Leadership

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Colin Stewart  (CANADA)

SRSG

Mr. Stewart served as Deputy Head and Chief of Staff of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) in Addis Ababa.  He has held appointments in a number of United Nations field missions, including as Acting Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Affairs at the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) (2007-2009).  From 1999 to 2004, he served successively with the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET).  From 2004 to 2006, he represented The Carter Center in the West Bank and Gaza and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  He was a Canadian diplomat and foreign service officer from 1990 to 1997. Born in 1961, Mr. Stewart obtained his Bachelors’ degree from Laval University in Canada.

 

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Major General Wang Xiaojun (China)

Force Commander

Major General Wang Xiaojun brings to his position as MINURSO Force Commander 40 years of national and international military experience, as he had served as Defence Attaché at the Embassies of the People’s Republic of China to Brazil, India, Sweden and the United States of America from 2006 until 2016.  He also served as a United Nations Sector Commander in MINURSO, from 2003 to 2004, and was a United Nations Military Observer in Kuwait from 1992 to 1993.

He has a master’s degree in military administration from the Military Science Institution of the People’s Liberation Army and a bachelor’s degree in signals technology and command from the Nanjing Army Command College, China.

Born in 1959, Major General Wang is married and has two children.

 

Veneranda Mukandoli-Jefferson ( Rwanda)

Chief of Mission Support
 
 

Appointed as MINURSO CMS effective 1 Dec 2017. Prior to MINURSO, she served as Chief Mission Support (CMS) with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) from 1 July 2016 – 30 November 2017. She also served as Deputy Director of Mission Support (DDMS) in Haiti from January – 30 June 2016. She served as Chief of Mission Support with the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWA), the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Sahel (OSES) from May 2011 to January 2016. She also served as Chief Administrative Services (CAS) with the United Nations Mission for the Central Africa Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) from March 2009 – April 2011 and Chief Administrative Services with the United Nations Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) from January 2007 to February 2009. Prior to that, she was Chief Finance Officer with the United Nations Integrated Office in Sierra Leone (UNIOSIL) and with the United Nations Missions in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and Budget Officer with UNHQ /FMSS. Prior to joining UN, she held different positions with the City and the State of New York, USA:Senior Economic Analyst with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, August 1996 – July 1999; Senior Analyst with the New York City Administration for Children Services; Legislative Fiscal Analyst with the New York State Legislature: NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee, 1994 – July 1996 and Research Analyst with the New York State Department of Economic Development.She also worked in Rwanda as Senior Policy Analyst and Senior Financial Analyst respectively with the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Caisse Hypothecaire du Rwanda. She holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany, New York, USA and a Master’s Degree in Finance and Accounting from the Academia de Studii Economice de Bucuresti, Romania. She is fluent in both English and French.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Ivanko (Russian Federation)

Chief of Staff (COS)

Alexander Ivanko, a national of the Russian Federation, was born in 1962 in Moscow. After graduating in 1984 from the Faculty of Journalism at Moscow State University, he joined as a reporter Izvestia, at that time a leading daily in the Soviet Union. He worked as a correspondent in Afghanistan in 1989 and in the U.S in 1992-94. 

In 1994, he went to Croatia to work for the UN Protection Force in Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR) as a Press Officer and several months later as Spokesperson in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1998, he joined the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) as an Adviser to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media. He returned to peacekeeping in 2006 as Director of Public Information and Spokesperson for the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). 

He was appointed to MINURSO in June 2009 as Senior Political Adviser.

 

 

Yusef Jedian (Palestine)

Head of Liaison Office - Tindouf

A senior manager with more than 25 years of experience working with international organizations in peace keeping operations and a development expert designing and implementing development and relief programs. Currently serving as the Head of Liaison Office of Tindouf for the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO). Recently, served as a Senior Civil Affairs Officer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). Previously, was the Chief of Party (COP) for Creative Associates-VOICE project in Libya, managing an elections and civic education project. Managed large complex governance and democracy projects for different International organizations, including: 1) served as COP in Chad for an election and civil society development project, 2) COP in Yemen for governance and civil society development project, 3) Deputy Country Director for IFES in Sudan, co-managed an election administration support project that supported the administration of the Sudan elections and referendum processes. Worked as the Director for Gaza Office for CARE West Bank and Gaza overseeing a $10 million annual program portfolio with projects in democracy and governance, civil society strengthening, organizational capacity building, women’s empowerment, youth participation, water and sanitation, agriculture and health. Experience also includes managing programs in education, human rights, conflict resolution and gender. Holds a PhD in Development Policy and Planning from the University of Wales Swansea in the United Kingdom; thesis is focused on the development of Palestinian NGOs and their role in state building and civil society development. Fluent in English and Arabic. Speaks little French and Hebrew.