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.

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.
Christine Arab

Christine Arab

UN Women
Country Director
Christine Arab has worked on gender equality and women’s human rights for over 20 years, primarily as UN Women personnel (1998-2016) and most recently as an independent consultant providing technical expertise to UN Agencies, UN Country Teams and the Government of Canada in the areas of gender equality accountability tools and systems; implementing and monitoring international normative standards; and supporting gender-responsive strategic planning. Ms. Arab has twice served as Country Representative for UN Women – in the Caribbean Multi-Country Office (2013-2016) and the Albania Country Office (2007-2010). Ms. Arab was the Chief Technical Officer in the Southern Caucasus (2004-2006); and Officer-in-Charge for the UN Women Afghanistan Country Office (2003). Ms. Arab was posted at UN Women HQ as a programme specialist covering the Arab States and Afghanistan from 2000-2003.
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.
Dina Saleh

Dina Saleh

Sub Regional Director of Middle East & North Africa Hub
Ms Saleh has over 20 years of international experience. She has worked in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North and Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. She has previously served with IFAD as Country Director for Turkey, Georgia, Moldova and Azerbaijan, as Regional Portfolio Adviser for countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Europe region and as Supervision Support Officer managing IFAD's transition to Direct Supervision. Before joining IFAD, she worked at UNOPS, and in the private sector with multinational corporations.
Dr. Naeema al- Gasser

Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer

Dr Naeema Al-Gasseer (Bahrain) has over thirty years of experience at country, regional and international level in the areas of health systems, women’s health and humanitarian and development work. Her previous experience includes a variety of very important assignments with WHO, including Senior Advisor to the Regional Director of WHO, WHO Representative Sudan, WHO Assistant Regional Director based in Cairo covering 22 countries responsible for emergencies, humanitarian response and research for health. She also served as WHO Representative in Iraq, as Acting Representative in Egypt and led as WHO Focal Point the respective interventions in the Libya Crisis in 2011. Prior to joining the UN, she worked with the Government of Bahrain and served as advisor to the Gulf Ministers of Health.
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.
Frederika Meijer

Frederika Meijer

Frederika Meijer, a Dutch National, started her first assignments with UNFPA 25 years ago in Ethiopia and Mexico. Ever since she has further built up her professional experience covering reproductive health, gender, adolescent reproductive health among other development issues within and outside UNFPA.
She worked with different organizations in several countries such as for the Royal Dutch Embassy in India and Senegal and the European Commission in India. She was the Regional Representative for an International NGO in development co-operation covering Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan.
She returned to UNFPA as the Country Representative for India and Country Director Bhutan, subsequently she was the Country Representative of Lao PDR.
Prior to taking up this assignment as the Representative of the Egypt Country office, she worked for two and half years as the Deputy Regional Director in the Arab States in Cairo.
Ghaith Fariz

Ghaith Fariz

Director of UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in the Arab States, cluster office for Egypt and Sudan, and Country office for Egypt
Dr. Ghaith Fariz is a strategic planner and policy expert with extended international experience in the Arab and Asia regions. Dr. Fariz has authored, co-authored and directed several landmark regional and international reports on a diverse set of development issues in the Arab Region, including report entitled Building Knowledge Societies in the Arab Region: Arabic Language as a Gateway to Knowledge; the Arab Knowledge Reports of 2009, 2010, and 2014; Water Governance in the Arab Region-Managing Scarcity and Securing the Future; and the Arab Human Development Reports of 2004 and 2005. He also has established expertise in socioeconomic/ population-environment dynamics and in gaming and simulation.

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.
Laurent De Boeck

Laurent De Boeck

Chief of Mission
Mr De Boeck has over 20 years of experience in various migration-related fields, such as migration technical cooperation with States, International Migration Law, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, labour migration, international migration & development, health migration, movements and assistance to stranded migrants and IDPs, as well as in crisis and post-crisis emergency responses. He has previously served in Yemen and prior to that in Indonesia, Haiti and Madagascar. He has also been involved in reconstruction and development programmes of post-crisis situations, including in Rwanda, Burundi and Kosovo.
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.
Pablo Mateu

Pablo Mateu

Having worked for more than 30 years with UNHCR, Pablo Mateu has served in nine countries and the agency’s Headquarters in Geneva. His field experience includes camp-based refugee situations (Algeria, Mauritania, Mexico), reintegration of returnees (Afghanistan, Central America, Mozambique) and internally displaced persons (Ukraine, Bosnia & Herzegovina). He served as UNHCR Representative in Algiers (2008-2009) and Kyiv (2016-2021). At HQ level, his experience centered on linking humanitarian assistance with development; inter-agency cooperation; livelihoods; and durable solutions, as well as independent oversight (assessing the quality of management of UNHCR operations around the world).
Prior to joining UNHCR, Mr. Mateu worked as a consultant for International Labour Organization (ILO) and founded a national NGO in his native country (El Salvador) which specializes in microfinance and local-level development.
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.