Leadership

Ms. Sigrid Kaag

THE SPECIAL COORDINATOR

Ms. Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands assumed her responsibilities as United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon on 17 January 2015.

Ms. Kaag previously served as the Special Coordinator of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons-United Nations Joint Mission to eliminate the chemical weapons programme of the Syrian Arab Republic, from October 2013 to December 2014. 

She previously served as Assistant Secretary‑General with the United Nations Development Programme from 2010 to 2013 and as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Jordan from 2007 to 2010.  Prior to that, Ms. Kaag held several senior positions with UNICEF, the International Organization for Migration, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.  Before joining the United Nations system in 1994, she served her country in its Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ms. Kaag also worked for Shell International Petroleum Company in London.

Ms. Kaag holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Middle East studies from the American University in Cairo, a Master of Philosophy in international relations from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University and a master’s degree in Middle East studies from Exeter University.

She is fluent in Dutch, English, French and German, and proficient in Arabic.

Born in 1961, she is married with four children.

lazzarini

Mr. Philippe Lazzarini

DEPUTY SPECIAL COORDINATOR

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on the 24th of April 2015 the appointment of Philippe Lazzarini of Switzerland as his Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, where he will serve as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative in the Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL).

Mr. Lazzarini will succeed Ross Mountain of New Zealand. The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Mountain for his leadership and distinguished service in coordinating United Nations humanitarian and development efforts in Lebanon, particularly in response to the impact of the Syrian crisis.

Mr. Lazzarini has extensive experience in humanitarian assistance and international coordination in conflict and post-conflict areas, including through his latest assignment in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia as Deputy Special Representative, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator. Prior to this, he held a number of senior positions in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and in various field positions in Iraq, Angola, Somalia and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Prior to joining the United Nations in 2003, Mr. Lazzarini was heading the marketing department of a private bank in Geneva. He also served for 10 years with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as the Deputy Head of Communication, Head of the ICRC delegation in Rwanda, Angola and Sarajevo and as an ICRC delegate in Southern Sudan, Jordan, Gaza and Beirut.

Mr. Lazzarini graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Neuchâtel and holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Lausanne.

Born in 1964, he is married with three children.

Derek Plumbly

Mr. Derek Plumbly

FORMER SPECIAL COORDINATOR

Mr. Derek Plumbly of the United Kingdom took up his appointment as United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon on 04 February 2012. 

Mr. Plumbly has had a distinguished career in international affairs spanning over 35 years. He has held important posts dealing with the Middle East. Most recently he was Chairman of the Assessment and Evaluation Commission charged with monitoring implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Sudan (2008 to 2011). 

Mr. Plumbly has served as UK’s Ambassador to Egypt (2003-2007) and Saudi Arabia (2000-2003). He also held the Foreign and Commonwealth Office posts of Director, Middle East and North Africa (1997 to 2000) and International Drugs Coordinator, Director of Drugs and Crime (1996-1997). From 1992 to 1996, Mr. Plumbly served as Head of Chancery at the UK Mission to the UN in New York.

Mr. Plumbly studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University. He is an Arabic speaker.

Michael C Williams

Michael C Williams

FORMER SPECIAL COORDINATOR

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Michael C. Williams of the United Kingdom as his Special Coordinator for Lebanon in August 2008.

Mr. Williams previously served as the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Situation in the Middle East, before his appointment as the UK Special Representative for the Middle East in August 2007.

Prior to this, he was the Director for the Asia and the Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs. From 1999 to 2005 Mr. Williams was the Special Adviser to two United Kingdom Foreign Secretaries, Robin Cook (1999-2001) and Jack Straw (2001-2005).

He held a number of senior positions with the United Nations in the 1990s, including Director of Human Rights in the United Nations Transitional Administration in Cambodia (UNTAC) and Director of Information in the United Nations Protection Force in Former Yugoslavia (UNPROFOR). From 1996 to 1998, he was a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. From 1984 to 1991, he served as Editor and later Senior Editor for Asia with the BBC World Service. He also worked for several years with Amnesty International as Head of Asia Research.

He is a member of the Executive Committee and Council of Chatham House (Royal Institute for International Affairs). He has written widely on Asian politics, international security and peacekeeping. He is the author of Vietnam at the Crossroads, (Chatham House and Council on Foreign Relations, 1992) and Civil Military Relations and Peacekeeping (International Institute for Strategic Studies, 1998). His Doctor of Philosophy thesis was on Islam and Politics in Indonesia.

Mr. Williams was born in Bridgend, Wales, on 11 June 1949. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in international relations from University College, London, in 1971, a Master of Science degree in the politics of developing areas from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, in 1973, and subsequently earned a doctorate in politics from the same institute.

Pedersen

Geir O. Pedersen

FORMER SPECIAL COORDINATOR

Mr. Geir O. Pedersen of Norway served as Special Coordinator for Lebanon at the level of Under-Secretary-General from February 2007 to February 2008. He previously served as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for Lebanon from May 2005 to February 2007 and as the Secretary-General’s Personal Representative for southern Lebanon from April 2005 until May 2005.
 
Prior to that, Mr. Pedersen served as Director of the Asia and Pacific Division in the Department of Political Affairs.  In this capacity, he also worked on the Middle East peace process and Iraq.
 
Mr. Pedersen served for many years as a Norwegian diplomat.  Between November 1998 and March 2003, he served as the Norwegian Representative to the Palestinian Authority.  From 1995 to 1998, he held different positions at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oslo, among them as Chief of Staff for the Norwegian Foreign Minister.  Mr. Pedersen has also served as a Norwegian diplomat in China and Germany.
 
In 1993, he was a member of the Norwegian team to the secret Oslo negotiations that led to the signing of the Declaration of Principles and the mutual recognition between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Israel.
 
From 1993 to 1995, Mr. Pedersen was Director of FAFO, Norwegian Institute for Applied Social Science, concentrating on living conditions surveys in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
 
Mr. Pedersen holds a Master of Arts in history.  He is married with five children.