Our Team in Uzbekistan

Sabine Machl

Sabine Machl

The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Sabine Machl of Austria as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uzbekistan, with the host Government’s approval. She assumed her duties as of 1 June, 2024

Ms. Machl brings more than 25 years of experience in international law, development, conflict prevention and gender equality to this position. She worked until recently as the UN Resident Coordinator in Georgia. Prior to that, she was the UN Women Representative in Indonesia and Liaison to ASEAN and headed UN Women in Palestine and Kyrgyzstan.

Before joining the United Nations, she held senior positions with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in The Hague, Bishkek, Vienna and Tallinn. Ms. Machl also worked for the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and briefly at the European Parliament.

Ms. Machl holds two master's degrees in law and languages as well as a PhD in Law from the University of Vienna.
Dr Asheena Khalakdina

Dr Asheena Khalakdina

WHO Representative and Head of WHO Country Office in Uzbekistan
Dr Asheena Khalakdina is the WHO Representative and Head of WHO Country Office in Uzbekistan since March 2023. She has over 30 years of experience in global public health with WHO, UNICEF, DFID, NGOs and academia. She has served at headquarters and regional level as well as in several countries in the Asia Pacific and European regions. In WHO, Dr Khalakdina has served as Health Emergencies Team Lead in Cambodia (2018-2023); led the WHO Smallpox Secretariat and worked on epidemic & pandemic prone diseases in HQ (2015-2018); as Team Lead for Communicable Diseases in WHO’s offices in India (2014 - 2015), Turkey (2011-2013) and Thailand (2010). Dr Khalakdina has provided technical assistance to Member States at regional level with UNICEF EAPRO (2009-2010) and with WHO SEARO (2004-2006). Prior to working with the UN, she worked on various infectious diseases with DFID, PATH, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and as a researcher at the University of California Berkeley. Dr Khalakdina earned her PhD (epidemiology) and MPH (infectious diseases and international health) both from the University of California Berkeley, California and her BS in biochemistry from the University of Tampa, Florida.

Dr. Nigina Abaszada

Dr. Nigina Abaszada

UNFPA Resident Representative in the Republic of Uzbekistan and Country Director for Tajikistan
Dr. Nigina Abaszada started her assignment as the UNFPA Resident Representative in Uzbekistan and Country Director for Tajikistan from 26th December 2023. Prior to Uzbekistan Dr. Abaszada served four years as the UNFPA Resident Representative for the Republic of Moldova and Country Director for Albania. She has over 30-years of experience in leading policy advocacy and programme in the area of population and development, reproductive rights and gender equality. Dr. Abaszada joined the United Nations Population Fund in 2005 and has served also in Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and at the UNFPA Regional Office in Istanbul covering 17 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia Region. She has worked closely with policymakers, private sector, non-governmental organizations and leaders from social and health sectors to champion for women and girls’ rights, including in humanitarian and emergency settings.

Prior to joining UNFPA, Dr. Abaszada worked as a health researcher, Adjunct Professor and head of the faculty at state and private universities. Dr. Abaszada is a Medical Doctor, holds a PhD in Social Psychology and a Master's Degree in Gender and Child studies from Linkoping University, Sweden. She is married and has two children.

She speaks English, Russian, and Azerbaijan languages.
Regina M. Castillo

Regina M. Castillo

UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan
Regina M. Castillo assumed her duties as UNICEF Representative in Uzbekistan since May 2024.

Before her recent assignment, Ms. Castillo has been serving as UNICEF Representative in Croatia since 2020. Her career path in United Nations started in 2001 when she served as Economic and Social Affairs Officer at the Executive Office of the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan in New York, United States until 2006. She then assumed her duties as Chief of Private Sector Partnerships for UNAIDS Geneva, Switzerland from 2006 to 2012. Ms. Castillo has also served as Country Director for Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) based in Lima, Peru from 2012 to 2015.

In the 1990s, Ms. Castillo was a diplomat for her home country, Nicaragua and served as Director for International Trade, Ministry of Trade.

Ms. Castillo has more than 20 years of experience in team management, programme design and implementation, multilateral negotiations, partnerships and fundraising. She is a dual citizen of Nicaragua and Spain and holds degrees in international relations and public policy. She is married and has two children.

