Our Team in Rwanda

Fodé Ndiaye

Fodé Ndiaye

UN Resident Coordinator
Before Rwanda, Mr Ndiaye was RC and Humanitarian Coordinator in Niger. Prior to this, he held various positions as a regional head at UNCDF and served in various capacities with the bank “Caisse Nationale de Credit Agricole du Senegal”, including Secretary-General (1991-1998). Mr. Ndiaye is an agronomist from ENSAT (France), holds an MPA from Harvard, and was a Mason Fellow. He has a PhD (Economics) and is certified in microfinance and SME finance.
Ahmed Baba Fall

Ahmed Baba Fall

Mr. Fall’s career with UNHCR spans 24 years. Before appointment to Rwanda, he was Head of UNHCR Operations of the biggest refugee complex of the world (Dadaab, in North Eastern Kenya). Starting his UNHCR career in 1993, he has worked in Guinea Conakry, Tanzania, CAR, Burundi, Chad, and RoC. Mr. Fall also worked at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva (2007-2010). He brings to Rwanda a wealth of experience international protection and humanitarian assistance. A Mauritanian by birth, Mr. Fall is a civil engineer by background.
Andre Habimana

Andre Habimana

Country Representative
Andre has ten years with the UN System’s Technical Assistance and delivering approaches. Andre has vast experience as an economist from before his time at UNIDO, including from his previously held position as Head of the Planning Department, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) of Rwanda. He has interdisciplinary skills in applied economics, monitoring and evaluation, results-based planning and management, as well as a Master’s Degree in Economics.
Dr Brian Chirombo, WHO Representative

Dr Brian Chirombo

Dr Brian C Chirombo, a Zimbabwean national, has more 30 years Public Health leadership experience in Government, Academia, International NGOs and the United Nations.

Prior to his appointment in Rwanda, Dr Chirombo was Coordinator for the Communicable Diseases and Health Emergencies and also Team Leader for the HIV Program in South Africa, and before that in Kenya. He was previously Team Leader in the WHO AFRO Inter-Country Support Team for Eastern and South Africa, and before that in WHO Headquarters in Geneva. He earlier worked for Save the Children in Malawi, UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva, GIZ (formerly GTZ) in Eastern and South Africa, and the University of Zimbabwe MPH Program.

Dr Brian Chirombo is a qualified Medical Doctor with a Master’s degree in Public Health.
Betru Woldesemayat Tekle

Dr. Betru Tekle Woldesemayat

Country Director
An Ethiopian National, Betru is with 27 years of experience in Health/HIV sector at various level and capacities as a physician, senior expert, senior advisor, Director, Director General in Ethiopia; and as an International Civil Servant in UNAIDS, as Country Director in Liberia, and Rwanda at present.
Edith Heines

Edith Heines

A Belgian national, Ms. Edith Heines has more than 25 years of experience in humanitarian and development assistance. She has worked in a wide variety of contexts implementing and managing complex food assistance programmes for the World Food Programme, previously serving in the Somalia Operation, Cambodia, Headquarters (Rome), Bangladesh, DPR Korea and Nepal. Before this, Ms. Heines worked with “Education for Development” (VVOB) in Gabon and Vietnam. Heines holds a M.A in Psychology and a Postgraduate Programme in Behavioural Therapy
Francesco Rispoli

Francesco Rispoli

Country Director
Mr Francesco Rispoli, a national of Italy, is the IFAD Country Director for Rwanda. Prior to his appointment, Mr Rispoli worked as the Senior Technical Specialist in Inclusive Rural Financial Services at IFAD. Before joining IFAD, he worked with UNDP Kenya and in a consulting firm providing technical assistance to the European Commission.
Fruzsina Straus, UN-Habitant

Fruzsina Straus

Africa Regional portfolio on Urban Resilience
Fruzsina Straus has over 18 years of experience with the United Nations, international NGOs, and the private sector. Her background is multi-disciplinary, with a focus on socioeconomic development, public governance, post-conflict national development planning, institutional reform, urban resilience, disaster risk management and climate change adaptation. Fruzsina joined UN-Habitat in 2018, where she is Task Manager for Rwanda and the Indian Ocean countries as well as leading the Africa regional portfolio of UN-Habitat on urban resilience. Prior to joining UN-Habitat, Fruzsina spent five years in the Middle East with the UN Regional Commission and a decade in New York working at the global-level.
Gualbert Gbehounou

Gualbert Gbehounou

Gualbert Gbehounou has more than 30 years of experience in the agriculture world. From 2010 he served as an Agricultural Officer at FAO, starting as a Weed Scientist and Crop Protectionist, and later becoming Director of the Cotton Research Centre of INRAB. Gbehounou holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Engineering, a Master’s Degree in Crop Science, and a PhD in Biology/Weed Ecology.
Helene Fors

Helene Fors

Chief of Mission
Ms. Fors has been Chief of Mission for IOM Rwanda since September 2017 and she holds a Master of Laws Degree (LLM) from Uppsala University in Sweden. Over the course of her international career she has worked in Croatia, Iran, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Iraq and now Rwanda.

