26 August 2005

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Filippo Grandi of Italy as Deputy Commissioner-General of UN Relief Agency for Palestine Refugees

NEW YORK, 25 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Secretary-General has today appointed Filippo Grandi (Italy) as Deputy Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

Mr. Grandi has been serving since May 2004 as the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General responsible for political affairs at the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).  Prior to that, and also in Afghanistan, he was Chief of Mission of the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a position he held from September 2001.

From 1997 to 2001, Mr. Grandi worked in the Executive Office of the UNHCR in Geneva, as Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff.  Since 1988, when he joined UNHCR, Mr. Grandi was posted in Sudan, then served in refugee programmes in Syria, Turkey and Iraq after the first Gulf War, led various emergency operations -- in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, Yemen and Afghanistan among others -- and was Field Coordinator for UNHCR and United Nations humanitarian activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war in 1996-1997.  Between 1984 and 1987 he worked with different non-governmental organizations carrying out refugee programmes in Thailand and Italy.

Mr. Grandi, 48, graduated from the State Universities of Venice and Milan (Italy), and from the Gregorian University in Rome (Italy) with a Bachelor's degree in philosophy.

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