The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Senior Leadership Team
Ms. Faremo was appointed Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UNOPS in August 2014, succeeding Mr Jan Mattsson. Prior to joining UNOPS, she served as Minister of Justice and Public Security in Norway. Ms. Faremo began public service in 1979 and has held various senior-level positions for the government of Norway, including Minister of Defence, Minister of Oil and Energy and Minister of Development Cooperation for the Norwegian Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She also brings a wealth of experience from the private sector and has sat on various advisory boards and associations throughout her career.
Mr. Vitaly Vanshelboim joined UNOPS as Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer in July 2006, and has since played a crucial role in steering the organization to solid financial and operational health.
Since 2016, he has led UNOPS Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3i) initiative, developing a global platform with the private sector which has evolved into the largest affordable housing initiative in the world, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Mr. Dainhi joined UNOPS as Director for the Africa Region in 2016. Previously he was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Talem Africa (Supreme Group), based in Dubai. Before that Mr. Dainhi worked for Vivo Energy (Shell licensee in Africa) as Chief Operating Officer for Africa. He has also worked as Regional CEO and Managing Director for West Africa for Shell Oil Products, based in Ghana. Mr. Dainhi has been Board Director for several entities: the Business Council for Africa in the UK, Elton Oil International in Senegal, and Shell companies in Botswana, Kenya, Morocco and Namibia. He has also sat as Chairman of the Board for GEPACO in Tunisia, as well as Shell companies in Côte d'Ivoire, Mauritius, Senegal and Togo.
Ms. Marianne de la Touche joined UNOPS in 2018, bringing over 18 years of experience to the role. Before joining UNOPS, Ms. Marianne de la Touche held several leadership positions within LVMH from 2002 to 2017 in strategy and business development, audit and finance – the latest as Finance and Supply Chain Director for Moët Hennessy Iberia. Ms. Marianne de la Touche started her career with McKinsey & Company and most recently worked with Eurofins, an international life sciences company, as Senior Finance Director in charge of group controlling and shared service centres in emerging markets. She earned an advanced degree in finance at HEC Paris, France.
Mr. O'Regan has worked with the UN and other international organizations since 1994. He began his career with the UN by supporting the UN Verification Mission in Angola. He then moved to UN Mine Action as Chief of Administration. In 2004, he joined the UNOPS Mine Action Unit in New York as a Portfolio Manager, where he oversaw programmes in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Lebanon and Sudan. He was appointed UNOPS Country Representative in Kenya in 2006, and later became the Director of UNOPS Office in Jerusalem in 2011. In 2015, he was appointed Head of the Project Management and Infrastructure Centre of Excellence, retaining his role as Director in Jerusalem. Mr. O'Regan was appointed director of UNOPS Infrastructure and Project Management Group in 2017.
Mr. Provenzano joined UNOPS as General Counsel in February 2009 after serving with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) as Director, Procurement Support Office, and previously, as Director of the UNDP Office of Legal and Procurement Support. Beforehand, he worked at UNOPS from 1999 – 2003 as Assistant Director, Office of Legal and Procurement Support. Mr. Provenzano has also worked for UNDP, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the UN Secretariat during his twenty-plus years within the UN system.
Mr. Browne joined UNOPS in 2014 from UN Environment in Nairobi, Kenya. He has more than 15 years of experience in media and communications, including nine years based in Africa. Before joining the UN, he was a journalist, reporting from three continents for publications such as the New York Times and The Guardian. He holds Masters Degrees in Environmental Science and Communications.
Ms. Friis Hansen joined UNOPS in September 2008 following 12 years in various senior roles at the UN Development Programme. Ms. Friis Hansen has extensive experience with Change Management and Management Consulting with a focus on Organizational Development and Performance Management. During her career, Ms. Friis Hansen has served in different strategic corporate roles to facilitate better management and help set standards for operational capacity across organizational structures both in headquarters and the field.
Ms. Kathryn Higgs joined UNOPS in 2019, and is a recognized global leader in business ethics and anti-corruption advocacy. Before joining UNOPS, Ms. Higgs served as a member of the executive management team at Transparency International UK and was Director of the Business Integrity Programme – partnering with leading ethical UK companies and working with the private sector to advance the standards of business ethics globally. Ms. Higgs began her career as a lawyer in Sydney, Australia. She later moved into the field of business ethics and compliance. Having completed a Master of Laws at the University of Cambridge, Ms. Higgs returned to the UK in 2014 to become Head of Ethics and Compliance at Balfour Beatty, and subsequently at Tesco.
