Our Team in I.R. Iran

Stefan Priesner

Stefan Priesner

Resident Coordinator
Mr. Stefan Priesner is the UN Resident Coordinator for the Islamic Republic of Iran as of mid-August 2021. He has extensive experience in international development and management issues and has been working with the United Nations since 1996. He has provided policy advice to Governments and overseen the formulation and delivery of a range of complex, multi-disciplinary development programmes in close partnership with government, bilateral, multi-lateral, and other partners in various countries in the Asia/Pacific and Eastern Europe. Before his current post, Mr. Priesner was the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam from May 2017 to July 2021. Prior to UN Reform in January 2019, he was also UNDP Resident Representative for Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Darussalam. Before this assignment, he was the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Uzbekistan from January 2013 through April 2017. He also served the United Nations as UNDP Country Director in Bangladesh from September 2008-December 2012. In this function, Mr. Priesner was responsible for leading one of UNDP’s largest development operations globally in terms of oversight of programming, accountability as well as building relations with the government and other key partners. Prior to joining UNDP Bangladesh, Mr. Priesner was the Deputy Resident Representative in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2004-2008). He also worked as Deputy Chief of UNDP’s Sub-regional Resource Facility (SURF) for the Caribbean in Trinidad/Tobago (2001) as well as for South and West Asia in Nepal (2001-2004). During these three years, he led advisory missions to more than a dozen countries in the Asia/Pacific. In his early days with UNDP, Mr. Priesner served in Bhutan as the Head of the Governance Unit, during which he contributed substantively in consolidating UNDP’s governance programme. Before joining UNDP, Mr. Priesner worked in the private sector. Mr. Priesner holds a Master of Arts in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Law from the University of Vienna. He is married and has two children.
Alexander Fedulov

Alexander Fedulov

Alexander Fedulov has worked in the drug control field for more than 26 years, including senior managerial positions with UNODC in Kyrgyzstan, Iran and in the Federal Drug Control Services of the Russian Federation. He was FDCS Representative in the Republic of Austria with a diplomatic post as the Counsellor of the Embassy Russian Federation in Austria. He was a Chief of Unit, Department of International Cooperation FDSC of the Russian Federation and Chief of Forensic section at the police service of the Forensic Department of Moscow Main Directorate of Interior, Ministry of Interior. During his law enforcement service at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) of the Russian Federation, he served as member of the UN peace keeping contingent of the Russian MoI in Bosnia and Herzegovina in UNMIBH (UN Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina) in 2000-2003. Among different positions within the UN peacekeeping mission to BiH, the latest was the IPTF Chief of Logistics of the UN Field Mission at HQ of UN mission to BiH in Saraevo. He holds a PhD in Political Science.
Aliashraf Mojtahed Shabestari

Ali A. Mojtahed Shabestari

Head of Office
Ali A. Mojtahed Shabestari is a career diplomat, and has over four decades of experience in conference diplomacy, foreign policy and international relations. In addition to his services as DPR at the Iranian Mission to NY, Ambassador of IR Iran to Tajikistan, Ambassador to UN Geneva, Head of International Organizations Studies Group (IPIS), he served as the Head of UNOCHA, Tehran (2005-2011), Senior advisor to the Vice President & Head of DoE, also as a member of the Board of Directors of Iran National Environment Fund (IRNEF) and had short period cooperation with UNFPA and UNODC.
Dr Shabestari finished his studies in the field of Int. Economics, has in-depth understanding of UN system and excellent proficiency in partnership. He is skilled negotiator, mediator & honest broker. Dr Shabestari was decorated by “Peace & Friendship Award” of the Govt. of Tajikistan and officially appreciated by ICRC for the crucial role played in Inter-Tajik Peace Talks. He got extensive experience with research institutions, think tanks, NGOs; used to be lecturer at the School of International Relations (SIR) and Editor-in-Chief of the “Journal of Foreign Policy” published by IPIS.
Fardad Doroudi

Fardad Doroudi

Country director
Dr Fardad Doroudi has been working in the United Nations since 1999; serving as UNAIDS Country Director since 2009. He got his doctorate in Medicine from Iran University of Medical Sciences in 1992. Dr Doroudi got his Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates Certificate in 1998 from the United States. He continued his studies in the field of Advanced Leadership and Management in Health Care and also Clinical Trial Research at McMaster University, Canada. Dr Doroudi completed Master of Public Health with Tehran University of Medical Sciences. Dr Doroudi has two decade of work experience in different United Nations agencies in various positions. Dr Doroudi has conducted researches in various fields at both national and international levels and published books and articles in the field of medicine and management. Dr Doroudi has served as facilitator and lecturer in various international conferences and workshops. Dr Doroudi has also performed as consultant to various international entities.