IOM Rwanda actively supports the Government of Rwanda in all its migration related efforts; implementing projects focused on counter trafficking, immigration and border management, migration and health, return and reintegration of Rwandan nationals and refugee resettlement to third countries, labour migration and human development.

Jean-Philippe Rodde

Jean-Philippe Rodde

Programme Officer
Jean-Philippe has more than 12 years of work experience in UNCTAD headquarters in Geneva, with activities mainly directed on inter-agency cooperation in the context of the UN System-wide coherence “Delivering as One”. Previous experience includes the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO), the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He has an Advanced University Degree in International Relations with focus on Economics and Development from the Sorbonne University, Paris.
Jennet Kem

Jennet Kem

UN Women
Jennet Kem has more than 27 years of experience in a wide range of gender and human rights issues including Gender-responsive governance, Gender Responsive Budgeting, Advancing Women’s Human Rights; Ending Feminized Poverty and Violence; gender and Juvenile Justice, Gender, Peace, Justice, and Humanitarian Action, amongst others.

She has served as Country Representative for UN Women Burundi in Burundi from 2017-2022 where she contributed to position women in leadership and peacebuilding at local level, fight against malnutrition and agriculture value chains. Before joining UN Women in Burundi, Ms. Kem served as UN Women Country Representative in Sudan from 2015-2017; Senior Policy Advisor on ending violence against Women at the UN Women RO for East and South Africa (2014-2015); Manager of the UN SG’s UNiTE Campaign to end violence against women, leading the secretariat in Addis Ababa to launch the campaign in more than 20 countries-(2011-2014); Senior Gender Advisor for UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA) in New York USA (2009-2011); Gender Advisor on Public Finance Mgt and Economic Empowerment for the Commonwealth Secretariat in London (2008-2009); Manager of the Gender Equality Fund for CIDA-Canada (2002-2004) UNIFEM Country Programme Manager in Cameroon-(2004-2008). She started her leadership for gender equality as the founding Director for Women’s in Cameroon 1998-2002).

Jennet holds a DEA and Master’s degree (LLM) in Law from the University of Yaoundé-Cameroon; A Postgraduate Certificate from School of Administration and Magistracy (Cameroon) and is currently a commissioned Ph.D. Research Fellow.

Julianna Lindsey

Ms. Julianna Lindsey serves as UNICEF’s Country Representative to Rwanda, having previously been Representative to Botswana and to SADC. Ms. Lindsey, a national of the USA, has worked with UNICEF since 1998, including as Chief of Advocacy, Communications, Monitoring, and Analysis based in Ghana (2008-2012) and as Deputy Representative in South Africa (2005-2008). She has also worked for UNICEF in the Emergency Operations Division of Headquarters (2003-2005); in Khartoum, Sudan (1998-1999); and as part of Operation Lifeline Sudan based from Lokichokkio and Nairobi, Kenya (1999-2003). In addition, Ms. Lindsey has served as Vice President for Programmes at Women for Women International (WfWI), based in Washington D.C., USA (2013-2015). Ms. Lindsey also worked for the International Rescue Committee in Khartoum, Sudan (1997-1998) and for the German Bundestag (1992-1994).
Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo

Juliette Biao Koudenoukpo

Director and Regional Representative for Africa
Dr. Juliette has a wealth of experience in development assistance and 26 years in environmental programmes management. She has worked with UNDP and IUCN, Stockholm Environment Institute, and other international institutions - addressing sustainable development and poverty reduction. She was Minister of Environment for the Benin government (2007-2008), and also acted as Minister of Family and the Child. She has been in the senior management teams of Canadian Crossroads International (CCI) and the Canadian Center for International Studies and Cooperation. She holds an MSc in Forestry Economics, a PhD. in Public Policy and Administration, and an expert diploma in Renewable Energy.
Kwebena Asante-Ntiamoah

Kwabena Asante-Ntiamoah

Mr. Kwabena Asante-Ntiamoah joins the Rwanda Country office from his recent assignment serving as the Representative a.i. Malaysia & Country Director a.i. Thailand. Prior to that assignment, Kwabena served as the Deputy Country Representative of UNFPA in Afghanistan. Before that, he served in the same capacity in Cameroon.

