Our Team in Myanmar

Ramanathan Balakrishnan

Ramanathan Balakrishnan

Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim
Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan (Rama) assumed his charge as UNFPA Representative in Myanmar starting Dec 05, 2018. Mr. Balakrishnan has more than 20 years of development coordination experience in varied political contexts including the Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East North Africa (MENA) Region. Prior to arriving in Myanmar, Mr. Balakrishnan served as the UNFPA Representative in Iraq, between 2015-2018, where he managed the largest UNFPA programme globally. More recently he was attached to UNFPA HQ on a special assignment supporting the transition of the UNFPA Humanitarian and Fragile Context Branch (HFCB) to the Humanitarian Office architecture. His earlier assignments include, Deputy Regional Director, UN Women Asia Pacific Regional Office (2012-2015); UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Libya (2007-2012); UNDP (UNV Volunteers, Bonn) Management Specialist (2003-2007). Mr. Balakrishnan is an Indian national and holds twin masters in Natural Resources Management and Population Studies.
Benedikt Hofmann

Benedikt Hofmann

Country Manager
Benedikt Hofmann took up his functions as UNODC Country Manager for Myanmar in August 2020. Prior to his arrival in Myanmar, Benedikt, a national of Austria, served as Programme Officer in the Office of the Director, Division for Operations, in UNODC Vienna headquarters, where he focused on strategic programme planning, enhancing UN partnerships, and strengthening impact of UNODC field operations around the world. Before that, he oversaw programme development and management in Eastern Africa and the Middle East and North Africa region, with the UNODC Regional Section for Africa and the Middle East.

In 2015 and 2016, Benedikt was posted in the UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, leading regional programme monitoring and reporting, and coordinating core operations for the region. Before his time in Bangkok, he had served in various capacities with the UNODC Regional Sections for Africa and the Middle East as well as West and Central Asia, with a focus on programme development and operations support in Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan and neighbouring countries.

Benedikt holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from University of Vienna, Austria. He can be reached on benedikt.hofmann@un.org and found on twitter as @benihofmann.

Catarina Teles Ferreira Camarinhas

Country Programme Manager, a.i.
Dr. Catarina Teles Ferreira Camarinhas is Programme Management Officer at the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), where she leads the Myanmar Country Programme. She is working with the UN since 2010, with past experience in Kosovo, Maldives and in the Caribbean. She was Chief Technical Adviser for the United Nations Low Emission Climate Resilient Development (LECReD) Programme in the Maldives, a UN joint Programme aiming at introducing strategies and practices for incorporating resource efficiency and climate resilience into local development planning.

Prior to her appointment with the UN, she was University Professor in the field of spatial planning and sustainable urban development at the University of Lisbon, Portugal, and was also Urban planning officer for her native city of Lisbon, Portugal.

She holds a PhD (University of Paris – Sorbonne, 2009) and a Master’s degree (University of Lisbon, 1998) in Urban and regional planning, as well as a degree in Architecture (University of Lisbon, 1993). She has edited and contributed to a number of books, including L'Urbanisme de Lisbonne, published by L'Harmattan, and several UN reports and publications. Her most recent publication, A review of the status of institutional mechanisms for sustainable development planning, has been published by the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in 2022.
David Carden

David Carden

Head of Office
David Carden took over as Head of the OCHA office in Myanmar in August 2021, after a long career coordinating complex humanitarian operations around the world. Prior to arriving in Myanmar, Mr Carden was Deputy Director in OCHA’s Operations and Advocacy Division in New York with management oversight of 10 countries in West and Central Africa. He has 25 years of humanitarian experience with OCHA, serving as the Head of Office in the occupied Palestinian territory (2015-18) and in the Philippines, including during the response to super-typhoon Haiyan (2011-2015). Mr Carden has also served with OCHA in Lebanon (Head of Office 2006), Georgia (Head of Office 2008), Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d'Ivoire and the Balkans. Before joining OCHA, Mr Carden worked with the UN Department of Political Affairs in South Africa, with the Department of Peace Keeping Operations in Cambodia, and as an analyst in the private sector in London and South-East Asia. Mr. Carden is a British national and has a BA in languages at Durham University in the UK and a Masters in international environmental law.
Donglin Li

Donglin Li

Liaison Officer/Representative
Mr. Donglin LI, Liaison Officer/Representative, started his posting with the ILO Liaison Office in Myanmar in August 2019. He was transferred from the ILO Pacific Office based in Fiji covering eleven ILO countries and was the Director of the Office for almost three years. Mr Li was the Country Director of the ILO Office for Sri Lanka and the Maldives for five and a half years from 2011-2016, the Country Director of the ILO Office for Pakistan for six and a half years from 2004-2011, and the Senior Adviser to the Regional Director for the ILO Regional Office in Bangkok for two and a half years from 2002-2004. In 2010, the Government of Pakistan conferred on him the President Award in recognition of his team excellent services to the People of Pakistan. In 2019, he received TEAMWORK ILO Recognition Award from the ILO Director-General. Mr Li was the Director-general of International Cooperation Department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security of China before joining the ILO. Mr Li holds a Master Degree in MBA from Heriot-Watt University in UK. He was a Visiting Scholar in the Cooper Union, NY, USA in 1987, Bachelor Degree from the East China University of Science and Technology in 1982 in Shanghai.
Dragan Aleksoski

