Our Team in Saudi Arabia

Photo of Alessandro Mrakic UNDP Saudi Arabia

Alessandro Mrakic

UNDP Resident Representative a.i
Mr. Mrakic has served as senior partnership advisor to UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States where he formulated - along with partners - strategies and programmatic solutions towards an accelerated sustainable development in the region.

Previously, Mr. Mrakic had served the same functions at the Regional Bureau for Africa and in the Brussels Representative Office. Mr. Mrakic has also served at the UNDP’s Regional Hub in Amman as Local Governance and Decentralization Specialist and the UNDP’s Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (PAPP) as Chief Technical Advisor. Prior to this, he was with UNESCO in Pakistan, with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Iraq as well as with academic positions in Italy and Egypt.

He has twenty years of experience at the international and national level, including 15 years in the United Nations system. His academic background, technical expertise, career path and interests cover a wide spectrum of development issues including sustainable development, local governance and economic development, environment, climate change, migration, economics and industry, largely in fragile and conflict contexts. Mr. Mrakic has extensive knowledge of the Arab States region, as well as the global, regional and country level workings of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, across policy, programmes, management and operations.

He is married with three children and he speaks English, Spanish and Italian.
UN Habitat Team Leader

Ayman I.k. Elhefnawi

Team Leader
Dr. Ayman Elhefnawi (Egypt) was formerly the team leader for the Future of Saudi Cities Program, a transformational programme of urban planning in KSA in cooperation with Ministry of Municipalities and Rural affairs (MOMRA) during the period 2014-2019. Prior to that he worked in several positions in both private sector and international agencies, including in Egypt. He Holds a BSc in Architecture and a Diploma in Urban Management and Human Resources Development from Institute of Housing and Urban Development, University of Erasmus, as well as two Master's degrees from Ain Shams University (Urban Design) and University College London (Urban Development Planning) and a PhD from Cairo University in Strategic Urban Planning.
Christian Hainzl

Christian Hainzl

Regional Manager, Arab States
Christian has more than 25 years of experience in program management, strategic leadership, and policy advice. His professional expertise and leadership path includes a broad range of development and management areas, including governance and decentralization, human rights, community driven development, social cohesion and peacebuilding, and civil society and media support. For the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), he was heading governance and local development programs in countries in transition in Asia and Eastern Europe and was also serving at the UN Volunteers headquarter in Germany. He holds a PhD in law and a postgraduate diploma in international relations. With his team in the Arab region, he is promoting and enabling volunteerism within the UN system as a means to implement the 2030 agenda.
DrAssad Hafeez

Dr. Assad Hafeez

Representative to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait
Dr. Assad Hafeez previously served as Director-General of Health in the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination, Pakistan, in addition to holding several senior policy and leadership positions in government. He was professor and Vice-Chancellor at the National Public Health University, Pakistan, and has held a professorship in the Global Health Department at the University of Manitoba, Canada. Dr. Hafeez was Chair and Vice-Chair of the Executive Board of WHO for a number of years, and has been a member of many WHO committees in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region. He has also worked in various capacities with ADB, UNFPA, UNICEF and USAID.

Dr. Hafeez was trained in pediatric medicine and health policy in Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and holds a MRCP in pediatrics, a Master’s degree in epidemiology and a PhD in public health.
UNICEF REpresentative

Eltayeb Yagoub Adam

Regional Representative for the Gulf States / UN Resident Coordinator a.i.
As UNICEF Regional Representative for the Gulf States since April 2018, Mr Adam is responsible for managing and supervising UNICEF’s work, providing leadership and vision to the UNICEF country programme teams in planning and implementing local programmes and in managing and leveraging resources for the achievement of results and fulfilment of the rights of children. He was priviously UNICEF Chief Field Office for several operations in Mogadishu and Garowe, Somalia; in Qamishly, Syria; and in Sanaa, Yemen (2012-2018). Before joining UNICEF, Mr Adam has worked with UNDP in Abu Dhabi and Khartoum, and with Oxfam in Djakarta and Sana'a.
Fawzi Al Zioud

Fawzi Al Zioud

Liaison Officer & Head of Operations
Mr. Fawzi Al-Zioud graduated from the University of Jordan in 1987, obtaining a B.A. Degree in Psychology & Population Studies then in 1989. In 2000 he was awarded Masters in Development Management & Poverty Reduction, from Birmingham University, and in 2008 another Masters in Psychosocial Animation in War Torn Societies from the Lebanese University.