Aidai UNEP

Aidai Kurmanova

Head of Sub-Regional Office for Central Asia
Ms Kurmanova started her assignment as the Head of Central Asia Office in Almaty on 2 February 2019. She brings 21 years of developing country experience, including five-years as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic. Her areas of expertise include sustainable economic development, policy design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. She has first-hand experience in developing intergovernmental policies and procedures, implementing cohesive economic growth strategies, and a comprehensive understanding of international donor policies and procedures. Ms Kurmanova holds an MA in Development Economics from the International University of Japan and an MPA in Public Governance from the Academy of Management under the President of Kyrgyz Republic.
Andrew Mackay Bower <andrew.bower@un.org>

Andrew Mackay Bower

UNDRR Country Support Programme Manager
Andrew manages UNDRR's Country Support at the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia and is the Coordinator of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative in the region. He has worked for UNDRR since 2018, covering both engagement on national and local resilience through Sendai Framework implementation and monitoring across the 55 member countries of the Europe and Central Asia Region. He previously worked for the European Commission’s Directorate General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), as well as in academia. He holds a Masters Degree in Mediterranean Studies from King's College London and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Studies from Birmingham University, UK.

Ashita Mittal

Ashita Mittal

Regional Representative for Central Asia
Ms Mittal has been working with UNODC for over 21 years in diverse capacities. Before taking her current position, she served as the Officer-in-Charge and the Deputy Representative of UNODC in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2014. From 1995 to 2009, Ms Mittal served as the Deputy Representative, UNODC Regional Office for South Asia. Before that, she served with WFP in India, engaging on food and security. Prior to joining the UN, she worked extensively with civil society on drug use prevention, treatment and rehabilitation in India (1986-1993). Ms Mittal holds a Graduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work from Delhi University in India. She was a Fulbright Fellow (1989-90) in the USA.
Azizkhon Khankhodjaev

Azizkhon Khankhodjaev

National Coordinator
Mr Khankhodjaev before joining ILO had interacted for over 15 years with international development agencies. He notably worked within a joint UNDP-Government Project on the establishment and institutional development of the first think tank institution in Uzbekistan – the Center for Economic Research (CER). He holds a Bachelor's degree in political science from the University of World Economy and Diplomacy and a Master's degree in international economics from Tashkent State University of Economics.
Ceren Güven Güres, UN Women Country Programme Manager for Uzbekistan

Ceren Güven Güres

UN Women Country Programme Manager for Uzbekistan
Ceren Güven Güres has been appointed as Country Programme Manager for Uzbekistan as of 25 April 2023.

Ceren Güven Güres has 15 years of professional experience managing peace, humanitarian and development programmes as well as partnership and advocacy work in various duty stations.

Prior to her assignment in Uzbekistan, she was serving as the Strategic Planning and UN Coordination Specialist (OiC) for UN Women in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) since May 2022 after she joined the organization as a Programme Specialist in October 2021. She served in a number of UNICEF Country Offices with large and complex operations including Türkiye and Germany (outpost of ECA regional office for refugee response). She also served in Council of Europe, European Patent Office and UNICEF National Committee for Germany.

Ceren holds a PhD in Business Administration from the Gazi University, two master’s degrees in leadership and change management.

As a national of Türkiye and Germany, Ceren is fluent in Turkish, German and English. She is married and has a daughter.

Charos Maksudova

Charos Maksudova

Country Manager
Ms Maksudova started her career at the Businesswomen’s Association of Uzbekistan in 2000. In 2007, she joined UNAIDS as a project coordinator, and in 2008 continued to work at UNAIDS country office as an administrative programme associate. After UNAIDS Uzbekistan Office closed in 2017, she was transferred to Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and appointed as programme officer on community support and gender for Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Ms Maksudova graduated from Tashkent State Economic University in 2001. She holds a Master’s degree in Foreign Economics and Bachelor’s degree in International Economic Relations.
Boutrimova ITC

Elena Boutrimova

Chief of the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Ms Boutrimova was appointed as Chief of the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the ITC in 2009. She joined ITC in 2004 as Trade Promotion Officer for Eastern Europe, and prior to that was a Project Manager with UNCTAD focusing on trade facilitation and competition law and policy. Her other assignments include positions in UNECE, OCHA and the World Bank. She holds a Master's degree in economics and international relations from a Bauman Moscow State Technical University.

