Our Team in Guyana

Yesim Oruc, UN Resident Coordinator in Guyana

Yeşim Oruç

Resident Coordinator
Ms. Oruc brings more than 20 years of experience in international relations and sustainable development to her new role. At the United Nations, she held leadership positions with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including, most recently, a senior role at the UNDP Representation Office in Washington D.C., USA where she managed key organizational strategies and partnerships. She also served as UNDP Country Director in Albania and led programme and partnership initiatives for UNDP country operations in Romania as well as Turkey.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Oruc worked as a copy editor in Cairo, Egypt.

She holds a master’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American University in Cairo, Egypt and a bachelor’s degree in political science and comparative governments from Yale University in Connecticut, USA.

Diane Quarless

Diane Quarless

Director and Representative
Ms. Diane Quarless assumed responsibilities as Chief of the ECLAC subregional headquarters for the Caribbean on 2 November 2011.
Diletta Doretti, World Bank Resident Representative for Guyana and Suriname

Diletta Doretti

World Bank
Resident Representative for Guyana and Suriname
Ms. Doretti, an Italian national, is responsible for maintaining the day-to-day dialogue and solid partnership around the World Bank programs in both countries. Since joining in 2002, Ms. Doretti has held various positions at the World Bank, the most recent one as Senior Private Sector Development Specialist for the World Bank West Africa region, based in Mali. Ms. Doretti has strong and diversified World Bank experience in leading teams and in corporate assignments, including country engagements, developing World Bank’s strategies around private sector, entrepreneurship and innovation.

Ms. Doretti holds a Master’s degree in international economics from SAIS Johns Hopkins and Bachelor degree in International Affairs and Law from University of Florence.
Dr. Anna Paolini

Dr. Anna Paolini

Director and Representative UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean
Dr Anna Paolini was UNESCO Representative in the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen and Director of the UNESCO Doha Office from 2013 – June 2022. She was also UNESCO Representative and Head of Office in Uzbekistan from 2007 to 2009
and later she covered the same position in Jordan.

In 1992, Dr Paolini joined UNESCO as specialist in the field of culture at the Regional Office in Amman. In 1997, she moved to UNESCO HQ in Paris covering several positions within the Culture Sector including being responsible of movable heritage activities and on heritage in conflict response in the Arab region.

Prior to that, she held a research associate role at the Institute of Architecture of Venice, worked in restoration in Italy and carried out researches in the field of urban rehabilitation in several Arab and African countries. She holds a Master’s degrees in Architecture and a master degree in Urban and Regional Planning for Developing Countries, a post-graduate degree on Development Cooperation, as well as a Ph.D in Urban and Territorial Engineering. Mrs. Paolini is a member of
the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Italian Association of Professional Architects and author of several papers on different cultural heritage subjects.
Dr. Gillian Smith, FAO Representative

Dr. Gillian Smith

Dr. Gillian Smith, Jamaican, was appointed the FAO Representative in Guyana in 2018. She was the Officer-in-Charge of the FAO Representation in Jamaica, The Bahamas and Belize in 2017 and prior to this was the Assistant FAO Representative (Programme). Before joining the UN, Dr. Smith held several senior positions within the Ministry of Agriculture in Jamaica.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Zoology, a Master’s Degree in Aquaculture, and a PhD. in Marine Sciences from the University of West Indies.
Dr. Codina

Dr. Luis Codina

Dr. Luis Felipe Codina was appointed as the new PAHO/WHO Representative in Guyana effective 2 October 2020. Dr. Codina (Peruvian) joined PAHO in 1992 as a consultant. He has extensive experience in maternal, child, and adolescent health.

Dr. Codina was the Coordinator of a project on Social Spending in Health within the Ministry of Health of Peru, Advisor for Health Services Organization and Development at the PWR/Haiti, and Advisor in Adolescent Health at the PWR/Venezuela. He also held the position of Advisor in Family and Community Health in Ecuador, Brazil, and Argentina. He was appointed PAHO/WHO Deputy Representative in Brazil in 2014. From February 2017 to 16 September 2020, he held the position of PAHO/WHO Representative in Haiti.

Dr. Codina holds a medical degree and a diploma for specialization in Pediatrics, a diploma in Health Administration, a certificate in Anthropology Studies, and a Master's degree in Drug Abuse.
Dr Luis Codina

Dr. Luis Longoria

Dr Luis Longoria is the Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean from the Department of Technical Cooperation at the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is responsible for the delivery of national and regional projects to 31 countries in the region.