In 2004, Fawzi Al-Zioud joined IOM Iraq to work successively as programme assistant, senior programme assistant and national programme officer on various border management projects. Mr. Al-Zioud continues backstopping IOM Yemen on Mixed Migration issues. Mr. Al-Zioud has been appointed as IOM representative in Lebanon on 7 April 2013, and on 23 March 2021 he was appointed as IOM Liaison Officer and Head of Operations in KSA.
UNODC Regional Representative

Hatem Aly

Regional Representative
Judge Hatem Aly, a former Senior Judge and Chief Prosecutor in Egypt, has over 20 years of experience in the areas of criminal justice and crime prevention. He previously served as a Senior Crime Prevention Expert at UNODC Headquarters in Vienna. He was also a Representative for the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights (SII) for the Middle East region and for Afghanistan. He holds a degree in International Criminal Law (ICL) from the Siracusa International Institute for Criminal Justice and Human Rights in Italy as well as an ICL Diploma in International Cooperation in Penal Matters from the International Human Rights Law Institute in Chicago, USA.
ICAO Project Coordinator

Imad Bin Saad

ICAO Project Coordinator
Mr Ben Saad, an Air Navigation Engineer, has worked at ICAO since 2006. With over twenty-six years of experience in the aviation industry, he has comprehensive understanding and extensive practice and experience of Aeronautical Information Services/Management (AIS/AIM), AIS Cartography, Instrument Flight Procedure Design (IFPD) and Airspace issues.
Issam Abousleiman

Issam Abousleiman

World Bank
Regional Representative for the Gulf States
Issam Abousleiman has been the Country Director of the GCC since August 1st, 2018.

Mr. Abousleiman, a Lebanese national, joined the Bank in 1989. His most recent assignment was Country Manager of Colombia in the Latin America and Caribbean Region. Having started his career at the World Bank in the Loans Department, he has since held various positions across the institution, including Head of Financial Advisory and Banking at the World Bank Treasury and Principal Investment Officer in the Banking & Debt Management Department. His regional expertise includes Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East regions.

Mr. Abousleiman is a graduate of the Harvard University Executive Management program, and holds an MBA in finance and investment from George Washington University, as well as an MBA in management from the American University of Beirut. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
Janneke Kukler

Janneke Kukler

Deputy Regional Director
Janneke van der Graaff – Kukler is the Deputy Regional Director of UN-Women’s Regional Office in the Arab States. She has over 15 years’ experience as development practitioner at regional and country level in East and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific as well as the Arab States. Ms. Kukler’s profound programmatic background provides her with rich expertise in governance, leadership, and gender statistics. She is a specialist in regional strategic planning, UN coordination, as well as change management, including the implementation of General Assembly resolution 72/279.
Karl Kulessa

Karl Kulessa

Regional Representative
A German national, Mr. Kulessa has worked with UNFPA since 1992. After a two-year posting as Junior Professional Officer in New York, focusing on interagency coordination, he moved to the “field” covering countries in Africa and Asia. Since 2004 he has been UNFPA country representative in various countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA).

As a Representative to Turkey, aside from the regular country program, his office managed a major humanitarian portfolio covering support to Syrian refugees inside Turkey and cross-border operations. Mr. Kulessa has also covered Georgia and Azerbaijan as Country Director.

Mr. Kulessa holds a Master of Arts in History (specializing in American foreign policy). He has been married since 1995 and has three children.

Photo of Kashif Siddiqi UNOCHA

Kashif Siddiqi

Head of Office a.i.
Kashif is a Pakistani national with more than 30 years of work experience with United Nations, Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Army. He has worked with United Nations for around 15 years in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Turkey, South Sudan, Kazakhstan, Jordan, and Philippines. He joined OCHA KSA office in Riyadh in Feb 2021.

Kashif is a Civil Engineer, holds a Master’s degree in GIS for Business and Services Planning and MBA besides diplomas in humanitarian assistance, surveying, digital mapping and aerial photography.
UNHCR Regional Representative to the Gulf States

Khaled Khalifa

Regional Representative
Mr Khlaifa has 20 years of experience in relief and development. He has led humanitarian operations in various settings of natural disasters and complex emergencies, including in Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Libya and Pakistan. He Holds an MA degree in English Literature & Humanities from Minia University in Egypt, an MSc in Sustainable Development from the University of London, and a Project Management Diploma from Aalborg Technical School, Denmark.
Mounir Tabet

Mounir Tabet

Deputy Executive Secretary
Mounir Tabet who is a national of Canada took up his official functions as deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) in September 2018. Mr. Tabet was the UNDP country director for Iraq from 2016 to 2018 and oversaw the program on stabilization and transition. Prior to joining UNDP Mr. Tabet worked with the North-South Institute and the International Development Research Centre in Ottawa, and the University of Ottawa.