Freya von Groote

Director of UNOPS Austria Multi-Country Office, Non-resident Representative to Uzbekistan
Ms von Groote brings 20 years of diverse operational and leadership experience from the UN, the inter-governmental and non-governmental sector. She has served in Georgia, Armenia, Liberia/West Africa, Iraq and in HQ positions in Vienna and New York, managing complex development, humanitarian and partnership portfolios. She holds an MScEcon in International Politics from the University of Wales and a BAhons in History and Russian from Trinity College Dublin.
Jean-Philippe Rodde

Jean-Philippe Rodde

Economic Affairs Officer
Mr Rodde has more than 15 years of work experience in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) headquarters in Geneva, focusing mainly on inter-agency cooperation in the context of UN System wide Coherence reform. Previous experience includes the International Trade Centre (UNCTAD/WTO) and the Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). He holds an Advanced University Degree in International Relations from the Sorbonne University, Paris.
Laura Mattioli

Laura Mattioli

Country Director, Near East & North Africa Division, IFAD
Laura Mattioli, a national of Italy, appointed as Country Director, Near East & North Africa Div. (NEN) in TASHKENT Uzbekistan, effective 31st July 2023.

Ms. Mattioli joins us from the Scottish Government/Edinburgh, where she worked as Climate and Energy External Relations Lead in the Directorate of External Affairs. Prior to this, Ms. Mattioli worked as Senior Adviser in the Humanitarian and Migration Department of the UK Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office.
Ms. Mattioli possesses a master’s degree in Sustainable Development and Territory Management at the University of Turin and a MSc in Economics from Gordon University.
Matilda Bogner

Matilda Bogner

Regional Representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia
Matilda Bogner has worked in the UN system since 2006. Before coming to Central Asia, Ms. Bogner headed the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine for 4 years. This is her second appointment as the head of the Regional Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Central Asia. Previously, she also headed the Regional Offices of OHCHR in the Pacific region and in South-East Asia. She also headed the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya and was Senior Human Rights Advisor for the UN in Belarus. Prior to that, she worked on human rights for nine years in the Europe and Central Asia region and speaks Russian fluently. She has a legal education and also worked as a criminal defense lawyer in Australia.
Tansel Demir DSS

Mehmet Tansel Demir

Security Advisor
Prior to his appointment to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, as Security Adviser, Mr Demir served as UNDSS Field Security officer (FSCO) in Karachi, Pakistan (2015-2019) and Garowe, Somalia (2012-2015), and UNDSS Security Information Analyst in Islamabad, Pakistan (2009-2012). He has more than 20 years of military experience and before joining UNDSS in 2009 has served in several NATO and military security, information analysis, terrorism and counter-terrorism related positions in Balkans, Caucasus and Middle East. He holds Master’s degree in International relations from Dokuz Eylul University in Izmir, Turkey, and university diploma from Turkish Armed Forces Land War Academy in Ankara, Turkey. He is fluent in Turkish and English.

Nargizaknon Usmanova

Regional Coordinator for Central Asia
Ms Usmanova was appointed as UNICRI's Regional Coordinator for Central Asia in October 2021. She brings over a decade of experience working with UNDP in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Papua New Guinea, managing a portfolio of 20+ projects on disaster risk reduction, natural resource management, climate change and environment funded by a number of international donors.
Natalia Mochu

Natalia Mochu

Regional director for Regional office for CIS
Ms Mochu joined the ITU in February 2020. She has previously worked as Senior Manager for Global Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe and Central Asia at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). In 2012-2018 she worked as Deputy Head of Laboratory at the Radio Research and Development Institute (NIIR) in Moscow. From 2006 to 2012 Natalia worked for the Executive Committee of the Regional Commonwealth in the field of Communications (RCC), in particular she was the RCC Executive Committee Deputy Director General in 2008-2012. Natalia started her professional career as Specialist of the Ministry of Information Development of the Republic of Moldova in 2002. Natalia participated in ITU high-level conferences and meetings, including ITU Plenipotentiary Conferences, Councils and Sectoral Conferences; contributed to the activities of RCC working bodies, European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations, as well as ICANN, RIPE NCC and other relevant organizations. She holds bachelor’s degree in mathematics and informatics and master’s degree in information technology from the State University of Moldova.
Nikolay Pomoshchnikov