Golda El-Khoury

Golda El-Khoury (Ms) is the Director of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office (Islamic Republic of Iran, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan & Turkmenistan) and the Representative to the Islamic Republic of Iran and to Turkmenistan. Prior to that, she was the Director of the UNESCO Rabat Cluster office and Representative to Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia. In UNESCO Headquarters (Paris, France), she was the Chief of Section for Social inclusion. Earlier she was the Chief of Section for Youth, Sports and Physical Education. Before joining UNESCO, she was the first UNICEF Regional Advisor on Youth for the Middle East and North Africa Region (based in Amman, Jordan). Prior to that, she held the position of Country Director for Save the Children in Indonesia, Jordan, Egypt (a.i.) and Northern Iraq.

Golda El-Khoury holds a Masters’ degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex in the UK and read philosophy at the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon.
Gulbahor Nematova

Gulbahor Nematova

Resident Representative a.i.
Gulbahor Nematova (Tajikistan) assumed the role of Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP in the Islamic Republic of Iran in August 2021. Her career with UNDP began in 2003 during which she garnered extensive experience across a spectrum of country contexts, encompassing assignments in Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, and Turkey. Notably, her expertise revolves around programme management in crisis and development contexts.
Gulbahor Nematova has a Master’s Degree in Governance and Development from the University of Sussex; and Bachelor’s Degree in English Language and Literature from Kurgan Tyube State University, Tajikistan.
As of October 2023, she has been serving as the acting UNDP Resident Representative ad-interim in Iran.
Hideo Ikebe

Hideo Ikebe

Head of Liaison Office in Tehran
Mr. Ikebe has served more than 17 years in different UN political and peacekeeping missions, with assignments spanning several continents and portfolios, particularly peace and reconciliation processes. Prior to the current assignment, he was Special Assistant to Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan. Mr. Ikebe is national of Japan. He holds a Master’s degree in international peace and security from King’s College London, the United Kingdom.
Lalini Veerassamy

Lalini Veerassamy

Chief of Mission
Ms. Lalini Veerassamy is the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Islamic Republic of Iran since January 2023. Ms. Veerassamy has been with IOM for 14 years and previously with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), and UNESCO. She has assumed several senior positions in IOM, namely as Chief of Mission in Ireland (2019-2022), Chief of Mission in Djibouti (2016-2019), Head of Programme in Tunisia, and Chief of Mission for the Western Indian Ocean Islands (2008-2014).

Ms. Veerassamy is a Lawyer Member of the Quebec Bar Association since 2006 and completed her studies at the University of Montreal and the University of Geneva. She has completed a course on International Politics with LSE, a training on strategic thinking with Harvard Business School, and a training on UN Women in Leadership with UNSCC.

She was awarded Officer of the 12 June by the Prime Minister of the Government of Djibouti in 2019 for exemplary support to the authorities and vulnerable migrants in Djibouti.
Letizia Rossano

Letizia Rossano

APDIM Director
Letizia Rossano was appointed as the Director of the Asia and Pacific Centre for the Development of Disaster Information Management, APDIM, in ESCAP in March 2019. Ms Rossano is a permanent staff member of the United Nations Secretariat with over 24 years of service. Between April 2014 and February 2019 she was the Chief of Resource Mobilization in UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNDRR. In 2014 and 2012, she was assigned as the only humanitarian advisor to the Syria mediation efforts of the Joint Special Representative for Syria, Mr. Lakhdar Brahimi, and the Joint Special Envoy for Syria, Mr. Kofi Annan. In 2013 Letizia headed the System-wide resource mobilization unit in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Geneva. Between 2010-2011 she held the position of Senior Coordinator for the Mid-Term Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action with UNDRR, then UNISDR, in Geneva.
At the UN Headquarters in New York, in 2005-2009 she headed the IASC/ECHA Secretariat in OCHA and served from 2002 to 2005 with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) as the Special Assistant to the Director of the United Nations Mine Action Service, dealing with issues related to antipersonnel landmines and cluster munitions.
Between 1999 and 2001, Letizia served with OCHA Afghanistan, based in Islamabad, Pakistan as Emergency Coordination Officer. She started her career at the United Nations in 1994 as an Associate Expert/JPO with the then UN Drug Control Programme where, for two years, she worked in the Regional Office for South Asia, based in New Delhi, India. Letizia’s professional experience prior to joining the UN was in external relations and communications.
Letizia holds a Masters degree in Humanitarian Action and Conflict Resolution from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, (1999); received a full Language Fellowship from Mount Holyoke College, in the United States where she lectured Italian and obtained a Certificate in Leadership and Complex Organizations (1991); and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Bari, Italy (1989). Letizia is fluent in English; Italian (her mother tongue) and French and speaks conversational Urdu/Hindi.
Maryam Javan Shahraki