Mr. Tabet is an Edward S. Mason Fellow, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University where he obtained a Master's degree in public administration. He also holds a Master's degree in economics from the University of Ottawa.

Mu’ayyad Mehyar

Programme Coordinator
Mu’ayyad Mehyar is the current Programme Coordinator for Technical Cooperation with the Government in KSA.

He is an international expert in social change, human rights and governance with more than 17 years of experience with the United Nations, U.S. Department of State, DANIDA and EU funded programmes. He has extensively led social development and human rights reform projects and programmes across the MENA region, and to a lesser extent in Europe and South-West Asia.

Mr. Mehyar holds a Master’s degree in International Conflict Resolution from the University of Bradford in UK. He has completed two international executive courses in International Organizational Leadership at the United Nations University (UNU), in 1997 and Impact Evaluation at Harvard Kennedy School, in 2015.
Patrick Goettner

Patrick Goettner

Programme Coordinator
Dr. Patrick Goettner works in the Technical Cooperation Section of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and has more than 7 years of experience working on inter-agency coordination and the implementation of trade and development programmes in different countries around the globe.

In the past he worked as UNCTAD’s Regional Coordinator in the field in Samoa for a regional trade and transparency project in the Pacific region. Prior to that he served as International Consultant in the Department of Environment of UNIDO working on programmes with a focus on environmental sustainability issues, green industry, as well as e-waste management.

He holds a Master’s degree in Business Chemistry from the University of Muenster in Germany and a PhD in Economics from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in Germany.
Peter Rademaker

Peter Rademaker

Deputy Regional Director for the Arab States
Peter Rademaker is the ILO’s Deputy Regional Director for the Arab States. He also heads the ILO’s Decent Work Technical Support Team for the region. He previously worked for the ILO in Africa and Asia and coordinated the ILO’s development partner relations team at Headquarters in Geneva, including on joint UN programming. He has been advising governments, trade unions and employers to advance Decent Work and Social Justice, including in the areas of youth employment, social protection and labour migration.
Salah Khaled

Salah Khaled

Director of UNESCO Doha Office for Gulf States and Yemen, and UNESCO Representative to Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
Mr. Salah Khaled (Egypt) began his career at the United Nations in 1993 in the Operational Development Assistance Unit (ODAU). He then worked as an Operations Assistant for UNICEF's Cairo Office, before joining UNESCO in 2001 as Head of the Liaison and Procurement Unit for Iraq, based in Amman, Jordan. He served as UNESCO's representative in Southern Sudan for the countries of Maghreb, before being appointed in Yaoundé as Regional Director for the Central African region. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the American University in Cairo and a Master of Arts degree in Human Development from the Arab Academy of Alexandria, Egypt.
Sami Dimassi

Sami Dimassi

Director and Regional Representative of UNEP Regional Office for West Asia
With over 20 years of experience in management, Mr. Dimassi has extensive experience in multi-lateral and international relations, corporate and policy reform, intergovernmental affairs, strategy design and private sector engagement. Mr. Sami Dimassi joined the UNEP Regional Office for West Asia as Director and Regional Representative in 2017. He held several senior positions in the UN System, such as Senior ICT Advisor, Head of the Innovation Branch, Deputy Director of the Science division, Director of Private Sector Engagement, and Acting Director of Corporate Services all within UNEP. A Lebanese-Canadian national, he holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology from Ottawa University and a master’s in Management from Waterloo University in Canada
UNDSS Chief Security Advisor in Saudi Arabia

Tamer Hammouda

Chief Security Advisor
Mr Tamer Hammouda is the Chief Security Advisor for UNDSS in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has been working with UNDSS since 2004 as Security coordination officer in Darfur, South Sudan, Erbil and Baghdad and Regional Security Advisor for UAE, Oman and Qatar. He holds a Master’s degree in Crisis Management, and Master’s degree in Law and Police science.