With more than 20 years of international assurance and investigations experience, Mr. Lucas began his career with Deloitte, providing audit, due diligence and forensic services. He joined the UN system in 2005 as an Audit Specialist. Since then, Mr. Lucas has led teams investigating corruption, fraud and related financial crimes, using technology to prevent and detect misconduct, as well as to counter cyber threats. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Macquarie University and a Masters degree from Tufts University. He is a Chartered Accountant.
Regional Offices and Partnerships
Émilie Potvin joined UNOPS in 2021, bringing 20 years of experience in public policy and government affairs. Before joining UNOPS, Ms. Potvin was Director in the Public Policy and Government Relations Team at Uber, where she was responsible for working with governments, policymakers and other stakeholders across Asia – creating a positive case for change and advocating for smart technology and innovation. Before joining Uber, Ms. Potvin served as Vice President in Public Affairs and Stakeholder Relations at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce where she acted as Canada’s Sherpa to the B20 group. She also served as Chief of Staff to various ministers in the Canadian government and held a number of positions in the private sector. Ms. Potvin began her career as a Foreign Service Officer and holds an MBA in International Management from HEC Montréal.
Mr. Feliciani has held a range of senior management positions in his career, developing innovative practices in sustainable development, human rights, evaluation and oversight. In the 1990s, he managed a range of UNOPS portfolios, including in areas of Central America affected by war. Mr. Feliciani worked for ten years as an evaluator of projects, programmes and public policies for several UN entities, private firms, NGOs and governments. He re-joined UNOPS in 2012 as Regional Advisor for Sustainable Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, and from 2014 as Regional Director. Mr. Feliciani holds a Doctorate in Agriculture Sciences. He has also served as a professor of ecology, rural development and cooperation for development.
Ms. Geka first joined UNOPS in 1995 and rejoined the organization in 2018. She brings with her more than 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. As a trained economist with a speciality in environment and sustainable development, Ms. Geka's career has spanned various entities within the UN family, including the UN Development Programme, the UN Environment Programme and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, where she has held various managerial-level roles overseeing strategic planning, partnerships, operations, M&E and administration, as well as environment, humanitarian and health portfolios.
Ms. Kaloti has over 20 years of experience in the UN system, governmental and non-governmental sectors in humanitarian and development affairs. Prior to joining UNOPS in 2013 as the Sub-Regional Business Development Advisor in Amman, Ms. Kaloti worked for the Iraq Resident Coordinator, the UN Development Group Iraq Trust Fund-UNDP and the UN Children’s Fund in Palestine. Previously, Ms. Kaloti worked as a Senior Director at the General Directorate for Training and Administrative Development with the Palestinian Authority. She has also worked on technical assistance projects in Palestine, and served as a Board Member for a number of non-governmental organizations. Prior to her appointment as Director for the Middle East Region in 2015, Ms. Kaloti was the Director of the UNOPS Office in Amman.
Mr. Karim has over 20 years of experience in the humanitarian and development fields in progressively senior levels within the United Nations. In 2015, he was appointed Director of Europe and Central Asia Region for UNOPS. Mr. Karim previously served at the UN Secretariat in New York, at the Executive Office of the Secretary-General and at the UN Development Programme headquarters, including various field offices in a wide range of capacities. These responsibilities included the management of humanitarian and development programmes, coordination within the wider UN system, overseeing financial operations and building partnerships with a wide range of stakeholders.
Mr. Mathur joined UNOPS in 1995, where he spent four years working in sub-Saharan Africa as a Project Management Officer. He moved to UNOPS Asia Pacific Regional Office in Kuala Lumpur and then onto Bangkok, where he worked as Senior Portfolio Manager and Regional International Fund for Agricultural Development Cluster Coordinator. He was appointed Deputy Regional Director for Asia Pacific in 2007, before becoming Director and Representative for UNOPS Myanmar the following year. In 2015, Mr. Mathur began his new role as Director of Asia Region for UNOPS. His career began in France, where he worked in asset management. He also worked for Kraft Foods in New York, before accepting a position at the UN Development Programme in 1992 as the Head of the Consulting Services Unit.