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Source: United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)
18 October 2005

Press Release No. HQ/G/10/2005
18 October 2005

New Deputy Commissioner-General for UNRWA

Gaza – Filippo Grandi, one of the United Nations’ (UN) most seasoned experts on refugee affairs, has assumed the post of Deputy Commissioner-General for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Mr. Grandi was appointed to the post on September 25 by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Commenting on his appointment, Karen AbuZayd, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General said: “Filippo Grandi brings a wide range of experience to his new position as Deputy Commissioner-General. His superb managerial and operational skills make him a valuable addition to UNRWA, as we and the Palestine refugees face the challenges ahead together.”

An Italian national, Mr. Grandi’s extensive experience in refugee and political affairs includes posts in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Since May 2004, Mr. Grandi served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General responsible for political affairs at the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), where he was responsible for the electoral process, disarmament, demobilization and integration, as well as the verification of the exercise of political rights related to elections and human rights.

Prior to that, also in Afghanistan, Mr. Grandi was Chief of Mission of the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a position he held for three years. From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Grandi worked in the Executive Office of the UNHCR in Geneva, as Specia l Assistant and then Chief of Staff.

After joining UNHCR in 1988, Mr. Grandi served in refugee programs in Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq. Following the first Gulf War, he led emergency operations in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, Yemen and Afghanistan, among others.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Grandi was Field Coordinator for UN humanitarian activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo during its civil war. Between 1984 and 1987 he worked with non-governmental organizations carrying out refugee programs in Thailand and Italy.

Mr. Grandi graduated from the State Universities of Venice and Milan with a degree in modern history, and from the Georgian University in Rome with a BA in philosophy.


For more information contact:

In Jerusalem:
Gina Benevento
Office: 972-2-589-0249
Mobile: 972-59-428-008

In Gaza:
Adnan Abu Hasna
Mobile: +972-59-428-61

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