Dr Longoria holds a Master’s degree in nuclear technology from Surrey University, United Kingdom and a PhD in nuclear physics from Imperial College, London. He joined the IAEA in February 2012 prior to which he was Director of Scientific Research at the Mexican Nuclear Research Institute. In this capacity, he was responsible for directing and developing scientific and technological research related to nuclear reactors.

Dr Longoria has been a university lecturer for more than 25 years and has published a number of scientific papers as well as given presentations at many conferences and symposiums. He is a member of his country’s prestigious Engineering and Science academies.
Dr. Richard Amenyah

Dr. Richard Amenyah

Multi-Country Director for Belize, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the OECS.
Richard is a medical doctor by training and brings into this position several productive years of professional experience in Global Health. He joined UNAIDS in 2014 and has wealth of experience in developing public health policies and programs to shape health investments in countries. He previously worked at the Regional Support Team of West and Central Africa as the Regional Investment and Efficiency Advisor. His last duty station was in Nigeria where he supported the setting up of a US$100 million HIV Trust Fund for the elimination of vertical
transmission of HIV, establishment of continuous quality improvement initiatives for the HIV program, governance reform of the Country Coordinating Mechanism and the mobilization of the largest grant for a single country of about US$1.2 billion from the Global Fund for HIV/TB/Malaria/COVID19. He was a member of the core team that developed the current Global AIDS Strategy 2022-2026.

Prior to joining UNAIDS, he worked on regional technical support projects based in Burkina Faso and in Ghana his home country, he was the Technical Director in-charge of strategic planning, HIV program planning and implementation, performance monitoring and donor coordination at the Ghana AIDS Commission.
Elizabeth Talbert, Director and Representative, United Nations Population Fund Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean

Elizabeth Arnold Talbert

Director and Representative
Ms. Talbert has a strong background in population and statistical development with over 30 years of experience in the Caribbean and East Africa. She has led population and housing censuses, poverty assessment and other social and economic surveys in several countries.  

Prior to her appointment as Director at the UNFPA Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean and Representative to Jamaica, Ms Talbert served as Senior Statistician with the World Bank Poverty and Equity Global Practice in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania where she managed the Statistical Development Project (2014-2021). Under her leadership, this project resulted in the improvement of the statistics law, strengthening of statistical and administrative data, and the enhancement of statistical infrastructure and human resource capacity. During her tenure in Tanzania, she also provided technical support to statistical offices in Zanzibar, Mozambique, Somalia and other East African member states. 

In previous jobs, Ms. Talbert served as Chief Statistician, Government of the Cayman Islands (2009-2014); Statistical Consultant, Government of Guyana (2007-2008) and Deputy Chief Statistician, Government of Belize (2001-2007). She has also served as a consultant to the CARICOM Statistical Unit in analyzing and preparing 2000 Census Country Reports.

Ms. Talbert is a native of Belize. She holds a BSc in Sociology and Public Administration, Minnesota State University, Mankato; MPhil in Population and Development, Centre for Development Studies, Kerala State, India and; MS in Demography, Florida State University. She was also a participant in the UNFPA Global Training Programme in Population and Development (1993-1994).
Eraina Yaw, Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and Head of Office, International Organization for Migration Guyana

Eraina Yaw

Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and Head of Office, IOM Guyana
Eraina Yaw, Guyanese, is the Deputy Sub Regional Coordinator for the Caribbean and Head of Office, IOM Guyana. Ms. Yaw has 12 years of experience and expertise in migration with particular emphasis on diaspora engagement, Caribbean migration governance and policy engagement. She also possesses prior experience in social protection for children in Guyana.

Prior to this appointment she was the National Project Coordinator for the Caribbean where she worked on IOM national projects in Guyana and throughout the Caribbean that addressed migration management and supported direct emergency assistance to migrant populations under the Response for Venezuelans programme. Ms. Yaw has successfully supported the development of two diaspora engagement policies and implemented three comprehensive Migration Governance Indicators Assessments in the region.

In addition to extensive knowledge on migration-related issues in the Caribbean, Ms. Yaw is a certified instructor of the Essentials of Migration Management course and has trained government officials in Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname, and the Bahamas. Ms. Yaw also sits on the OECS-IOM Working Group on Migration and often works directly with CARICOM counterparts.