Dragan Aleksoski

Chief of Mission
Dragan Aleksoski is the Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Myanmar. A Macedonian national, Dragan has over 23 years of experience with IOM in the humanitarian sector, development cooperation, advocacy, partnership building and management in a number of countries in Europe, Central and South-East Asia. He arrived in Myanmar in August 2022.

Prior to his current position, Dragan served as the Senior Regional Emergency and Post-Crisis Specialist in the IOM Regional Office for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Mission to the UN and other International Organizations in Vienna. In this capacity, he was responsible for providing technical support for the development and implementation of IOM’s emergency and post-crisis activities and services in the countries in the region. Before this, he served as a Chief of Mission of the International Organization for Migration in Tajikistan. Dragan began his professional career with IOM in 1999, working on the Humanitarian Evacuation Program of Kosovo refugees from North Macedonia. Since then, he has worked in a variety of countries including Thailand, East Timor, Namibia, Pakistan and Croatia.

Dragan holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from University in Skopje and specialized course diploma in Migration Studies from the University of Maastricht.
Georgina Lloyd Rivera

Georgina Lloyd Rivera

Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance
Dr. Georgina Lloyd Rivera is the Regional Coordinator (Asia and the Pacific) of Environmental Law and Governance for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Georgina’s works covers the areas of environmental rights, environmental crime, technical assistance in environmental law and capacity building at the national and regional level. Georgina has been involved in capacity building for environmental law within Southeast Asia and has provided advice to government and non-government stakeholders on environmental law and policy issues. 

Georgina holds a PhD in Law, Master in Environmental Law and Bachelor in Environmental Science (Hons 1) from the University of Sydney.


H. Thushara E. I. Fernando

Dr Thushara Fernando, WHO Representative to Myanmar, is a Sri Lankan national with over 15 years of technical and leadership experience at the WHO.

He is a medical doctor and a public health professional. Dr. Fernando graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) from the University of Colombo and completed his post graduate studies with a Master of Public Health (MPH) from the California State University in Long Beach and a doctorate (MD, Community Medicine), from the Post Graduate Institute of Medicine, in Sri Lanka.

Before joining the WHO, Dr. Fernando had nearly 20 years of work experience working at the National Institute of Health Sciences and the Ministry of Health in Sri Lanka in many roles, including from 2000 to 2004 when he was the Director (Planning) at the Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka.

Since 2004 he has been serving WHO in many capacities, being a National Professional Officer in the Country Office in Sri Lanka, Technical Officer in the Southeast Asian Regional Office and at the Country Office in Nepal. He also served as the Regional Planning Coordinator for WHO SEARO from 2010 to 2012.
In 2012 he became the WHO Representative in Bangladesh and in 2015 to mid-2019 was the WHO Representative in Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).

Dr. Fernando has over 35 years of accumulated professional experience in the areas of public health and health systems strengthening, including health policy assessment and analysis, health policy development and modification, health systems planning, monitoring and evaluation, health reforms, managing public health emergencies, and in health administration and management.

Ichiro Miyazawa

Head of UNESCO office in Myanmar
Ichiro Miyazawa is Head of UNESCO, a.i. and leads a dedicated team to support educational development and reform; media development for freedom of expression and right to information; and the preservation of cultural heritage and diversity in Myanmar. Prior to his current position, he was the Programme Specialist to promote inclusive and equitable education for the disadvantaged children and youth in Asia and Pacific at UNESCO Bangkok Regional Bureau.

He previously worked in Islamabad, Pakistan, as the Head of UNESCO Education Programme and the Education Focal Point of One UN in Pakistan. He also served the same function in UNESCO Dhaka, Bangladesh. He started his UN career in UNICEF Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Mr. Miyazawa holds the Master’s degree on Education from the Columbia University in New York, USA, and the Bachelor’s degree on Science and Technology from Keio University, Tokyo Japan.
James Rodehaver

James Rodehaver

Head of the Myanmar Team
James Rodehaver has headed the Myanmar Team of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights based in the South East Asia Region Office in Bangkok since January 2020. A lawyer by profession, James has over 25 years of experience working on complex human rights issues in conflict and post-conflict situations, having previously served as the Coordinator of the UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria (2014-2020), Deputy Director of the Human Rights Unit of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (2010-2014) and Director of the Human Rights presences of the OSCE in Bosnia and Herzegovina (2005-2010) and Kosovo. James also served with the UN assistance missions in Sierra Leone (1999-2000), Kosovo (2000-2004) and Liberia (2004-2005).

