Based in Jamaica, Alison directs the priorities and mandate of the UNFPA across 22 countries and territories in the English and Dutch-speaking Caribbean. Prior to joining UNFPA in 2016, she served in the UNDP for fifteen years. Prior to this, Alison was a diplomat in Guyana’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations. During that time, as Chairperson of the Group of 77 and China, Alison led in global negotiations on climate change, oceans management, tourism and other critical issues on the development agenda.
Ms. Saenz Guerrero previously worked for UNHCR in Nepal, India, Jordan, Sweden, and South Africa. She established UNHCR’s presence in Guyana in August 2018 and is heading the organisation's operational response.
Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Zulu worked as Director for the ILO Country Office, Abuja with responsibility for Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Representative to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Mr. Zulu brings extensive experience and knowledge of key issues related to the work of the ILO Caribbean Office. As Director of ILO-Abuja, he led development projects and activities on employment creation, entrepreneurship development, microfinance and social dialogue. Before joining the ILO in 2003, Mr Zulu worked in academia and the private sector in his home country.
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. Luis Longoria
Dr. Luis Longoria is the Director of the Division for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Department of Technical Cooperation at the IAEA. He is responsible for the delivery of national and regional projects to 31 countries in the region. Dr. Longoria holds a MSc in nuclear technology and a PhD in nuclear physics.
Dr. Michel de Groulard brings more than 30 years of experience in International Public Health, of which 23 years on HIV/AIDS. His 20-year experience in the Caribbean includes Public Health Officer in the Ministry of Health of Grenada, Project Manager on HIV/AIDS at CAREC/SPSTI in Trinidad & Tobago, UNAIDS Country Coordinator for Guyana and Suriname (and Senior Advisor to PANCAP/CARICOM) and Senior Regional Programme Advisor at the UNAIDS Regional Office for the Caribbean in Trinidad & Tobago.
Dr. Saadia Sanchez
Director and Representative
UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean
Prior to this post, Dr. Sanchez served as Director of the UNESCO Office in Quito and Representative to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela from 2014 to 2020.
As an experienced senior manager with more than 20 years of practice, she has had an extensive career in management, technical cooperation, and international relations.
Dr. Sanchez is a sociologist with a degree from the University of Zulia (Venezuela), a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University (USA) and a Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of California at Berkeley (USA).
William Adu-Krow, MB, ChB, DrPH, is presently the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization representative of Guyana. He was previously the World Health Organization country representative for Papua New Guinea (2010–2014) and Solomon Islands (2008–2010). He is a pro bono adjunct professor at the Center for Population and Family Health of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University, New York. He has worked in Ghana, New York, Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean countries, Washington, DC, New Jersey, the Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea. His main work has focused on violence against women and the impact of social determinants on global health architecture.
Mr. Irfan Akhtar (Indian) has over 20 years’ experience of working with international organizations, including 10 years with UNICEF, and has worked in the Middle East, Asia, and the Caribbean. Prior to Guyana and Suriname, he served in Lao PDR, DP Korea, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and India.
He received his master’s in social work from the University of Delhi, India. He speaks Hindi, Urdu, English and Arabic.
Mr. Jairo Valverde Bermudez (Costa Rica) has been appointed as UNDP Resident Representative for Guyana.
Prior to this appointment, Jairo was Costa Rica’s Ambassador in Brazil since January 2015. He also served as UNDP’s Chief Technical Advisor for parliamentary programming in Mozambique (2012-2014), Programme Manager a.i. for the Strengthening Democracy Programme in Cambodia (2011-2012), and Political Parties Liaison Officer for the Strengthening Democracy and Electoral Processes Project in Cambodia (2009-2010).
Jairo holds a Master’s degree in International Relations from the International University of Japan. He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Economy from the Colorado College. He speaks English and Spanish.
Jairo took up his new assignment on 27 October 2019.
He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of transnational organized crime and drug trafficking. Prior to the UN, he worked as the main advisor to the Spanish government agencies responsible for the prevention, treatment and social services related to drug use. He carried out similar work with the European Commission. He joined UNODC in 1999 as Representative of the Regional Office in Mexico. He has also served as UNODC's regional representative for East Africa.
Mr. Juan Miguel Diez, a national of Mexico, has led the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) for the Caribbean Area since 2014. His United Nations career began in 1997 at the UNIC in Mexico City, where he rose through the ranks from intern to Acting Director. He is a communications expert, graduated from the National University of Mexico, who also worked as a journalist for TV and printed media.
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.
Mr. Sevimli has held positions at the World Bank since 2004 including Senior Strategy and Operations Officer in the VP’s office for Europe and Central Asia, Program Coordinator for the South Caucasus unit, and Labor Economist in the Africa Region. Before the World Bank, he was a Labor Market Specialist at the German Employment Agency. Mr. Sevimli holds graduate degrees in Business Administration (University of Texas) and Labor Economics (University of Applied Sciences of Mannheim).
Mr. Chapman has over 20 years of international development and humanitarian experience, including the past 15 years working with the United Nations World Food Programme in a variety of contexts. Currently, he serves as the Head of Office for WFP Barbados, overseeing emergency preparedness and response in the Caribbean.
Regional Coordination Officer and Chief of Mission
Robert Natiello has served as the IOM Regional Coordination Officer for the Caribbean and Chief of Mission, Guyana since September of 2016. Prior to that he worked with IOM in Colombia and Ecuador serving 16 years in the organization. He holds a Masters Degree in International Management and is fluent in Spanish.
Terence formerly served as a Customs Officer in Saint Lucia for twenty-five years and in the capacity of Comptroller of Customs and Excise. He also served in the position of Director of Trade Facilitation in Saint Lucia. Terence has been working with UNCTAD for the past ten years and is currently employed with the organization as a Programme Management Officer/Senior Customs Expert.
Tonni Ann Brodber
Representative, ad interim
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 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.