The UN Geneva Senior Management Team provides executive support to the Director-General in her functions as the representative of the Secretary-General in Switzerland, as executive head of the United Nations Office at Geneva and the designated official for security for Switzerland, as mandated in the Secretary-General’s bulletin on the organization of the United Nations Office at Geneva. The team meets on a weekly basis to inform and advise the Director-General on priority issues, upcoming events and other high-level matters.
UN Geneva Senior Management Team
Clemens M. Adams
Director, Division of Administration of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Mr. Clemens M. Adams is the Director of the Division of Administration of the UNOG. In addition, he serves as project executive of the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP), a CHF 840 million project to renovate the historic Palais des Nations, overseeing the Project Director and his team.
Prior to joining UNOG in 2010, he served as the Director of Facilities and Commercial Services Division within the Office of Central Support Services, Department of Management at United Nations’ Headquarters in New York. There, he also held several senior-level positions. He was the Head of the ERP Planning Group in the Office of the Under Secretary-General, Department of Field Support; Chief, Specialist Support Service, Office of Mission Support, and the Officer-in-Charge of the Logistic Support Division, Department of Peacekeeping.
Additionally, he led the Engineering Section as well as the Administrative and Support Unit in the Departments of Peacekeeping and Management, respectively.
His previous international experience ranged from leading the start-up of the United Nations Mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia (UNMEE), to posts in Nicosia, Cyprus as the Chief Administrative Officer for the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) to the Officer-in-Charge of the Buildings Management Unit at the United Nations Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) in Windhoek, Namibia, which monitored the peace process and elections.
Mr. Adams began his UN international civil servant service as a Technical/Logistics Officer with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Field Office in Galang, Indonesia. Work as a consultant engineer at an UNHCR refugee camp in Bataan, Philippines led to his ongoing commitment to community development and improving the human condition.
A German national, Mr. Adams graduated with a Diplom Ingenieur (Dipl.-Ing.) from TH Darmstadt in Germany. He is married to Helgard and they have two adult sons, Martin and Johannes.
Chief a.i., Conference on Disarmament Secretariat and Conference Support Branch, UN Office for Disarmament Affairs
Ms. Radha Day, presently heads the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs Branch in Geneva.
She has worked in the field of international peace and security for over 20 years and recently served as the Secretary to the Conference on Disarmament and as Deputy to the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, Geneva Branch.
Prior to this, Ms. Day held various positions with the UN Department of Peace Operations (DPO) at UN Headquarters in New York. She deputized the Mali and Sahel Team from 2015 to 2018, supporting the UN peacekeeping operation in Mali, devising strategies to increase force generation, and contributing to the design of UN support to the G5-Sahel joint force in the Sahel.
From 2013 to 2015, Ms. Day headed the Asia and the Caribbean Team, supporting the UN Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan, and the UN peacekeeping operation in Haiti. In this capacity she developed and oversaw the first significant downsizing of the mission in Haiti.
From 2007 to 2013, Ms. Day deputized the Afghanistan Team, supporting the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan. In this capacity she oversaw the expansion of the mission to all Afghan provinces, contributed to the UN’s support to a greater transition to Afghan leadership, as well as local and national reconciliation initiatives.
Ms. Day served with the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan from 2004 to 2007, as a Human Rights Officer in the western region of Herat, as well as Special Assistant to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, in Kabul. Prior to this, she worked with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, where she worked for the Europe, Central Asia and North America Team. In this capacity, among other things, Ms. Day developed a regional project on human rights education for countries in Central Asia. She also worked with the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, and as a consultant for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Multilateral Cooperation Directorate.
Ms. Day holds and LLB in English and European Laws from the University of Essex (UK), and an LLM in International Human Rights Law and Democratization from the European Global Campus for Human Rights, and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian. She is married and has two children.
Officer-In-Charge of the Division of Conference Management
Marie Diur joined the United Nations Office at Geneva as Chief of the Interpretation Service in December 2017, after nearly ten years at the United Nations Office at Vienna, initially as Chief of the French Booth and then as Chief Interpreter. Marie’s thirty year career in interpretation spans over twelve years’ freelance work for UN agencies, the European Union, and the private market up until 2001 when she joined UN Headquarters as a Staff Interpreter.
Marie has been an AIIC member since 1992, and a visiting examiner in interpretation schools in France and Belgium (ESIT; ISIT, ISTI; EII; LSTI/Marie-Haps). Her language portfolio comprises French (A), English, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and Swedish (C) and is complemented by a Maîtrise en langues étrangères appliquées (Université Toulouse-le-Mirail), a DEA en littérature française, francophone et comparée (Université Bordeaux 3), a Post-graduate Diploma in Conference Interpretation (PCL-London) and a Ph.D. in Humanities (Universidad Pablo de Olavide-Sevilla).