Mr. Rodehaver graduated with high honors from Ohio University’s History Department and Contemporary History Institute. Thereafter he obtained his Juris Doctor from Washington & Lee University in Lexington, Virginia winning the Frederic L. Kirgis prize in Public international Law. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Human Rights Law Centre of Nottingham University and was recognized as a Notable Alumni of Ohio University in 2019.
Karin Fueg

Karin Fueg

UN Women
Country Representative a.i.
Ms. Karin Fueg has resumed her function of Country Representative a.i. in August 2022. Previously she worked as deputy Head of Office/Head of Programme at the UN Women Office in Myanmar and UN Women Deputy Country Director in Kenya 2014 – 2019.

She has over 25 years of experience in senior multi-donor program management in Africa (Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Botswana and Mali) and Central Asia (Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan) collaborating with government institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector. She has extensively worked in rural development, legal reforms, governance and on gender issues. Her areas of expertise are strategic Program development and planning, UN interagency coordination, partnership building and resource mobilization and knowledge management.

She has led and supported advocacy of civil society, Government agencies, legislature towards gender responsive legalization and within agreed international frameworks (CEDAW, Sustainable Development Goals) that promote and protect gender equality.

Ms. Karin holds a Master’s degree in Modern History and in Russian philology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. She is a Swiss citizen.
Marco Smoliner

Marco Smoliner

Security Advisor
Mr. Marco Smoliner is a former Austrian Federal Police Officer and Member of the City Council in Vienna Austria. He holds an MBA in International Management and has previously worked in the OSCE in Vienna, UN Peacekeeping, IFAD in Rome and UN-Security since 2002, with postings in Central America, East Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. Mr. Smoliner volunteered for the role in Myanmar and was deployed in May 2021. He is married with one teenage son.

Marcoluigi Corsi

Marcoluigi Corsi

Mr. Marcoluigi Corsi was appointed as UNICEF Representative to Myanmar in December 2021, and assumed his role in Yangon in May 2022.

Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Regional Director for UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Region from February 2020. He also served as UNICEF Representative in Mozambique from September 2015 till January 2020, and in Bolivia from August 2011 till July 2015.

He had been twice UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Indonesia from 2005 to 2011 and in Eritrea from 2002 till 2005. Before that, he served as Chief of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation of UNICEF programmes in Somalia and was responsible for programme monitoring and evaluation at a community-based planning and coordination unit in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

An Italian national, Mr. Marcoluigi Corsi holds a master’s degree in international political sciences from the La Sapienza University in Rome, Italy.

He is married with three daughters.
Noriko Takagi

Noriko Takagi

Ms. Noriko Takagi, Representative of UNHCR in Myanmar, has almost 30 years of experience in the field of humanitarian assistance and refugee protection.

Ms. Takagi’s career with UNHCR spans 25 years in a variety of operational contexts. She started in Yangon, Myanmar as Associate Programme Officer (1997-2000), after which she served in Nepal as Programme Officer (2000 – 2002) and then in Kigoma, Tanzania as Field Officer (2004-2006) where she also served as Registration Coordinator. Thereafter, Ms. Takagi served at UNHCR Headquarters as Programme Training Officer within the Division of Operational Services (2006-2009). She then worked at UNHCR’s Regional Officer for Central Europe in Budapest, Hungary, as Senior Regional Programme Officer, overseeing UNHCR’s programmes and budgets in seven countries – Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria.

Ms. Takagi returned to Myanmar, initially as Senior Programme Officer (2013-2015) and then as Deputy Representative (2015-2016). She then served as Business Coordinator for UNHCR’s Results-Based Management (RBM) renewal project (2017 to 2021), at Headquarters. Most recently, she was the Senior Programme Coordinator, overseeing some 40 countries under UNHCR’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ms. Takagi is Japanese national and holds Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations and Economics (double major) from University of Southern California in California, USA, and Master of Arts in Intercultural Management from School for International Training in Vermont, USA.

Paul Luchtenburg

Paul Luchtenburg

Country director
Paul Luchtenberg has served as the Country Coordinator for UNCDF in Myanmar since 2013. Previously he served as the Senior Operations Officer covering the East Asia and Pacific region for the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Before that he was a microfinance implementer serving as the CEO of AMK in Cambodia. He has more than 25 years of experience in Microfinance and Financial Inclusion playing a variety of roles from implementer, Technical Assistance provider, funder, board member and equity investor. He holds an MBA from Eastern University and has also been a part of the writing of a number of books and articles on microfinance and financial inclusion. Paul is passionate about ensuring microfinance and financial inclusion maximize benefits to clients, he serves on the Social Performance Task Force board and was a founding board member of the SMART campaign for client protection.
Rangaiyan Gurumurthy

Rangaiyan Gurumurthy

Country Director
Rangaiyan Gurumurthy brings over 25 years of development cooperation experience to strengthen Health and HIV responses in varied political contexts including the Asia-Pacific; Eastern and Southern Africa; West and Central Africa and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regions.

