Fiona McCluney is the UN Resident Coordinator in Albania. Ms. McCluney brings over 30 years of experience in development practicioner and urban planner, including 12 years of service to the UN system. From 2015 until recently she served as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Montenegro, concurrently working as UNDP Resident Representative until the end of 2018. Prior to her appointment in Montenegro, Ms McCluney worked with UN-Habitat as Chief Technical Adviser and Head of their Country Office in Palestine (2012-2015), and in Iraq (2011-2012). From 2008 to 2011, she served with UN-Habitat in Iraq as Head of Urban Governance, Land and Housing. Before joining the UN, Fiona was Principal Consultant for employee-owned GHK Consulting Ltd, UK (now ICF International Ltd) where she undertook assignments for central and local government in UK (Cabinet Office, DEFRA, DFID), held long term positions on DFID funded urban and environmental programmes in India (Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata) and on the design of urban loans for ADB and World Bank (Pakistan, China). Fiona has held planning policy positions in local government (Southampton City Council, London Borough of Lewisham), for the Hong Kong government (Territorial Planning Dept) and in small island development (Anguilla, St Helena). She holds an MPhil in Urban Design and Regional Planning from the University of Edinburgh.
Alma Jani joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2001. Ms. Jani has been the Head of Office for the IOM Mission in Albania since 2012, Resource Management Officer from 2005 until present and Chief Accountant from 2001 to 2005. During 2006-2013 she has supported IOM Missions in Kosovo, Montenegro, Iraq, Finland, Cyprus and Libya and Washington D.C. Prior to joining IOM, during 1999-2001, Ms. Jani has served in international organizations in leadership and management roles. From 1993-1999, she acquired substantial experience in the public and private sector. Ms. Jani has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Tirana and an Executive Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the Management Institute of Canada. She is also a Certified Public Accountant and holds a post degree in International Relations and Diplomacy.
Ana Luiza M. Thompson-Flores
Director, UNESCO Venice Office, Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe
Ms. Massot Thompson-Flores has 30 years of progressively responsible professional experience within the UN Common System. In 1987, she began her career in the Human Resources Department of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and joined the World Food Programme (WFP) in 1995. In 2004, she was seconded to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) in New York, as Chief of the Human Resources Policy Unit, returning to the WFP in 2005. In 2008, she joined UNESCO as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Human Resources Management and in 2011 she was promoted to the post of Director. She held the post of Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning in 2015 prior to joining this regional bureau.
FAO Representation in Albania
Arben Kipi, a national of Albania, has a background in animal production science. He has served at FAO since 2015 as the organization’s Assistant Representative in the country. In performing his role at FAO, he builds upon a combination of broad international experience and knowledge of Albania and the challenges it faces in the agricultural and rural sector. Before joining FAO, Kipi served as head of cabinet in Albania’s Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Water Administration. Prior to 2013, he led the livestock information systems in the country’s Food Safety and Veterinary Institute. During his career, Kipi was national project coordinator for a number of international technical assistance projects concerning livestock, animal health and rural development, which are his main fields of technical expertise. Kipi graduated in 1981 from the Agriculture University of Tirana in Animal Science. In 1988-1989 he completed Msc level studies (D.E.A) at the National Agriculture Institute of Paris, and in 1990-1993 he obtained his doctoral degree from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research and the University of Paris XI, Orsay. He speaks Albanian, French, English, and Italian.
Dr. Bettina Menne, a medical doctor and medical specialist in hygiene and public health, is currently acting WHO representative to Albania. She also holds, since 2016, the position of Coordinator on Health and Sustainable Development in the WHO Regional Office for Europe responsible for technical, political and scientific input on the health aspects of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. Between 1997 and 2016, she was behind the full scaling up of the activities on climate change, health, and environmentally sustainable health services in the WHO Regional Office for Europe. She was also the convening lead author of the health chapter and author in the synthesis report of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning 4th Assessment Report of the IPCC. Before joining WHO, she worked at the University of Perugia in Italy, from where she graduated earlier, and was engaged in a range of development projects with UNICEF, UNOPS and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the prevention of communicable diseases in Albania, Italy, Mali and Nicaragua.
As part of the Division for Europe, Mr Henrich works as a Programme Management Officer in the Technical Cooperation Department at the IAEA’s Headquarters in Vienna. The Technical Cooperation Programme is the IAEA’s main mechanism for transferring nuclear technology to Member States. It assists them in establishing and strengthening capacities for the safe, peaceful and secure use of nuclear technology for sustainable socioeconomic development, working in partnership with key actors to increase impact. In his role as Programme Management Officer, Mr Henrich is responsible for managing a portfolio of national, regional and interregional Technical Cooperation projects focusing on a suite of different thematic areas within the IAEA’s mandate. Prior to his work with the IAEA, Mr. Henrich worked as a Sustainable Energy Finance Specialist for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). He holds a M.Sc. from Humboldt University Berlin in Business Administration.
Freya brings 20 years of diverse operational and leadership experience from the UN, inter-governmental and non-governmental sector. She served in Georgia, Armenia, Liberia/West Africa, Iraq and in HQ positions in Vienna and New York, managing complex development, humanitarian and partnership portfolios. A native of Germany, Freya holds an MScEcon in International Politics from the University of Wales and a BAhons in History and Russian from Trinity College Dublin. Freya is fluent in German, English, Russian and French.
