Biographical Note

11 December 2003


NEW YORK, 10 December (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan today named Ross Mountain as his acting Special Representative for Iraq.

Mr. Mountain, a national of New Zealand, has been the Assistant Emergency Relief Coordinator and Director of the Geneva Office of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) since August 1998.  In that capacity, he also serves as Chair of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee Working Group.  In addition, Mr. Mountain has also held short-term appointments as the Secretary-General’s Humanitarian Coordinator, ad interim for the East Timor crisis, Special Humanitarian Envoy of the Secretary-General for the floods in Mozambique and Special Humanitarian Coordinator for Liberia.  He also headed the OCHA Crisis Task Team for Iraq.

Prior to his appointment with OCHA, Mr. Mountain had extensive experience in the fields of social and economic development and humanitarian affairs.  He was United Nations Resident Coordinator in Lebanon from 1995 to 1998.  In that position, Mr. Mountain also served as the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  Before his appointment to Lebanon, he served as UNDP Representative and UN Humanitarian Affairs Coordinator in Haiti on secondment from Barbados, where he was assigned as UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Coordinator for the Eastern Caribbean in 1993. From 1991 to 1993, he was UN Special Coordinator for Emergency Relief Operations, the UNDP Resident Representative and World Food Programme and UNFPA Representative in Liberia.  From 1988 to 1991, he was the UNDP Resident Representative ad interim and United Nations Information Centre Director in Kabul, Afghanistan.  Between 1985 and 1988, he was Deputy Resident Representative in the South Pacific based in Fiji.

Mr. Mountain earlier worked in Geneva as Chief of the Information Section in the UNDP European Office (between 1976 and 1985) and Coordinator of the United Nations Non-Governmental Liaison Service for eight years from its foundation in 1975.  His first United Nations assignment was in 1973 as Inter-Agency Liaison Officer in the Division of Social Affairs, also in Geneva.

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