Kwabena has over 20 years of working experience in peacebuilding, as well as humanitarian and development work. Kwabena is a national of Ghana and holds a Master of Science degree in Development Studies from the University Bath, United Kingdom, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Sociology with Political Science from the University of Ghana, and a certificate in Leadership from the Columbia University, NY/UNDP virtual academy programme
UN Volunteers, Regional Manager East and Southern Africa

Lucy Ndungu

Regional Manager East and Southern Africa
Ms. Lucy Ndungu (Kenya), Regional Manager East and Southern Africa, joined UNV from the Resident Coordinator’s Office as the Peace and Development Adviser, UN Uganda. Prior to serving with the UN, Lucy worked in civil society in Kenya as the National Coordinator for Partnership for Peace and Security.

Ms. Ndungu has extensive experience in the Eastern, Horn and Southern Africa and the Great Lakes Region, and has consulted widely for UNDP HQ working with the African Union and its Regional Economic Commissions to support the development of enabling policy and regulatory frameworks in their Member States for the development of infrastructures for peace.

Lucy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Management from Maseno University, a Masters Degree in International Studies from the University of Nairobi, and executive certificate in leadership and management from the Northwestern University, Chicago, USA. She is a Fellow of Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, Cape Town, South Africa; Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI), Norway.
Mama Keita, Director of the office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa

Mama Keita

Director of the office for Eastern Africa
Ms Mama Keita is the Director of the office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, based in Kigali. She holds a Masters in Statistics and Applied Economics and a PhD. in economics from the University of Montreal. She has worked in the field of development economics for over 20 years. Prior to her employment at ECA, Ms Keita held positions as Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Guinea and as Economist at the World Bank in Burkina Faso. She was also a lecturer of public economics and development economics in Canada.
Maxwell Gomera, Resident Representative, UNDP

Maxwell Gomera

Resident Representative
Mr. Maxwell Gomera, joined UNDP Rwanda office from UN Environment where he was the Director of the Biodiversity and Land Branch since 2016. Max is a resource economist with over 20 years’ experience in nature conservation and agricultural development.
He has worked on economic development issues, including being part of a team that developed the ‘Global Green New Deal’ for reviving the global economy and boosting employment in response to the financial and economic crisis of 2008.

‘The 2008 crisis offered many lessons. An enduring one for me was the need for us to take time for introspection and make sure that we are building futures for ourselves that have a purpose far greater than the zeroes on a bank balance,’ he said.

Max has worked extensively with governments and corporates from across the world on a range of issues, including tourism development, human rights and wildlife management.

‘Until the people who live with wildlife recognise them as an important resource, the future for wildlife will remain uncertain,’ he said.

Max is a Senior Fellow of Aspen New Voices. He is an accomplished writer and has written for many National and Global mainstream newspapers and media – and is also widely published. He has been a member of many Boards.
Prof. Hubert Gijzen

Prof. Hubert Gijzen

Regional Director and Representative
Prof. Hubert Gijzen holds a PhD in Biotechnology, and has an established career of over 38 years in both academics and international cooperation for sustainable development. Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in various countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe, in a range of senior functions as Full Professor and Chair in Universities, as a Diplomat, Team Leader, Regional Representative, and currently as UNESCO Regional Director and Representative.

Besides his current work for UNESCO, he continues to hold academic positions as full Professor of Environmental Biotechnology at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education (since 1995) and other institutions. Hubert has published over 400 articles and books, and presented numerous keynotes in the fields of water management, microbiology, environmental sciences, biotechnology, and sanitary and environmental engineering. He also covered topics on international cooperation, sustainable development, the MDGs, SDGs, big data and climate change. He served in numerous international advisory functions and on Boards of prestigious Institutes and programmes.

Hubert joined the UN in 2006 as the Director of the UNESCO Regional Science Bureau for Asia and the Pacific based in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 2015, Hubert was appointed as the Regional Director of the newly established UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa in Harare, Zimbabwe. As per July 2021 he has been appointed as Regional Director for Eastern Africa (Nairobi Office), and serves as UNESCO Representative to Kenya, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Uganda, Rwanda, Seychelles, and Somalia. He is the UNESCO Representative to SADC, serves on the UN Regional Directors Team and is member of the UN Regional Coordination Platform for Africa.

Wellington Chibebe

Wellington Chibebe

Wellington Chibebe currently holds the position of Director; ILO Country Office for Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Kenya and Burundi. He previously held positions of founding President of the Union of Railway Craftsmen, General Secretary of the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, Chairman of Zimbabwe Crisis Coalition, Steering Committee Member of Global Partnership for Effective Development Corporation and Deputy Secretary-General of International Trade Union Confederation.