As the Director a.i of the UNAIDS Regional Support Team for the Middle East and North Africa for more than three years, Rangaiyan provided leadership support to countries across the region for an expanded United Nations system response in reaching the global AIDS targets by 2020 towards ending the AIDS epidemic at the regional and country levels. Helped countries in the region to mainstream attention to HIV and health into action on broader development and humanitarian efforts to achieve and sustain the SDGs.

During his assignments in India, Ghana and Kenya, Rangaiyan provided intellectual leadership to guide policy decisions and programmes with effective use of strategic information for a sustainable AIDS response. Prior to joining UNAIDS, Rangaiyan managed a large and complex bilateral aid programme focused on designing, implementing and evaluating innovative operations research projects on gender, HIV and sexually transmitted infections.

Mr Gurumurthy holds a doctorate degree in population sciences with a specialization in reproductive health and HIV.
Stephen Anderson

Stephen Anderson

Country director
Stephen Anderson is a USA national born in Nairobi, Kenya who grew up mostly in eastern Africa. He studied at Georgetown University and the American University in Cairo.

He has served with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) most of his professional career. He joined WFP in 1989 in Sudan and subsequently served in Ethiopia, Rome (WFP Headquarters), with short-term emergency stints in Kenya and in southern Africa.

He had held senior management positions with WFP in the Philippines (2008 - 2013) Japan Office (2013 - 2016) and in Yemen (2017 - August 2019), with a short-term contribution to the WFP emergency response to the Nepal earthquake (2015).

In October 2019, he assumed the role of WFP Representative and Country Director in Myanmar.

He is married and has three children.
Sylvie Bétemps Cochin

Sylvie Bétemps Cochin

Senior Trade Promotion Officer and Country Manager for Myanmar
Sylvie Bétemps Cochin is Senior Trade Promotion Officer, Country Manager for Myanmar, within the Office for Asia and The Pacific, at the International Trade Centre (ITC). Sylvie Bétemps Cochin has more than 17 years of experience in international trade, project management and trade-related technical assistance in Asia and Africa. She is responsible for a portfolio of 14 Asian countries, including least developed countries (LDCs), for which she leads country coordination and client relationships. She has managed and developed multi-disciplinary trade-related technical assistance projects in Asia, including in Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Previously, she was the Adviser for a large regional trade and economic integration programme in Africa. She was also responsible for managing regional projects, supporting south-south trade promotion, institutional strengthening and the competitiveness of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in Asia and Africa.
Titon Mitra

Titon Mitra

Mr. Titon Mitra, an Australian national, is a senior development professional with over 30 years of experience.

Prior to his appointment as UNDP Myanmar Resident Representative, he served in a number of roles in the UN: as UNDP Resident Representative in Philippines, the Senior Strategic Planning Adviser and Head of the Integrated Coordination Office for Development and Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq; and Senior Strategic Adviser to the UN on the Bangsamoro Peace process in the Philippines.

Mr. Mitra was also formerly a senior official in the Australian Government, having served as the Minister Counsellor and Head of the aid program to the Philippines; and as an Assistant Secretary with AusAID managing large and complex bilateral aid programmes focused on social development, economic reform, governance, and infrastructure in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, China, Indonesia, and Timor- Leste.

He has also led humanitarian responses in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific, as Global Emergency Director for CARE International.
Yuka Makino

Yuka Makino

Representative Myanmar
Yuka Makino was appointed FAO Representative to Myanmar on 2 July 2021. Yuka has more than 27 years of international experience in leading programs in natural resources management, rural development, climate change adaptation and disaster risk management. She has developed programs in 24 countries across East Asia, South Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa.

Prior to this appointment, Yuka was a Senior Forestry Officer and Team Leader for the Water and Mountains team in the Forestry Division at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy. Before joining FAO, she was a Senior Natural Resources and Disaster Risk Management Officer at the World Bank in Washington DC, USA between 2001 and 2018 with field posting in Dhaka, Bangladesh and Tokyo, Japan. From 1997-1998 she was an Environment Officer for the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Tokyo, Japan and was posted to Kathmandu, Nepal as a Community-based Disaster Risk Management Expert from 1998 to 2000. From 1994-1997, she was the Natural Resources and Environment Officer for the United Nations Development Programme in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

A national of Japan, Yuka holds a PhD and Master’s Degree in Terrestrial Ecosystem Management from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Law and Policy from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan. Yuka spent 14 years of her childhood in India.