Maryam Javan Shahraki

Maryam Javan Shahraki is UNIDO Representative in Iran since May 2017. She has a master’s and a PhD degree in Political Science and Development Studies from Tehran University, and a PhD in Global Governance from the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. She has also an MBA degree from University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and Sharif University Management Institute. Before joining UNIDO, Javan Shahraki worked as the Director of Foreign Investment and International Affairs at the Supreme Council for Science, Research and Technology of Ministry of Science and Director of International Relations at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade. Javan Shahraki has developed her academic career as Assistant Professor at the National Research Institute for Science Policy, where she teaches graduate courses in Technology Foresight, Strategic Planning and Development Theories and Conflicted Governance in the Middle East.
Michael O. Agboola

Michael O. Agboola

UN Security Adviser
Michael O. Agboola was appointed as the UNDSS Security Advisor for the Islamic Republic of Iran and resumed duty on 30 September 2019. He has 31 years of continuous Security/Law Enforcement experience which includes 17 years of international experience in five different UN field missions.
Prior to his current appointment, he was the Security Coordination Officer at the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for one and half years. Before then, he was the Deputy Chief Security Advisor for Liberia and served in that capacity for six years. Specifically, he served at different capacities in (East Timor) UNTEAT 2000 to 2002, (Liberia) UNMIL 2004 to 2005, (East Timor) UNMIT 2007 to 2008, (Lebanon) UNIIIC 2008 to 2009 and (Liberia) UNMIL 2009 to April 2018. Outside the UN and while serving with the Nigeria Police Force, he rose to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police.
His training in both Police Academy and civil universities have provided him with a great sense of discretion and excellent skills in training, developing people, building trust, managing relationship, providing effective leadership, planning, and decision-making. He holds a bachelor’s Degree in Education/Economics and master’s degree in Business Administration - Management (MBA). He is a graduate of the Nigeria Police Staff College. He is married with children.
Mohamed Abdel-Ahad unfpa

Mohamed Abdel-Ahad

Representative a.i.
Mohamed Abdel-Ahad has been appointed as the UNFPA Representative ad-interim for Iran. A native of Egypt, he held a number of high-profile national and international public service positions over the last three decades, prior to his official retirement.
From 2013 to 2016 Mr. Abdel-Ahad served as the Regional Director of the Arab States, after which he was briefly appointed as the UNFPA Representative ad-interim in the Islamic Republic of Iran from August to November 2016. Before his appointment as the UNFPA Regional Director, Mohamed Abdel-Ahad worked as UNFPA Representative in three countries and territories: Myanmar (2009-2013), Iran (2004-2009), and Palestine (1999-2004). As the Fund’s first Representative to Palestine, he set up a field office in Jerusalem during the second Intifada. Prior to that, Mr. Abdel-Ahad served as Programme Officer with the UNFPA Arab States and Europe Division in New York. In addition, he worked with the Egyptian Mission to the United Nations and the Egyptian Ministry of Information.
Mohamed Abdel-Ahad holds a Master’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Southern Illinois in Edwardsville, a graduate diploma in the same field from Cornell University in Ithaca, and a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Helwan University in Cairo.
Namig Heydarov

Namig Heydarov

Head of Liaison Office
Mr. Heydarov has served in multiple management and advisory roles since 1995 in different UN political and peacekeeping missions, international organizations and private sector. He holds PhD. in International Relations and Development from the Diplomatic Academy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Moscow, Russian Federation). Mr. Heydarov has worked in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.
Negar Gerami

Negar Gerami

Negar Gerami holds a Masters degree in English and German Linguistics and Literature from Cologne University in Germany. She has a strong command of English and German languages. She joined WFP in 1999, appointed as Deputy Representative and Officer-in-Charge in 2006, and has been assigned as WFP Representative since 2008. She has valuable experience in the field of refugee and humanitarian affairs and is the first ever local WFP Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the only national WFP Representative worldwide.
Robin Nandy

