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Chiefs, Mine Action Programmes

Abyei

Nico Bosman is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Abyei supporting the UNISFA mission. He has 24 years of service within the mine action world serving in various conflict affected countries in Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and South-Central Asia. He served previously with the United Nations Mine Action Office from 1999-2001.

 

 

 

 

Afghanistan

Paul Heslop is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and the UK Defense College at Shrivenham. He earned an MBA from the London Business school. He began his demining career in 1994 working for the British non-governmental organization “The HALO Trust”. Subsequently he worked in 26 countries including Angola, Cambodia, Kosovo, Laos and Mozambique. 

 

 

 

 

Burkina Faso 

Philippe Renard is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Burkina Faso. He served as the Programme Manager in Mali from 2013-2017 and then joined the UNMAS programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo from 2017 to 2019 in the same position.

 

 

 

 

Central African Republic

Richard Derieux is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in the Central African Republic. With more than 25 years’ experience managing mine action operations and programmes in many countries, mainly in Africa, he has worked for UNMAS for more than 15 years. Mr. Derieux holds a master's degree in International, European and Foreign Law and a master's degree in Law and Humanitarian Action from the Aix-en-Provence University in Marseille, France.

 

 

 

 

Colombia

Pablo Parra is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Colombia. A colombian national, Pablo was responsible for starting up the mine action programme in his country in 2006. Under his tenure, Colombia finalized the destruction of landmine stockpiles, cleared all the minefields installed by the military, and started the accreditation of non-government organizations to clear the landmines of an improvised nature installed by non-state armed groups. Pablo joined our programme in Colombia in 2014, providing technical assistance to the Government of Colombia and the organizations in the sector. In particular, he had a leadership role in the implementation of pilot demining projects between the Colombian government and FARC-EP during the peace negotiations; and after the signature of the Peace Accord, in the design and creation of HUMANICEMOS DH, a mine action organization led and conformed by ex-combatants in the process of reintegration. Pablo is a civil engineer and holds a master's degree in project management. Throughout his career in mine action, he has received training and worked in countries such as the USA, Norway, Jordan, Switzerland, Kenya, Cambodia, Afghanistan and South Sudan.

 

Cyprus

Mark Connelly is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Cyprus supporting the UN peacekeeping operation UNFICYP. During his 15 years of service within UNMAS, Mr. Connelly has served in Abyei, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda.  He has held several positions including Chief of Quality Assurance, Project Manager, Programme Manager and Chief of Operations.

 

 

 

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Jean-Denis Larsen is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mr. Larsen holds a MSc Economics (specializing in international business and development studies) from Copenhagen Business School and a B Engineering (specializing in telecommunications) from the Technical University of Denmark. He was most recently employed at the MONUSCO Arms Embargo Cell (AEC) tasked with collection, analysis and dissemination of data on the flow of illegal weapons and ammunition within and around the DRC. He has experience as consultant and manager with commercial enterprises, development agencies and diplomatic missions predominately working in Central and Western Africa. Before joining the UN, Jean-Denis worked for eight years as the Country Director of mine action organizations in Mali and DRC.

 

 

Ethiopia

Abel Tesfai is Chief of Mine Action Programme in Ethiopia, with responsibility for managing UNMAS mine action projects and staffs. As a representative of the mine action sector in Ethiopia, he advises the government of Ethiopia and the UN family on strategic mine action issues and coordinate the sector in close liaison with donors for resource mobilisation. Mr. Tesfai holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, and he has been actively involved in humanitarian mine action for more than 20 years.

 

 

 

 

Iraq

Pehr Lodhammar is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Iraq, managing all international and national staff in the program, in addition to donor relations and resource mobilization. As a key advocate for the mine action sector in Iraq, he is often involved with coordination with the highest levels of the Iraqi government, and represents UNMAS at international venues and conferences. Mr. Lodhammar holds a Master’s Degree in International Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid, and has more than 30 years of military and humanitarian mine action experience.

 

 

 

 

Lebanon

Julie Myers is Chief of the Mine Action Programme inside of the United Nations Interim Mission in Lebanon (UNIFIL). 

