Our Team in Uzbekistan
Mr Muhidov possesses 27 years of experience in sustainable development, disaster risk reduction, disaster response and preparedness in the region of South Caucasus and Central Asia, including with UNDRR, OCHA and UNDPI. He has gained expertise in programme management, cross-sector coordination and resource mobilisation, capacity building, urban resilience and regional coordination.
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.
Mr Makarigakis has more than 25 years of experience in the field of environmental sciences, including 20 years of international experience focusing on natural resources management with a focus on water and environment. He started his career with UNESCO in 2003 and worked in Windhoek Cluster Office, Addis Ababa Liaison Office, as well as UNESCO HQ in Paris. He holds PhD in Environmental Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, USA, MS in Civil Engineering and BS in Engineering Science from the City University of New York, USA.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Mr Rajaonson was appointed IFAD Country Director for Uzbekistan and Georgia in October 2021. Prior to his appointment, Mr Rajaonson was Adviser in the Office of the President and Vice-President of IFAD. Prior to joining IFAD, he worked as Development Economist and Policy Expert with other multilateral organisations and at country level. He advised several governments on evidence-based policy reforms with the FAO, formulated the national investment plan for Madagascar and associated reform agenda with the World Bank, managed the French cooperation portfolio on economic governance in Zimbabwe and conducted impact evaluations of European Union’s budget support programmes. He holds a BBA in Applied economics and Finance from HEC Montreal and a MSc in Development economics from the CERDI in France.
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.
Mr Schodder assumed his duties as UNHCR Representative in Central Asia in September 2020. He has been working for the UNHCR for almost 30 years, including his roles as UNHCR representative in Serbia (2015-2020), Deputy Chief of Mission of UNHCR in India (2012-15), Senior Emergency Coordinator in the Syria Crisis (2014), Representative in Kyrgyzstan (2008-12), Senior Protection Officer in Sri Lanka, Sudan and Ukraine (2001-8), Senior Liaison Officer of UNHCR to the OSCE (1996-2001) as well as in the field in Vietnam and Hong Kong (1991-1996). Mr Schodder graduated from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London UK.
Chief of the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia
Mr Curkowski has extensive experience in advisory and technical cooperation projects in most of the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Prior to joining the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia in UNIDO’s Headquarters, Jacek served as head of the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development. He has previously worked with UNDP as Adviser on Millennium Development Goals and Head of the Regional Center for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. He holds PhDs in computer science and economics.
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.
Dr Kuppens is the WHO Representative in Uzbekistan since January 2017. She has over 20 years’ experience with the UN, including with WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and OCHA. She has served at headquarter level, as well as in several countries in Africa and South-East Asia, including low, middle –income countries and emergency response. Before her current position, she notably served as UNICEF Chief of Health and Nutrition in Bangladesh (2012-2016), UNICEF Chief of Health, HIV, Nutrition and WASH in Sierra Leone (2010-2012), UNDP/OCHA Inter-cluster coordinator in Myanmar (2008-2010), WHO HIV country coordinator and emergency response and preparedness in Myanmar ( 2006-2010). Dr Kuppens has a medical degree from the University of Nijmegen, Netherlands and a Master’s degree in Public Health and Epidemiology (Antwerp, Belgium).
Ms Dimovska assumed the role of UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan in March 2019. Before this, she led the Country Office Support Team at UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub for Europe and the CIS as of July 2016. Prior to that, she served as Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP in Turkey (2012-2016) and in Moldova (2008-2012) and as Assistant Resident Representative of UNDP in Georgia (2006 -2008). Before joining UNDP, she served as Representative to UNIDO Investment Promotion Service in Vienna, and also worked for the Macedonian Privatization Agency and the private sector in Skopje. Ms Dimovska holds a Master’s degree in Economic Policy and Development from St. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje.
Mehmet Tansel Demir
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.
Mr Mammadzade assumed his duties as the Representative of UNICEF Country Office in Uzbekistan in August 2020. Prior to this, he served as UNICEF Deputy Representative to Kyrgyzstan for three years. He has worked in UNICEF Country Offices in Azerbaijan, Moldova and Nepal as well as the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia. Before joining UNICEF, Mr. Munir Mammadzade has worked in different sectors, capacities and roles, such as the executive director of one of the biggest youth NGOs, head of international department in the Human Rights Ombudsman's Office in Azerbaijan. He graduated from the Moscow State Open University and has a degree in economics and holds a Master of Advanced Studies on Children’s Rights from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
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.
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.
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.
Mr Komenda took up the position of Regional Representative with the OHCHR Regional Office for Central Asia in May 2016. Prior to this post, he was a Senior Advisor on Human Rights to the UNCT in the Russian Federation. His professional assignments also included Canadian Red Cross Society, the United Nations Fund for Women (UNIFEM), Canadian Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Canadian International Development Agency, the Council of Baltic Sea States, and the UNDPKO. Among others, he was the Head of Human Rights Office in Abkhazia, Georgia (UNOMIG) from 2007 to 2009. Mr Komenda is a human rights lawyer with Master’s of Laws (LL.M.) degree in International Human Rights (University of Ottawa, Canada) and Magister Juris (University of Gdansk, Poland).
Mr Toshbaev worked at a UNDP administered Parliamentary Development Project before joining IOM in 2015. Before that, he worked at the National Human Rights Centre of Uzbekistan (2005-2011) and as a legal consultant at the Uzbek Agro-Machinery Leasing Company (2002-2005). Mr Toshbaev’s holds a BA in Combined Studies (Law, Politics and Economics) from Teesside University (United Kingdom), a Master’s degree in Law from the Tashkent Law University, and an MA in International Relations from the Academy of Public Administration in Tashkent.
Representative to Kyrgyzstan, overseeing Uzbekistan and Tajikistan
Ms Jamsran’s experience includes over 20 years of experience in international development, strategic and managerial leadership in gender and women’s issues in Moldova, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan for UNDP, UNIFEM and UN Women. She has worked as the UN Women Representative in Moldova, and Palestine. Earlier, she was the UN Women Gender Adviser for Moldova and Ukraine, Regional Governance Specialist in Almaty, Senior Rural Development Specialist and Social Development Advisor in Kyrgyzstan and Ukraine, and Poverty Alleviation Specialist in Mongolia. Ms Jamsran is one of the active promoters of social innovation in UN Women.
Mr Gutu is 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.
Mr Yu Yu was appointed UNFPA Representative in Uzbekistan and Country Director in Tajikistan in August 2019. Before that, he worked as UNFPA Deputy Representative in Zimbabwe (five years) and Pakistan (four years), Head of Office in DPR Korea (five years) and National Programme Officer in China (three years). He also worked for three years at the Ministry of Commerce of China before joining UNFPA. Mr Yu Yu holds an MSc Degree in Public Policy and Management from the University of London and a Postgraduate Diploma in Economics from the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.