Prior to joining the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia in UNIDO’s Headquaters, Jacek Cukrowski was a head of the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development. Previously, he worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the capacity of an Adviser on Millennium Development Goals and a Head of the Regional Center for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Earlier he worked in the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland and with the Economic Institute of Academy of Science of the Czech Republic. The academic background of Jacek Cukrowski includes MSc in system engineering, PhD in computer science, PhD and habilitation (senior post-doctoral qualification) in economics.
Limya Eltayeb was appointed Resident Representative of UNDP for Albania in January 2019, where she has been the Country Director since 2016. Prior to Albania, Limya has worked as Deputy Country Director at UNDP Bahrain (2012-2016) and UNDP The Gambia (2008-2011), and Assistant Resident Representative at UNDP Iraq in both Baghdad and Erbil (2002-2004). Between 2004-2008, Limya was stationed in UNDP Headquarters in New York as Partnership and Resource Mobilization Advisor at the Bureau of Resources and Strategic Partnerships. Limya has worked with the British Embassy and Department for International Development (DfID) in Khartoum; has been the Country Director of ACORD, an international NGO in Sudan; and was the youngest representative during “Engendering the IGAD Process” as part of the peace process between North and South Sudan. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Khartoum, a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Development from the University College London (UCL). She also holds a Graduate Certificate in Social Development from the London School of Economics (LSE) and Aston University at UCL. In additional to her native Arabic, she speaks English and French.
Mr. Ribotta joined UN Women Albania in September 2019. Prior to this assignment, he was adviser to the Director of the UN System Coordination Division in New York. In his capacity, he has driven UN Women’s efforts to mainstream gender in the work of the UN Development System at global, regional and country levels. Before joining UN Women, Mr. Ribotta led the UN Coherence learning team at the UN System Staff College, providing training and facilitation services to UN Country Teams on leadership and strategic planning. Prior to that, he served with UNDP Egypt as Head of the UN Resident Coordinator Office. Mr. Ribotta has a master’s degree in law obtained at the University of Rome, La Sapienza.
Dr. Nigina Abaszadeh has 20 years of experience in the area of population and development, gender equality, programme management and policy advocacy. She joined the United Nations Population Fund in 2005, and has served in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and at the Regional Office in Istanbul covering 17 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region. She has worked closely with policy makers, private sector, non-governmental organizations and leaders from all sectors to champion women and girls’ rights, including in humanitarian and emergency settings. Prior to joining UNFPA, Dr. Abaszadeh worked for the USAID, American Councils of Education and as adjunct professor at several Universities. Ms. Abaszadeh is a Medical Doctor by training. She holds a PhD in Social Psychology and Master's Degree in Gender and Child Studies from Linkoping University, Sweden.
Pablo Zapata has served with UNHCR since 1998. He has been the Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Albania since mid-2017. Previously, Pablo served in UNHCR Syria as Senior Cluster Coordinator between 2015 and 2017. Between 2010 and 2014 he led respectively the resettlement and the protection teams of UNHCR in Ecuador as Resettlement Officer and then Senior Protection Officer. In 2009 he completed short assignments in Kenya and then in Costa Rica where he coordinated the resettlement of refugees at a regional level. Between 2004 and 2008 he served in UNHCR Spain as Protection Officer. Between 1999 and 2003, arriving at the time of the Kosovo crisis, he worked in Albania supporting governmental efforts to set the nascent asylum system, including the then-innovative pre-screening procedure. He started his humanitarian career with UNHCR in Rwanda in 1998. Pablo is dual citizen of Chile and Spain. He earned his law degree at the Catholic University of Chile and his attorney accreditation by the Chilean Supreme Court. Before joining UNHCR he worked in business consultancy and did voluntary work as candidate attorney in Chile and in France. Pablo is married and is the father of two sons.
Dr. Roberto De Bernardi, of Italian citizenship, arrived in Albania in April 2018 to take up his functions as UNICEF Albania Representative. He has worked for UNICEF in various countries and functions during the last 30 years. Dr. De Bernardi is an MD, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Genova, Italy. He subsequently obtained a Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. After working for an NGO in rural Kenya for some two and a half years, at the end of 1988 he joined UNICEF as a JPO in Angola. He then worked in Sao Tome e Principe, Burundi, Cameroon, Somalia, Sudan and Mozambique, occupying positions in the areas of health and nutrition, programme, and deputy representation. Before moving to Albania, he was UNICEF Representative in Colombia for four and a half years. In addition to his mother tongue (Italian), he speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Ki-Swahili. He is married and has two sons. He is also a great fan of his hometown soccer team, Sampdoria.
With over 25 years of experience managing development programs, Mrs. Zhulieta Harasani is the National Coordinator of the International Labor Organization (ILO) to Albania since 2016. Prior to joining the ILO, Zhulieta served as the UNESCO National Professional Officer in Albania and Director General of Strategic Planning of National Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture of Albania. Earlier in her career she was Co-director of the Education Division at the Albanian Education Development Mega Program (AEDP) and Inspector of the Department of High Education at the Ministry of Education and Science of Albania. She started her career as a university professor at the Agricultural University in Tirana in 1992-1993 and then at the Polytechnic University of Tirana (TU) from 2003-2008. She holds a master’s in business administration (MBA) from Nebraska University (USA) and Tirana University Faculties of Economics (2001) and completed an MA in Education Sciences from Tirana University (2003). She also studied education and law at Tirana University (2000).