The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)


Senior Leadership Team

Grete Faremo
Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director
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.

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Vitaly Vanshelboim
Assistant Secretary-General, and UNOPS Deputy Executive Director, Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Vanshelboim joined UNOPS in July 2006 following ten years serving in various senior roles with the UN Development Programme.

Beforehand, he worked for four years with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe Mission in Bosnia and Herzogovina and spent five years with the United Nations Office in Ukraine. Before his UN career, Mr. Vanshelboim served in various capacities for the state and in the private sector. Since joining UNOPS, Mr. Vanshelboim has helped lead UNOPS through major transformations, firmly establishing UNOPS as central UN resource for providing peace and security, humanitarian, and development projects.

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Honoré Dainhi
Director, Regional Portfolios
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.

Marianne de la Touche
Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration
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.

Nick O’Regan
Director, Implementation Practices and Standards
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.

James Provenzano
General Counsel and Director, New York Liaison Office
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.

Advisers to the Senior Leadership Team

Peter Browne
Director, Communications Group
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.

Kathryn Higgs
Ethics Officer and Director, Ethics and Compliance Office
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.

Paul Lucas
Director, Internal Audit and Investigations Group
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.