Filippo Grandi (58) an Italian UN official took over as the new High Commissioner for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
- He will succeed Antonio Guterres, a former Portugese Prime Minister, who retired on December 31 after heading the Refugee Agency for 10 years.
About Filippo Grandi
Filippo Grandi is an Italian diplomat mainly active with the United Nations’ humanitarian operations. He holds bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the State Universities of Venice and Milan and from the Gregorian University in Rome.
- He was the head of UN Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency) from 2010 to 2014.
- He worked for UNHCR in Sudan, Syria, Turkey and Iraq, and led humanitarian operations in Yemen and the Democratic Republic of Congo among other countries.
- He was also deputy envoy to the UN aid mission in Afghanistan.
- Between 1996 and 1997, he served as the Field Coordinator for UNHCR and United Nations humanitarian activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war.
- From 1997 to 2001, he worked in the Executive Office of the UNHCR in Geneva as Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff.
- From 2001 to 2004, he served as the UNHCR’s Chief of Mission.
- In November 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his intention to appoint Grandi as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to take office in 2016.
About United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
UNHCR is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself.
- Headquarters – Geneva, Switzerland
- The agency has won two Nobel Peace Prizes in 1954 and 1981.