Press Releases

18 November 2004

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Nasra Hassan as Director of UN Information Service in Vienna

NEW YORK, 17 November (UN Headquarters) -- Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed Nasra Hassan as the Director of the United Nations Information Service (UNIS) in Vienna. Ms. Hassan, who is taking up her duties as of 15 November 2004, succeeds Ingrid Lehmann who retired from the service of the Organization in 2003. As the new Director of UNIS Vienna, Ms. Hassan will also assume the function of Spokesperson for the Vienna-based United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Ms. Hassan, a national of Pakistan, joins UNIS from the UNODC where she served from July 2002 as Chief, Public Affairs and Inter-Agency Affairs Branch. In mid 2003, Ms. Hassan was Officer-in-Charge of UNODC’s Regional Office for Central Asia, based in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Ms. Hassan has over 20 years of experience with the United Nations.  She joined the Organization in August 1981 as an Associate Information Officer at the Department of Public Information, New York.  From January 1982 to September 1988, she served with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) in New York in positions such as Editor and Projects and Reports Officer; Special Assistant to the Director, Programme Funding Office; and Senior Programme Funding Officer.

Ms. Hassan transferred to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Vienna in October 1988, as Senior Projects Officer.  Between 1991 and 1999, she was UNRWA Chef de Cabinet both in Vienna and in the Gaza Strip. From end 1999 to mid 2001, Ms. Hassan was assigned to the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) as Chief, Liaison Office in Tirana, Albania, and as Chief of Staff in Pristina. In August 2001, she was appointed Chief, Policy Analysis and Best Practices Unit at the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Hassan worked as a television newswriter and newsreader with Pakistan TV Corporation in Lahore from 1968, and wrote for the local media.  Between 1973 and 1980, she worked as Information Officer at the Embassy of Pakistan, Washington, D.C.; as Information and Research Officer at the Permanent Observer Mission of the League of Arab States to the United Nations, New York; and as Attaché at the Permanent Mission of Angola to the United Nations, New York. In January 1981, she was awarded a scholarship as Research Fellow at the Third World Institute for Economic and Social Studies in Mexico City and wrote on social development for an international news agency.

Ms. Hassan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Economics from Punjab University, Pakistan. Her research on suicide terrorism has been published in academic and other journals and news magazines.

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