 

Libya

Justin Smith is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Libya. Mr. Smith has been working with UNMAS Programme in UNSOS/Somalia as the Head of Policy & Analysis supporting the Somalia government and the AU peacekeeping mission (ATMIS) to mitigate the threat of IEDs and manage weapons and ammunition. Prior to that, Mr. Smith was working at the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD). He also served for 23 years in the US military as a Navy Special Operations Officer and Master EOD Technician in posts throughout Europe, Middle East, Asia-Pacific and Africa in roles ranging from security cooperation, intelligence and counter-terrorism. He holds MBA degrees from UCLA and the National University of Singapore and a MA in Security Studies from the US Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.

 

 

Mali

Charles Frisby is Chief of Mine Action Programme in Mali. He has professional experience from the military, UN peacekeeping and humanitarian sectors. Before joining UNMAS, Charles was most recently working for Norwegian People’s Aid (NGO) as a Country Director in Bosnia & Herzegovina. He has previously worked with the UN and UNMAS in MINUSMA, ONUCI and MONUSCO.

 

 

 

Niger

Recruitment Underway

 

Nigeria

Recruitment Underway

 

Somalia

Jean-Guy Lavoie is OiC Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Somalia, based in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). He joined UNMAS in 2011 in Colombia and served on assignments to Lebanon, Cameroon, Gaza (occupied Palestinian territory), and most recently in Mali as Chief of the Mine Action Programme. He is retired from the Canadian police where he was a supervisor and instructor specializing in bomb disposal at the national college and he was an infantry officer in the Canadian army. He holds a master’s degree in Human Security and Peacebuilding from Royal Roads University in Canada. Jean-Guy is fluent in French, Spanish, and English. 

 

 

 

 

South Sudan

Fran O'Grady joined the UNMISS team as Chief of Mine Action Programme following a role as Senior Programme Manager Rule of Law Reform with the United Nations in Ukraine. This is his sixth mission with UNMAS, the first of which was in 2002 as an Operations Officer in Eritrea/Ethiopia, followed by Capacity Development Team Leader in South Sudan, Senior Programme Officer in DRC, Programme Manager ai. with Syria Response, and Head of Projects in Iraq. His other missions include Kosovo with NATO, as well as Liberia and Chad with the UN. With 25 years of management and technical experience, Fran has led large teams and implemented complex initiatives in emergency response, humanitarian, and development settings. In addition to a military career, retiring as a Senior Officer, Fran holds a Master’s Degree from Trinity College Dublin, as well as being a Chartered Engineer and professional mentor.

 

State of Palestine

Recruitment Underway

 

Sudan

Mohammad Sediq Rashid is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Sudan and part of the UN peace operaton UNITAMS. Mr. Rashid joined the mine action sector in 1989 and progressively gained experience through various roles with the United Nations in Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan. He has worked with UNMAS since 2002.  

 

 

 

 

Syria 

Mr. Habibulhaq Javed is the Acting Chief Mine Action Programme for the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) in Syria, with more than 20 years of practical experience in management and coordination of mine action programmes. He started working in mine action in 1997, as Operations Officer with Afghan Technical Consultants, a local Afghan NGO in Kabul, and later joined the United Nations Mine Action Center for Afghanistan (UNMACA) in 2002 as Senior Operations Officer. Later he was appointed Area Manager for the Central Region of Afghanistan for UNMACA, and in 2006 joined UNDP as Programme Officer for the mine action programme in Kabul. He has since worked with the mine action department of several peacekeeping missions in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan, including Darfur. In October 2018 he was appointed as Head of Office UNMAS Syria, and since 2021 he is Acting Chief Mine Action Programme for UNMAS in Syria.

 

Western Sahara

 El hadji Mamadou Kebe is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in the Territory of Western Sahara. Mr. Kebe holds a Master’s degree in social sciences and   development studies. He has more than 12 years’ experience working in mine action, international humanitarian law (IHL) and project development. He has   experience working in Senegal, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in Territory of Western Sahara, in Iraq and in the Central African Republic.

 

 

 

 

 

Yemen

Leon Louw is Chief of the Mine Action Programme in Yemen. During his 12 years with UNMAS, he has served in Sudan (including Darfur), Lebanon, and Western Sahara, eight years as UNMAS programme manager in Lebanon, Abyei, and the Territory of Western Sahara. Before joining the United Nations, Leon worked on mine action in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.