She has written several publications in the field of childcare and protection, public health and migration governance. This includes the Desk Review of Migration Health in Guyana: Migrants, Miners, HIV/AIDS and Malaria; Childlink’s Child Protection Policy and Parenting Handbook 1st and 2nd Editions.

Ms. Yaw holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Administration and Teaching and a Bachelor of Social Science in Social Work.

Ms. Yaw took up her new assignment in November 2022.
Gerardo Noto

Gerardo Noto

Resident Representative
Mr. Gerardo NOTO (citizen of Argentina and Spain) is the UNDP Resident Representative in Guyana and Suriname effective 1 July 2023. He was UNDP Resident Representative ad interim in Trinidad and Tobago, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten from September 2022 until June 2023. He has dedicated more than 30 years to public service, human
development, democratic governance, conflict management, citizen participation and inclusion (women, youth, indigenous peoples, and minorities).

He has worked in UNDP since 2002. He was the Senior Governance Advisor in the Arab States (October 2021-August 2022) and Resident Representative in Libya (2019-2021). He also served in Iraq as Deputy Country Director-Programme (March 2018-2019), Country Director ad interim (September-November 2018) and Resident Repreentative ad interim (December 2018-March 2019). He worked previously in the Latin America and Caribbean Region as Governance Regional Advisor (New York, 2012-2015 and Panama, 2015-2017), Democratic Governance Regional Specialist (New York, 2009-2011), Political Analysis Regional Project-PAPEP (2005-2008), Regional Project of Democracy Development in Latin America-PRODDAL (2004), UN Coordination Officer (Argentina, 2003 and 2008/2009) and Political Dialogue expert (Argentina, 2002).

Prior to joining the UN System in 2002, he worked on international relations and international cooperation in two provincial governments (Province of Mendoza, 1989-1991
and Buenos Aires, 2000-2001) and the National Senate in Argentina (1993-1995), two regional organizations (SELA-Latin American Economic System, 1995-2000 and Ibero-
American Secretariat-SEGIB, 2008) and lectured at three Argentine Universities on International Relations and Negotiations (UN de Cuyo, U. de Belgrano, Univ. del Salvador).

He obtained his master's degree in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts-Harvard University (MA, USA, 1993) and a Summa Cum Laude
bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from Universidad Nacional de Cuyo (Mendoza, Argentina, 1988).
Mr. Henri Sylvain Yakara

Henri Sylvain Yakara

Head of National Office
Mr. Henri Sylvain Yakara started as UNHCR’s Head of National Office in Guyana in July 2022. His career with United Nations began in 2005 working with UNHCR and UNOCHA.

Prior to his current position in Guyana, Mr. Yakara served as the Senior Field Coordinator in the Eastern Region of the Republic Democratic of Congo. He consecutively held the position of Head of UNHCR’s Offices in Mauritania, Niger and Sudan in Africa where he gained invaluable experience managing complex crises and coordinating responses for refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities in Africa and Western Asia. He also served as Humanitarian Affairs Officer with OCHA in IRAQ in 2014.

Before joining the United National, Mr. Yakara worked for the Ministry of Water and Forestry and occupied the position of Director in the Department of Programme and Projects at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and International Cooperation in Central African Republic.

Mr. Yakara is a Central African National and holds a Master’s Degree in Human Science from the University of Bangui (Central African Republic). He also has a Diploma of International Civil Servant from the Ecole National d’Administration (ENA) of Paris (Option International Relationship) in FRANCE and recently completed his Senior Executive Leadership Program with Mc Kinsey Academy.

Joni Musabayana

Joni Musabayana

Mr. Joni Musabayana, a Zimbabwean national, first joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1992 as Project Officer at the ILO Country Office for Zimbabwe and Namibia in Harare. He has since held many positions with the Organization.

His other previous roles include Global Coordinator for the ILO Start and Improve Your Own Business Programme in Geneva, as well as Enterprise Specialist at the ILO Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa.

Prior to his current role as Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Office for the Caribbean, Mr. Musabayana served as Director of the ILO Pretoria Decent Work Team, leading technical support for 18 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. He was also Director for the Country Office politically and administratively covering Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and South Africa.

Mr. Musabayana brings extensive experience addressing issues relevant to the Caribbean including labour migration, enterprise development, social protection, skills development, gender equality and climate resilience. His dedication to fostering tripartite social dialogue and cooperation between governments, employers, and workers has been instrumental in reducing decent work deficits and driving positive change in the labour landscape.

