Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq: Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert
Ms. Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert of the Netherlands assumed her responsibilities as Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 17 December 2018.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert brings over 20 years of political and diplomatic experience, having served in several high-level Government and parliamentary positions. She was Minister for Defence of the Netherlands (2012-2017), the first woman to be appointed in that role. As Minister, she oversaw the Central Staff, Support Command, the Defence Material Organisation and the four Royal Netherlands Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Air Force and the Military and Border Police. In this role, she had oversight of Dutch involvement in military operations in Mali, Afghanistan and Iraq, building close collaboration with the European Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and United Nations partners.
Ms. Hennis-Plasschaert also served as a member of the House of Representatives of the Netherlands (2010-2012) and a member of the European Parliament (2004-2010). She worked for the European Commission in Brussels and in Riga, Latvia, and for the City of Amsterdam.
Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance: Claudio Cordone
Mr. Claudio Cordone of Italy assumed his responsibilities as Deputy Special Representative for Political Affairs and Electoral Assistance of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) on 14 August 2022.
Appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres on 11 July 2022, Mr. Cordone brings to this position more than 35 years of experience in international relations, international human rights and humanitarian law, including as Director of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Lebanon, where he has been serving since 2017. During this time, he also briefly served as the interim Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon. Previously, he served as Director of the Human Rights, Transitional Justice and Rule of Law Division with the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), as well as Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in the country (2013-2017). He worked with the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ) and spent over 25 years with Amnesty International in multiple capacities, including a six-month tenure as interim Secretary General in 2010. From 1997 to 1998, he served as Chief of the Human Rights Office with the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina (UNMIBH).
Mr. Cordone holds a law degree from Sapienza University of Rome and completed a Master of Arts in Arab Studies at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Mr. Cordone speaks English, French, Italian and Arabic.
Deputy Special Representative, Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq: Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai
Mr. Ghulam Mohammad Isaczai of Afghanistan assumed his responsibilities as Deputy Special Representative for Iraq in the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and Resident Coordinator on 1 October 2022. Mr. Isaczai will also serve as the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator.
Appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres on 19 July 2022, Mr. Isaczai succeeds Irena Vojáčková-Sollorano of Germany to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for her leadership and dedicated service during her tenure.
Mr. Isaczai brings to this position more than 28 years of experience in preventive diplomacy and complex humanitarian, development, recovery and peace-building settings. He is currently serving as the ad interim Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan since January 2022. Previously, he served as Afghanistan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. Prior to this, he served as Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan (2016-2021) and in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (2013-2015), posts he combined with the positions of Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). From 1997-2013, he served in various policy, development and humanitarian positions with the United Nations system in Germany, Nepal, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen and Iraq, including as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Nepal and Chief of Programme Division with the United Nations Volunteers in Bonn.
Mr. Isaczai holds a Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School, Tufts University in Boston and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Midland University in Nebraska. Mr. Isaczai speaks English, Arabic, Pashto, Persian and Urdu.