Kelly T. Clements
Kelly T. Clements
Kelly T. Clements joined UNHCR as Deputy High Commissioner on 6 July 2015. Clements has been closely involved with refugee and displacement issues throughout her three-decade career.
Before joining UNHCR, Clements was a member of the Senior Executive Service, serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) where she was responsible for humanitarian issues in Asia and the Middle East and global policy and budget. In 2014, she was Acting Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
From 1993 to 1996, Clements served at the U.S. Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on a Foreign Service appointment. She was Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs in 1997-1998. Clements served as a Senior Emergency Officer for Europe, the Newly Independent States, and the Americas, and later as Balkans Assistance Coordinator; she was deployed to Albania in 1999. She worked for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangladesh in 1992.
Maciej Popowski is a Polish diplomat with 25 years of professional experience. In 2001-2008 he was Deputy Head of the Permanent Representation of the Republic of Poland to the European Union; and during five years he was also Poland's first permanent representative in the EU's Political and Security Committee. He then joined the European Commission as Director in DG Development focusing on policy coherence, aid effectiveness, financing, relations with other donors and public information. In 2009 he was seconded from the European Commission to become head of cabinet of Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament. From 2011 until 2015 he was Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service. Between 2016 and February 2022 Mr Popowski was Deputy Director-General in the Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed Martin Griffiths of the United Kingdom as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in May 2021. Mr. Griffiths brings extensive experience in humanitarian affairs. Since 2018 he served as the Secretary‑General's Special Envoy for Yemen. Between 2014 and 2018, he served as the first Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace. Between 2012 and 2014, he served as an adviser to all three Special Envoys of the Secretary General for Syria, and Deputy Head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). From 1999 to 2010, Mr. Griffiths was the founding Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He also worked in the British diplomatic service and for various international humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF, Save the Children and Action Aid. In 1994 he became the Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and, from 1998 to 1999, served as Deputy to the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York. He has also served as United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes and in the Balkans. Mr. Griffiths holds a master's degree in Southeast Asian studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and is a qualified barrister.
Mr. Nasser Alkahtani is the executive director of the Arab Gulf Development Program (AGFUND), tasked with initiating and improving neutral and independent efforts in human development that contribute to achieving sustainable development goals.
He has contributed to these goals through his leadership at AGFUND and through incorporating his skills as an expert and leader in human development in the region.
Mr. Alkahtani earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from King Abdul Aziz University in 1984. He was awarded his master’s degree in professional accounting from the University of Miami in 1989.
Mr. Alkahtani has held his position as CEO and board member of AGFUND since 1995, providing overall leadership and guidance to AGFUND’s various departments and staff to achieve its vision, mission and objectives.
Considered one of the most distinguished Arab leaders in international development, Mr. Alkahtani has assumed a number of advisory positions and membership of several boards in both the public and private sectors. Along with serving as CEO of AGFUND, Mr. Alkahtani was the Director of Gulf Navigation Holding PJSC through January 2016.
Ms. Nimo Hassan is leading the Somali NGO Consortium (SNC), a coordination mechanism of NGOs for NGOs, given the highly insecure environment, the complexity of the operating environment and the large numbers of agencies working in Somalia, a coordinated voice is critical to successfully conduct development and humanitarian aid in Somalia. She was the co-chair of the IASC Result Group One Subgroup on Localization that produced the IASC Guidance on Strengthening Participation, Representation and Leadership of Local and National Actors in IASC Humanitarian Coordination Mechanisms and is now ICVA representative at the IASC Operational Policy and Advocacy Group (OPAG).
In addition, Ms Nimo is an accomplished humanitarian cum development expert with over 15 years of experience within depth knowledge of humanitarian programs and approaches. Extensive experience in delivering programs that seek to empower vulnerable persons and marginalized communities such as refugees, urban youth, women and young girls through programs funded by the EU, UKAID, USAID and the Qatari Foundation. Expertise in managing and leading complex partnerships and multi-sectorial humanitarian and development programs.
She has a MA in Development Studies from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom and considerable professional training, including Sustainable and inclusive programmes, protection, economic empowerment and integration. Nimo held several positions with CARE International in Somalia Education, Advisor, Education Manager and Consortium Coordinator. As a consortium Coordinator she managed the secondary education program covering the whole Somalia/Somaliland while working for Africa Educational Trust. Nimo also lectured at Amoud University and The Manchester College in Manchester UK.
Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina was appointed as Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination on 30 November 2022.
Mr. Fernandez-Taranco has over 30 years of experience in the United Nations System, having worked at Headquarters and in the field, managing development, political, peacebuilding, human rights and humanitarian operations in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific and Europe.
Prior to this, he served as Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Strengthening Programmatic Integration (2021-2022), Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (2014-2021) and Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs in the then Department of Political Affairs (2009-2014). He also served as United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania.
He previously served as Deputy Special Representative of the Administrator in the West Bank and Gaza Programme of Assistance to the Palestinian People (1994-1998), Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Regional Director in the Regional Bureau for Arab States, UNDP (2001-2006), and Resident Representative, United Nations Resident Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti (1998-2001). He also worked as Country Programme Officer with the United Nations Capital Development Fund and World Food Programme, covering countries in Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. He started his career in the United Nations as a United Nations Volunteer in Benin.
Mr. Fernandez-Taranco was educated at Cornell University, where he studied economics, and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, studying urban regional economic planning. He speaks English, Spanish and French fluently.
Ms. Susanne Fries-Gaier is currently the Director for Humanitarian Assistance in the German Foreign Office.
Prior to her current position, she was seconded to the Federal Chancellery from 2018 to 2021 as Head of Division of United Nations, Global Issues, Sub-Saharan Africa and Sahel. Ms. Fries-Gaier held the position as Head of Political Affairs at the Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN and other International Organizations in Geneva from 2017 to 2018. From 2013 to 2017, she was the Deputy Head of Division of the UN policy division responsible for Security Council Policies, General Assembly Matters and Sanctions in the Department for International Order of the German Federal Foreign Office. From 2010 to 2013, she worked as a Counsellor in the political department of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations in New York. During Germany’s time as a non-permanent member of the Security Council 2011/12, she was inter alia responsible for the Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict. Ms. Fries-Gaier has also held positions in the Division for Human Resources, the Press Division and the Legal Department of the Federal Foreign Office and was appointed to the German Embassy in Beijing/China where she held the position of Senior Desk Officer for Chinese political affairs.
She is married and has three children.
Valerie Newsom Guarnieri is WFP’s Assistant Executive Director for Programme and Policy Development. In this role, she leads work across the humanitarian-development- peace nexus to provide food, cash and technical assistance that helps people and nations to meet urgent needs, build human capital and improve food security. Global partnerships to empower women, support refugees and displaced populations, combat malnutrition and ensure that all hungry children benefit from a nutritious meal in school also fall under her leadership.
Prior to her appointment in January 2018, Ms. Guarnieri served as WFP Regional Director for East and Central Africa providing supervision, strategic guidance and sup- port for some of WFP’s largest and most complex country operations. She also served as WFP’s Global Programme Director, and in a variety of country office, regional and headquarter positions since August 2000. Before WFP, she worked in the U.S. Government, at the National Security Council and the US Agency for International
Development (USAID), as part of dedicated, inter-disciplinary teams to save lives and help create conditions for sustainable peace, with particular focus in Africa.
Ms. Guarnieri holds a Master of Arts from the School of International Service of American University in Washington, D.C. She is married and has three children.