As Director of the ILO Caribbean Office, Mr. Musabayana leads the promotion of social justice, decent work, and inclusive economic growth across 13 Member States and nine non-metropolitan territories in the English-and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. He provides strategic direction for technical guidance and cooperation through Decent Work Country Programmes and other activities supported though the wider United Nations system serving in the region.

Mr. Musabayana has a Doctorate in Business Leadership from UNISA School of Business Leadership, as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Zimbabwe. He also has a Diploma in Training Management, and a Diploma in Computer Programming.

Before joining the ILO, Mr Musabayana worked for the Zimbabwe Ministry of Higher Education and the Employers’ Confederation of Zimbabwe.

He is a music lover, avid reader, political analyst and a keen sportsman who played basketball for the Zimbabwe national team for 13 years. He enjoys running and going to the gym. He is married to Wynne and they have two boys and two girls and one granddaughter.
Liliana Garavito Canon

Liliana Garavito Canon

Director Caribbean Area
Liliana Garavito is a Colombia national with twenty-seven years of experience as a journalist and communications specialist. She has worked for twenty-three years with the UN and four years as a news producer.

As the director for the United Nations Information Centre for the Caribbean Area (UNIC Caribbean), Liliana works to educate Caribbean audiences about the work of the UN globally and provides communications support to various UN offices and agencies operating within the Caribbean region.

Before joining UNIC Caribbean, Liliana served as a Regional Communications Officer for the Development Coordination Office based in Panama. This position entailed managing a network of communication professionals across 25 countries. In previous years, she acted as Chief of Public Information and Communication Strategy in the UN Verification Mission in Colombia.

Prior to joining the Mission, she served as Information Officer for 17 years at UNIC Bogotá, which also covers Ecuador and Venezuela, and led public information activities.

Luis Longoria

Luis Longoria

Country Director
Dr Luis Longoria is the Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean from the Department of Technical Cooperation at the International Atomic Energy Agency. He is responsible for the delivery of national and regional projects to 31 countries in the region.

Dr Longoria holds a Master’s degree in nuclear technology from Surrey University, United Kingdom and a PhD in nuclear physics from Imperial College, London. He joined the IAEA in February 2012 prior to which he was Director of Scientific Research at the Mexican Nuclear Research Institute. In this capacity, he was responsible for directing and developing scientific and technological research related to nuclear reactors.

Dr Longoria has been a university lecturer for more than 25 years and has published a number of scientific papers as well as given presentations at many conferences and symposiums. He is a member of his country’s prestigious Engineering and Science academies.
Maija Peltola

Maija Peltola

Country Director Guyana, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic
Maija Peltola is Country Director for Guyana, Haiti and the Dominican Republic at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a UN agency and international financing institution which currently manages a portfolio worth US$ 1.8 billion in Latin America and the Caribbean. Ms Peltola has worked over 15 years at the intersection of business, public sector and international development and has field experience from 30 countries. She holds a MA in Social Anthropology and further studies in Leadership and International Business.
Martin Arevalo de Leon

Martín Arévalo de León

Director for Costa Rica & Caribbean
Originally trained as a Biochemist/Microbiologist, Martín developed a successful managerial career between 1992 and 2003, in positions of regional responsibility in Latin America and the Caribbean.

His convictions and experience in political and social issues led him to decide to leave the private sector to become directly involved in the institutional strengthening and governance of Guatemala, his country of origin, participating in the analysis, design and implementation of public policies, occupying several high-level positions and leading teams
on security issues, peace agreements, participation processes, dialogue and transparency.

Since 2014 he has been working with UNOPS, serving as Portfolio Manager in Guatemala, Director/Representative in Honduras from 2016 to 2021, and as Director/Representative
a.i. in Haiti in 2022 and currently as Director of the United Nations Office for Project Services - UNOPS - in Costa Rica and the Caribbean.

Throughout his career, Martín has applied his managerial skills and results-oriented approach to drive the practical implementation of social theories of participation, governance and peacebuilding.
Charles Pron

Nicolas Charles Pron

Representative, Guyana and Suriname
Mr. Nicolas Charles Pron is the UNICEF Area Representative to Guyana & Suriname, and Special Representative to the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Mr. Pron has been working for the United Nations since 1992. Prior to his current posting in December 2020, Mr. Pron served as the Special Adviser on High Level Events, Initiatives and Partnerships in UNICEF’s New York Headquarters. He has also served as Director and Secretary of the UNICEF Executive Board and as Special Adviser to the President of the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Pron spent many years in the field in Africa and Asia, where he oversaw the implementation of UNICEF Country Programmes.

