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

UNHCR
Representative
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

UNIDO
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

WHO
WHO Representative
Dr Brian Chirombo was appointed WHO Representative to Rwanda on 1 October 2021.

He brings more 30 years Public Health leadership experience from Government, Internal NGOs and International Organizations, 20 years of them with WHO at country, regional and HQ levels. He has previous experience as Head of WHO Office having acted as WHO Representative in South Africa (July - October 2018; and June - November 2019) and Eswatini (May – November 2020).

Prior to his current position, he served as Coordinator for the Communicable Disease and Health Emergencies Cluster, as HIV/STI/Hepatitis Team Leader, as well Malaria and NTD Lead in WHO South Africa (January 2017 - September 2021). Before joining WHO South Africa, his other WHO responsibilities included: WHO Kenya Coordinator for the Communicable Disease and Health Emergency Cluster and HIV/STI/Hepatitis Team Lead (2013 - 2017); WHO AFRO Team Leader for HIV/STI Program for Eastern and Southern Africa (2005 – 2013); and WHO HQ (Geneva) HIV Technical Support Team Leader (2001-2015). Before WHO, he served as: Malawi Save the Children Health Program Manager for HIV and MCH (2000-2001); UNAIDS Geneva PMTCT Officer (1999-2000) GTZ Coordinator for Health Systems Research on Reproductive Health for Eastern and South Africa (1998-1999); Zimbabwe MPH Field Training Coordinator at the University of Zimbabwe (1994-1996); Kwekwe District DMO and Hospital Medical Superintendent, Zimbabwe (1989-1992).

Dr Brian Chirombo is a medical Doctor holder a Medical Degree from the University of Zimbabwe and a Postgraduate Master’s degree in Public Health from Emory University in Atlanta Georgia, USA.
Betru Woldesemayat Tekle

Dr. Betru Tekle Woldesemayat

UNAIDS
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

WFP
Representative
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
Fatou Lo

Fatou Lo

UN Women
Representative
Ms. Fatou A. Lo started her career in the private sector in Senegal in 1999, before joining the UN Millennium Project in New York in 2003. She later moved to UNDP then to UNIFEM in New York. Since 2013, she has served as UN Women Deputy in Sudan, Deputy in Rwanda and Representative in Rwanda. She holds Masters Degrees in Law, in Sustainable Development, and International Relations. She was a youth delegate at the 1995 Beijing Conference.
Francesco Rispoli

Francesco Rispoli

IFAD
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

UN-Habitat
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

FAO
Representative
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

IOM
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

UNCTAD
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.
Lindsey

Julianna Lindsey

UNICEF
Representative
 
 
 
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

UNEP
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.
Mama Keita, Director of the office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission for Africa

Mama Keita

UN ECA
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.
Mark Bryan Schreiner

Mark Bryan Schreiner

UNFPA
Representative
Mark Bryan Schreiner has served as UNFPA Representative since 2017. Prior to this, he served as Deputy Director of UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office. Mark brings 17 years’ experience from Africa and Asia & Pacific regions having served as UNFPA Representative ai to Pakistan and Eritrea, UNFPA Deputy Rep to South Africa; and Regional Programme Specialist to the UN Regional Directors Team for ESA. He started his UNFPA career in 2002 in Nigeria and subsequently Africa Division at HQ in New York. Mark also worked with UNEP in Kenya, UNESCAP in Thailand.
Maxwell Gomera, Resident Representative, UNDP

Maxwell Gomera

UNDP
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.
Odette Bagitengire, Country Coordinator

Odette Bagitengire

UNV
Country Coordinator
 
Odette brings more than 20 years of work experience from Government, Non-Government and International Organizations and the United Nations. Her work has focused in areas of Administration, Programme and Coordination. Starting her career in 1994 with UNHCR and afterwards with Danish Center for Human Rights and National Public Prosecution Authority, she later moved to UNFPA. Before joining the UNV Programme in Rwanda, she was serving as Joint Operations Coordination and Reporting Officer to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic. Odette holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political and Administrative Sciences, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management and a Master’s Degree in Gender and Development.
Prof. Hubert Gijzen

Prof. Hubert Gijzen

UNESCO
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

ILO
Director
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.