Nikolay Pomoshchnikov

Officer-in-Charge of the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia
Mr Pomoshchnikov has extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, holding the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (second class). Before joining ESCAP in 2011, he was previously the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to ESCAP. He holds a PhD in Political Science.
Sara Noshadi photo

Sara Noshadi

Appointed as UNESCO Representative to Uzbekistan in June 2022, Sara Noshadi has over 15 years of International experience in various capacities.
From 2018 to 2022, she was serving as Senior Coordinator of the "Revive the Spirit of Mosul" Initiative at the Cabinet of the Director-General of UNESCO.
From 2012 to 2018, she worked for UNESCO Office in Afghanistan. During these years, among other responsibilities, she oversaw the establishment of Afghanistan's National Program for Culture and Creative Economy. Sara Noshadi joined UNESCO in 2010 with the World Heritage Centre.
Prior to her UN career, from 2005 to 2008, she was the Coordinator of the Franco-Iranian Anthropology Program conducted by the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS).
Sara Noshadi holds a Master's degree in Cultural Heritage Management from Jean Monet University in France, as well as a Master's degree in Anthropology from University of Tehran, Iran.
Sarangoo Radnaaragchaa

Sarangoo Radnaaragchaa

Regional Advisor on Environment
Ms. Radnaaragchaa has extensive experience dedicated to improving conditions for environmental and sustainable natural resource management at national, regional and international levels. Before joining UNECE in 2014, she worked as a senior officer with the Ministry of Nature and Environment of Mongolia and continued her career as environmental specialist in various long-term assignments with UNDP, FAO, UNEP, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and with consulting companies. She served as an expert member of the IUCN World Heritage Panel on World Heritage. Her particular areas of expertise include: implementation of Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA), environmental policy analysis and formulation, participatory natural resource management, environmental and social impact assessment, capacity development, public consultation, conflict management and project implementation and evaluation. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts on Social Sciences from the University of Humanity Studies in Moscow, Russian Federation, and she completed her Postgraduate studies in Environmental Management at the Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.
Solomiya Omelyan,  Chief of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia, UNIDO

Solomiya Omelyan

Chief of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia
Ms. Solomiya Omelyan joined UNIDO in 2007. In her current capacity as Chief of the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia, Ms. Omelyan is responsible for determining regional strategies and programmatic priorities for UNIDO’s services in 27 countries of the region while ensuring that the Organization responds to the specific industrial development needs and requirements of its Member States.

Prior to joining UNIDO, Ms. Omelyan worked as a Policy Consultant at the United Nations Environment Programme’s Vienna Interim Secretariat of the Carpathian Convention (2005-2007) where she implemented regional projects in the area of sustainable development of the mountainous regions. She also worked in the Embassy of Ukraine in Austria, the Committee on Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship at the Parliament of Ukraine in Kyiv and different academic and research institutions.

Ms. Omelyan obtained her master’s degree with honours in international economics and international relations from the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and her M.A. (Magister Artium) from the Ukrainian Free University in Munich, Germany.
Viorel Gutu

Viorel Gutu

Assistant General Director
Mr Gutu is FAO Assistant General Director and previously he served as FAO's Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative for Turkey and Uzbekistan. Before joining FAO in 2014 as the head of FAO Tajikistan office, Gutu was Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry in Moldova. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of strategic policy implementation in agriculture and rural development. He also served as economic affairs officer with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, where he dealt with peacekeeping operations, poverty alleviation and prevention of the emergency situations. He holds a doctoral degree in economics.
IOM Chief of Mission in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan

Zeynal Hajiyev

IOM Chief of Mission in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev was appointed as Chief of Mission (CoM) in IOM Uzbekistan in September 2019. He is also an accredited CoM in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan with subregional coordination roles for Central Asia. Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev holds Advanced Diploma in Public Administration from the Nottingham Trent University, UK (1997) as well as Diploma in Engineering from Moscow Bauman State Technical University, RF (1986). His academic background is coupled with extensive experience in more than 25 years, such countries as Belarus, Iraq, Kosovo (Security Council Resolution 1244 (1999). Mr. Zeynal Hajiyev reaffirms his commitment to support the Governments of the Central Asian countries and civil society in preventing and eradicating human trafficking, as well as to ensure safe migration.