20 January 2010
The Secretary-General is pleased to announce the appointment of Filippo Grandi as Commissioner-General of UNRWA. This appointment takes effect on 20 January 2010.
Mr Grandi, a national of Italy, born in 1957, has been UNRWA’s Deputy Commissioner-General since September 2005. A strong advocate for the rights and dignity of Palestine refugees and an excellent manager, he has been instrumental in the success of UNRWA’s comprehensive and far-reaching management reforms.
Mr Grandi has worked for the United Nations for almost 22 years. Prior to joining UNRWA, he distinguished himself in a variety of headquarters and field functions encompassing refugee assistance, protection, emergency management, donor relations and humanitarian and political affairs. He was responsible for political affairs at the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), where he served as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative. With UNHCR, his roles included Chief of Mission in Afghanistan and Chief of Staff in the High Commissioner’s Executive Office. Mr Grandi’s vast field experience includes various positions in Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, the latter during and in the aftermath of the first Gulf war. He also led emergency operations in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes region of Central Africa, Congo, Yemen and Afghanistan.
Mr Grandi’s record is one of outstanding service under the banner of the United Nations. With his appointment as Commissioner-General, his energy, leadership and understanding of humanitarian issues will remain at the service of UNRWA and Palestine refugees.
Please join me in warmly congratulating Mr. Grandi on his appointment as UNRWA’s next Commissioner-General and in wishing him every success in leading UNRWA’s work.