency in the English, Spanish, Italian languages and has basic French with Hindi being his mother tongue.
Mr. Agrawal’s professional interest revolves around innovation, science and technology, capacity building of national governments, South-South cooperation, developing public –private alliances and developing strategic partnerships seeking lasting solutions in food security and nutrition that Save
Lives and Change Lives.
Rania Hedaya

Rania Hedeya

Country Programme Manager
Prior to her current role, Ms Hedaya worked for eight years in programming at UNDP, in the area of decentralisation and local development. Prior to that, she was a Results based Management Officer at UNDP, working on strategic planning, monitoring, and evaluation. She serves as a member of board in a number of Urban related bodies, aligning urban initiatives in Egypt to the international principles and dialogues on sustainable urbanisation.
Sahar Al-Jobury

Sahar Al-Jobury

Chief, Representative Office in Cairo
Ms Al-Jobury has 30 years of diversified experience with various United Nations regional, peacekeeping and humanitarian organisations, including ESCWA and UNSCOM (Iraq), UNTAC (Cambodia), UNOMOZ (Mozambique), UNMIH and UNSMIH (Haiti), IOM (Egypt and Iran) and UNODC (Egypt). She joined UNRWA in 2018 and has since been leading the engagement with the Government, the League of Arab States and the diplomatic community at large as well as coordinating services to Palestinian refugees who fled to Egypt from Syria.