20 January 2010
The Secretary-General, following consultations with the Advisory Commission of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), has appointed Filippo Grandi, of Italy, as the Commissioner General of UNRWA. That appointment takes effect today, with Grandi replacing Karen AbuZayd, of the United States. The Secretary-General is deeply grateful to Ms. AbuZayd for her tireless and dedicated service to the Palestinian people and excellent leadership of UNRWA at an important juncture.
Grandi has been the Relief and Works Agency’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.
The Secretary-General also announced the appointment of Margot B. Ellis of the United States as Deputy Commissioner-General of UNRWA, replacing Filippo Grandi. Since July 2008, Ms. Ellis has been USAID's Acting Assistant Administrator for Asia.