Robin Nandy

Dr. Robin Nandy has been appointed UNICEF Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran as of August 2021, responsible for leadership, management, strategic advocacy, resource mobilization and delivery of the country programme of assistance for children.
Prior to this, Dr. Robin Nandy was the Principal Adviser and Chief of Immunizations at UNICEF Headquarters during Dec 2015 - July 2021 where he was responsible for providing strategic vision and oversight over all aspects of UNICEF’s engagement in the global immunization arena. From 2011 to 2015, he was Chief of Child Survival and Development at UNICEF Indonesia, where he oversaw UNICEF’s multisectoral engagement in health, nutrition, WASH & HIV in the country. Previously, Dr. Nandy led the Global Polio Eradication Initiative at UNICEF Headquarters from 2010 to 2011 and was the Team Leader for Health in Emergencies from 2006 to 2011.
Dr. Nandy is a Medical Epidemiologist and Public Health Physician with an extensive background international public health, particularly in the areas of maternal, newborn & child health; immunizations and in humanitarian health and outbreak responses. He has been directly involved in a number of high profile humanitarian disaster and outbreak responses over the last two decades.
Before joining UNICEF, he worked as a Medical Epidemiologist at the Global Immunization Division of the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta from 2002 to 2006. Previous to this, he worked with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) both at country and headquarters level, as well as for the Indian Government in the Republic of Maldives. He also spent four years as a Medical Officer in various hospitals in Delhi, India, from 1990-1994.
Dr. Nandy obtained his medical degree from Mysore University, India, in 1990 followed by a Master of Public Health at the Nuffield Institute for Health, Leeds, UK, in 1996. He also completed the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Fellowship at the CDC (2002–2004).
Syed Jaffar Hussain

Syed Jaffar Hussain

Country Representative and Head of Mission
Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain (Pakistan) has been reassigned as WHO Country Representative and Head of Mission, Islamic Republic of Iran effective 1 April 2021. Prior to joining as Head of Mission Iran, Dr Hussain was working as Chef de Cabinet, WHO Regional Office EMRO 1 July 2019-31 March 2021. Prior to that, Dr Hussain has worked as WHO Representative/Head of Mission Libya (September 2015-July 2019) and Head of Mission Tunisia (May 2016-Feb 2018). During this period Dr Hussain took the responsibility of Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator a.i. for a period of six months. Before joining Libya office, Dr Hussain worked as WHO Representative/Head of Mission for Iraq 2010-2015 including covering Syria for some time. His previous work assignment include serving as Regional Adviser Health Promotion/Violence, Injuries and Disabilities, WHO Regional Office for EMR since 2003. Dr Hussain holds a Doctorate in Public Health from Belford, United States, and a Master Degree in Hospital and Health Services Management from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom and Medicine Degree from University of Peshawar, Pakistan. Prior to joining WHO Regional Office, Dr Hussain held the positions of Project Officer Child Health, UNICEF, Pakistan, WHO Technical Officer Child Health, Pakistan, and Health Coordinator in UNHCR, Pakistan/Afghanistan, from 1997 to January 2003. His government assignments include Assistant Director of the EPI, Assistant District Health Officer, Deputy Medical Superintendent Psychiatric Hospital, and National Programme Manager Lady Health Programme for Primary Health Care and Family Planning from 1990 to 1997. Dr Hussain worked extensively in emergency settings, particularly focusing on post-emergency health system strengthening as well as health issues of refuges and migrants in the Region and beyond. Dr Hussain served as Regional Ombudsperson 2006-2010. Dr Hussain has led many UN leadership initiatives with UN staff college, World Bank and WHO and the author of numerous publications in international journals.
Dr. Yumiko Ishikawa-Takashima

Yumiko Ishikawa-Takashima

UNHCR Representative in Iran
Dr. Yumiko Ishikawa-Takashima has joined UNHCR Iran as Representative in August 2023. She has more than 24 years of experience working with UNHCR, having served in a range of functions, including in relevant senior leadership and management roles in Sudan, Thailand, Myanmar, Kenya, Uganda, Syria, Tokyo, and Geneva Headquarters, with her most recent post as Deputy Representative in Kabul, Afghanistan. Dr. Yumiko Ishikawa-Takashima is a national of Japan and holds a Doctorate in International Relations/Political Science from Gakushuin University of Japan with a focus on reintegration and durable solutions for the Afghan refugee situation.