Mr. Pron, a French national, holds master’s degrees in international administration from the Sorbonne University, and in International Law from the René Descartes University in Paris. He speaks French, English, Spanish and Kiswahili.

Raul Salazar, Head of Regional Office, UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction

Raul Salazar

Head of Regional Office
Mr. Raul Salazar (Peru), is the Chief of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Secretariat for the Americas based in Panama. Prior to this position, Mr. Salazar worked as Deputy Chief of Office in the UNDRR Regional Office for the Americas since 2011 and as a Programme Officer in UNDP Peru from 1997 to 2010, where he was the Cluster Manager in the area of Poverty and Crisis Prevention and Recovery.

He has been a member of the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team since 2003 and participated in different UN Coordination missions such as in Jamaica (Hurricane Ivan 2004), the emergency and recovery process after the earthquake in Peru (Ica 2007), the UNDAC mission to Haiti (Port au Prince 2010) and as UNDP Resource Mobilization and Early Recovery Advisor to Kyrgyzstan (August 2010). During his career in UNDP Peru, he was Chair of the United Nations Emergency Technical Team (UNETT, formed by disaster response focal points of UN agencies in Peru) from 2003 to 2010.

Regis Chapman, WFP

Regis Chapman

Representative & Country Director
Mr. Regis Chapman has over 20 years of international development and humanitarian experience, having
served with the United Nations World Food Programme in a variety of contexts since 2005.

Currently, he is the Representative and Country Director for the WFP Caribbean Multi-Country Office,
overseeing WFP’s work throughout the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Having opened the
Caribbean office in Barbados in July 2018 he has strategically led the growth of an innovative portfolio of
support designed to strengthen emergency preparedness and response capacities covering regional
entities and 22 countries and territories.

Mr. Chapman has extensive field experience in humanitarian and development programmes around the
world in a variety of programme leadership roles, including in the Regional Bureau for Latin America & the
Caribbean (2013-18), Somalia (2010-13), Afghanistan (2008-10), Regional Bureau for East and Central Africa (2007-08), Timor Leste (2006), Regional Bureau for Asia and Pacific (2006) and Indonesia (2005).

Prior to joining the World Food Programme, he worked with the Red Cross Movement on food security
programmes and emergency responses and with the United States Peace Corps on community
development efforts at a grass roots level in rural El Salvador.

Regis is a national of the United States of America. He holds a graduate degree in Marketing from Arizona State University.
Sylvie Bertrand, Regional Representative, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Sylvie Bertrand

Regional Representative
Ms. Bertrand, a Canadian national, was appointed UNODC Regional Representative for Central America and the Caribbean in Panama (UNODC ROPAN) on 1 July , 2022. She brings extensive experience to the region, having joined UNODC in 2004.

She has served both in the UNODC’s field network in Kenya and South Africa and at its Headquarters in Vienna. More recently she served as Deputy Regional Representative at the Regional Office for Eastern Africa. Prior to joining UNODC’s management team, she served in various capacities, including as Advisor, Expert, Programme Coordinator and Head of Pillar, implementing UNODC’s health and social development mandate, including HIV/AIDS prevention, drug use care and prevention and support of people living and working in prison settings.

Prior to joining UNODC, Ms. Bertrand worked with UNDP and before joining the UN family, she managed development projects in civil society organizations in Bolivia and Bulgaria and worked in the public sector at the municipal level.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science, advanced degrees in Municipal Management and Law, as well as a Master's degree in Public Administration from L'Ecole Administration Publique du Quebec, Canada. She is fluent in English, French and Spanish.
Tonni Brodber

Tonni Ann Brodber

UN Women
Representative, Multi Country Office - Caribbean
Tonni Brodber previously served as the UN Women MCO Caribbean Deputy Representative from 2016 to June 2020. A Gender Specialist, she worked with UN Women Fiji MCO leading the Advancing Gender Justice in the Pacific programme; UNDP South Africa and established - what is now the Haiti UN Women CO.
Vincent Sweeney

Vincent Sweeney

Head of Office Caribbean Sub-Regional Office
Vincent Sweeney is Head of the Caribbean Sub-Regional Office for UNEP and previously spent four (4) years as the Coordinator of the GPA, in UNEP’s headquarters. He also served for 10 years as Executive Director of the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute.