The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Leadership

The UNOPS Management Team is responsible for advising and supporting the Executive Director. This is in accordance with the organization's strategic plan, which is under the direction of the Executive Board.

Executive Office

Jorge Moreira da Silva
Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

Jorge Moreira da Silva joined UNOPS in April 2023. He has extensive experience working in the public and development sectors, with a strong focus on climate change, energy and the environment.

Previously, Mr. Moreira da Silva was the Director of the Development Co-operation Directorate at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and was Portugal’s Minister for the Environment, Territorial Planning and Energy, Secretary of State on Environment and Secretary of State on Science and Higher Education.

He also served as Senior Environmental Finance Adviser and as Programme Manager on Climate Change Innovative Finance at the UN Development Programme. As a member of the European Parliament, he authored the legislation that created the European Union Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme.

Mr. Moreira da Silva holds a degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a postgraduate degree in Senior Management.

Read more about Jorge Moreira da Silva

Sonja Leighton-Kone
Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director – Management and Policy

Sonja Leighton-Kone joined UNOPS in October 2023, bringing more than 25 years of experience in international development. She has served in many countries supporting humanitarian response efforts and countries in transition, along with regional and global roles focused on systems strengthening and organization transformational initiatives.

Before joining UNOPS, Ms. Leighton-Kone served as the UN Environment Programme's Corporate Services Director and Acting Deputy Executive Director, where she led strategic engagement with key stakeholders, and oversaw global environmental financing mechanisms, resource mobilization, risk management, information technology, and financial and human resources management.

Previously, Ms. Leighton-Kone also held several senior operations positions at UNICEF and worked for the World Food Programme. She holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Fordham Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree in Management Science from the University of the West Indies.

Kirstine Damkjaer
Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director – Delivery and Partnerships

Kirstine Damkjaer was appointed UNOPS Deputy Executive Director – Delivery and Partnerships in May 2024. A Danish national, Ms. Damkjaer brings over 25 years of global senior-level management experience, including significant expertise in infrastructure, development finance and project implementation.

Ms. Damkjaer joins UNOPS from the Africa Finance Corporation, where she served as Non-Executive Director and committee chair of the multilateral financial institution alongside a wide range of other board and advisory leadership roles. Previously, Ms. Damkjaer served as Chief Executive Officer of the Danish Export Credit Agency and held several senior positions at the International Finance Corporation and the World Bank.

Ms. Damkjaer is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Aarhus, Denmark and certifications from MIT Sloan School of Management, Stanford University Graduate School of Business and IMD Business School.

Hilary Balbuena
Chief of Staff – Executive Office

Hilary Balbuena joined UNOPS in June 2023, bringing over 25 years of experience in leadership roles focused on strategic planning, budgeting, and financial and human resources management. She has dedicated her career to the work of leading international organizations such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Interpol and the United Nations. As a trusted advisor in complex organizational change and transformations, she has led, and contributed to, many reform initiatives throughout her career. Most recently, she was Head of the Central Management Unit at the OECD's Development Co-operation Directorate. Prior to this, she was Head of Finance and Operations at Cities Alliance. Ms. Balbuena holds a Master of Business Administration from the Open University.

Regional Offices

Fabrizio Feliciani
Director, Latin America and the Caribbean Region

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.

Dionyssia Geka
Director, Global Portfolios Office (Acting)

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.

Dalila Gonçalves
Director, Africa Region

Ms. Gonçalves joined UNOPS in 2021 as Deputy Director for the Africa Region and was appointed Director for the Africa Region in April 2024. Prior to joining UNOPS, she held several managerial roles in the private sector in Africa, including Aggreko in Southern and Central Africa, SGS in Angola, and Bureau Veritas in Angola and Mozambique. Ms. Gonçalves holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Industrial Engineering from Beira Interior University, Portugal. She also completed postgraduate courses at Columbia Business School in Leading Strategic Growth and at Rutgers University in Managerial Excellence in Sales.

Bana Kaloti
Director, Middle East Region

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.

Tim Lardner
Director, Europe and Central Asia Region

Mr. Lardner has over 30 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors. He was appointed Director of Europe and Central Asia Region in April 2024, in addition to holding his position as UNOPS Country Director for Ukraine, Moldova and Poland. Previously, he was UNOPS Country Director for Somalia. Before joining UNOPS, Mr. Lardner served as Chief of the UN Mine Action Service in South Sudan as well as the UN Development Programme’s Chief Technical Advisor to the government of Lao PDR. In addition to significant experience with NGOs and the United Nations, he has also worked in private, academic and commercial sectors and holds a Master of Business Administration from Cranfield University and a Master of Arts in Global Diplomacy from the University of London.

Sanjay Mathur
UNOPS Regional Director Asia

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.

Corporate Functions

Valerie Kushata
Director, People and Culture Group

Valerie Kushata was appointed Director of UNOPS People and Culture Group in November 2022 and brings with her more than 20 years of experience in operational and strategic human resources management. Prior to joining UNOPS, Ms. Kushata provided leadership on the development of people and culture at the World Wildlife Fund. Before this, Ms. Kushata worked for other international organizations including PATH, Oxfam and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Originally from Zimbabwe and a Permanent Resident of South Africa, she holds a Master of Business Administration in Leadership and Sustainability.

Nicole Jordan
General Counsel

Nicole Jordan joined UNOPS in 2023 bringing over 25 years of private and public sector experience through her work in the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and the United States. Ms. Jordan previously held senior leadership roles at Goldman Sachs, Cable & Wireless and, most recently, the Caribbean Development Bank. Her work experience includes advising on procurement, project implementation, structured finance, derivative transactions, and telecommunications law and regulation. Ms. Jordan has also served as a member of a university council, a charity and the disciplinary committee of a sporting association. Ms. Jordan holds a Master of Law degree specializing in commercial law from the University of Cambridge.

Karl-Ludwig Soll
Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Soll was appointed Chief Financial Officer in May 2024. He joined UNOPS from the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund in New York, where he served as Chief Financial Officer from 2012-2014, and more recently from 2017. From 2014-2017, Mr. Soll served as Deputy Director (Finance) for the UN Officer of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva. Prior to joining the UN, he worked for a number of international professional service providers within the private sector in the United States and in Europe, where he provided advice on change management, capital markets, financial reporting and project management.

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.

Steven Crosskey
Director, Infrastructure and Project Management Group (Acting)

Steven Crosskey is a civil engineer with over 30 years of experience in both the private and development sectors. Mr. Crosskey joined UNOPS in September 2014 and established the Strategic Initiatives team before becoming the Deputy Director for the Infrastructure and Project Management Group in 2020, and acting as Director in 2022. This was following working in Nairobi, Kenya for the previous two years with Mott MacDonald advising the Kenyan government.

Prior to this, he worked primarily in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and across East Africa, engaged in the planning and management of infrastructure projects involving urban and rural development initiatives. In addition, Mr. Crossey spent nine years with the World Food Programme in Sudan and South Sudan leading a road rehabilitation programme.

Anne-Claire Howard
Director, Procurement Group

Anne-Claire Howard joined UNOPS in 2022, bringing over 17 years of experience in heavy industry and raw materials sustainability, good governance and responsible supply chain management. Prior to joining UNOPS, Ms. Howard advised multiple organizations on sustainable supply chains including the International Finance Corporation, Adam Smith International and Shell. Most recently she was the CEO of ResponsibleSteel, a global multi-stakeholder standard and certification initiative that aims to maximize the role of steel in building a sustainable society. A graduate of Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and Science Po Paris, she is also a member of the first cohort of the Franco-British Young Leaders Network.

Raad Yousif Gilyana
Director, Shared Services Centre

Mr. Gilyana started his career as Assistant Professor at the Salahaddin University in Erbil, Iraq. He later moved into the humanitarian and development sectors, starting with a job as Multi-Governorate Coordinator with the French NGO EquiLibre. His work with the World Food Programme as a Team Leader brought him into the United Nations system. He later moved to UNOPS – the beginning of a long career with the organization. Based in Copenhagen, Mr. Gilyana is the Director of the Shared Services Centre. While his current position focuses on operations, support services and overall management, he also has experience in project management. Mr. Gilyana previously managed projects in Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Yemen.

Émilie Potvin
Director, Partnerships and Liaison Group

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.

Tushar Dighe
Chief Information Officer and Director, Information Technology Group

Tushar Dighe joined UNOPS in 2006 where he began as a Systems Architect. Since then he has worked in several capacities including, among others, Strategic Business Advisor, ICT Enterprise Reporting Lead and Director of the Business Innovation and Improvement Programme. In his latter role, Mr. Dighe led a team to help transform the administration of UNOPS operations through a more efficient, integrated set of processes, systems and reporting mechanisms. Today as Director, Mr. Dighe leads IT at UNOPS, bringing in a culture of innovation to deliver solutions for the organization beyond technology. Prior to joining UNOPS, Mr. Dighe co-founded an award winning business management software company and was Managing Director of a software company in India.

Oren Ginzburg
Director, Process Innovation and Digitalization Programme

Oren Ginzburg was appointed Director of the Process Innovation and Digitalization Programme in October 2023. Since 2016, Mr. Ginzburg served as the Director of the Access to Health Fund in Myanmar, which is managed by UNOPS. Prior to joining UNOPS, he served in various positions with Save the Children, UNICEF and the Global Fund. A French national, Mr. Ginzburg studied Law, Business Administration and Psychology, and is working towards a PhD in Management.

Advisory Functions

Abdoul Dieng
Director, Internal Audit and Investigations Group
The Director of the Internal Audit and Investigations Group serves in UNOPS Management Team in an ex officio advisory capacity.

Abdoul Dieng has more than 25 years of experience leading audit, investigation and operational teams in a range of international environments – including the United Nations, international financial institutions and the private sector. Mr. Dieng first joined UNOPS in 2007, bringing with him years of experience from both field locations and Headquarters. He has worked in a variety of roles including Head of Audit Section, Head of Support Services, Finance Manager and Operations Manager. Mr. Dieng holds a Master in Auditing, Accounting and Finance as well a Master in Management.

Berkan Manaigo-Vekil
Director, Ethics Office
The Director of Ethics serves in UNOPS Management Team in an ex officio advisory capacity.

Mr. Manaigo-Vekil was appointed Director of the Ethics Office in November 2022 after joining the UNOPS Ethics Team as Officer-in-Charge in March 2022. Prior to this, he headed the newly established Internal Grievances function at UNOPS. Mr. Manaigo-Vekil previously held positions in the private sector and at an international financial institution. He started his UN career at the Office of the Ombudsman, the Department of Management and the Department of Field Support in the UN Secretariat. Mr. Manaigo-Vekil has more than 14 years of experience working at the threshold of law, conflict resolution, ethics and culture. In his work he is interested in the link between neuroscience, workplace behavior and institutional justice systems within organizations. He holds a Diploma in Law, two Master’s Degrees including in Public Administration and is a trained mediator.