An ardent advocate of education and development, Marie chairs the IAMLADP Taskforce on Interpreting Issues and is the UNOG Outreach Focal Point for Interpretation.
David John McCuaig
Project Director, Strategic Heritage Plan
Mr. David John McCuaig leads the Strategic Heritage Plan for the United Nations in Geneva.
Previously, Mr. McCuaig was Director of Operations at Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) and Project Director for the NAC Architectural Rejuvenation. Prior to joining the NAC in 2011, Mr. McCuaig was Regional Director for Defence Construction Canada for 10 years. In that capacity, he led a team of over 200 professionals providing infrastructure-related services to the Canadian Forces and the Department of National Defence. He oversaw a $60M annual construction program in the National Capital Region, the Canadian Arctic, and overseas. He proudly supported deployed Canadian Forces with construction engineering, procurement, and logistical support in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and other locations around the world.
As Project Manager from 1990 to 2001, Mr. McCuaig managed capital projects and improvements to a wide range of building types, facilities, and properties. He began his career in 1985 as an architectural designer and part-owner of a construction company, operating mostly in the United States. Mr. McCuaig has been active in academia as a Lecturer in the Masters in Project Management (MPM) Program at l’Université du Québec, as well as a part-time Professor at la Cité Collégiale in Ottawa, Canada. He has lectured on construction management, Critical Path and Logical Framework methodologies, project development, managing troubled projects, and infrastructure feasibility studies. Mr. McCuaig earned a master’s degree in Project Management from l’Université du Québec, is a graduate of the Executive Program at the Queens University School of Business in Kingston, Ontario, and the Canadian Department of National Defence Resource Management Program. He has been certified a Gold Seal Project Manager by the Canadian Construction Association and granted the designation of Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institute.
Born in 1958, Mr. McCuaig is a Canadian national and fluently bilingual in English and French.
David A. Chikvaidze
Chef de Cabinet, Office of the Director-General
David A. Chikvaidze is Chef de Cabinet to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). He occupied this position before, from 2006 to 2011.
Mr. Chikvaidze has worked for over thirty-four years in the foreign service, in government and in the international civil service. In 2011-2013, he was Director of the UN Library at Geneva and Chairman of the UNOG Cultural Activities Committee. In 2003-2005, D. Chikvaidze was Senior Adviser to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief of the Communications and NGO Partnerships Section in Geneva, as well as spokesman for the 61st session of the Commission on Human Rights, and Human Rights Treaty Bodies.
He has performed tasks additional to his line duties, including: substantive support to three Directors-General in their function as Secretary-General of the Conference on Disarmament and Personal Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Conference; substantive support to the Director-General in his capacity as Acting Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Mr. Chikvaidze served as deputy Chief of Office and scheduler for President Gorbachev and as presidential protocol officer for President Yeltsin. A diplomat by training, he spent five years in Washington, D.C. (1985-1990), where, as special assistant to the Soviet Ambassador and Chief of Protocol of the Embassy, he worked with the White House, the Department of State, and other Executive Departments, on US-Soviet Summits and Ministerial meetings.
Mr. Chikvaidze holds a Ph.D. (1984) in political science. He is vice president of the Swiss Forum for International Affairs (first non-Swiss); vice president of the Geneva Diplomatic Club; Fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science; member of Rotary International and founding member of the Georgian Association of Switzerland and of the Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. He was Adviser to the Georgian Association of the USA (until 2003).
Born in Tbilisi, he is a citizen of Georgia. He is married and has one son and three grandsons.
Sergey A. Shaposhnikov
Chief of Protocol, Office of the Director-General
Mr. Sergey Shaposhnikov is Chief of Protocol in the Office of the Director General, United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) since 2006.
Before that, he was Special Assistant to the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), Political Affairs Officer. Prior to joining the UN Secretariat, he was a civil servant in Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving as Associate Attaché, ECOSOC Section, Department of International Economic Organizations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the USSR, Moscow; Attaché, Third Secretary of the Permanent Mission of the USSR and the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office and other International Organizations in Geneva, Chief of Protocol of the Mission, Executive Assistant to the Ambassador, Permanent Representative.
Second Secretary, First Secretary of the Executive Office of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow; First Secretary, Counsellor of the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, New York, Chief of Protocol of the Mission, Executive Assistant to the Ambassador, Permanent Representative; and finally as Counsellor, Executive Office of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Moscow.
He was born in 1961 in Minsk, USSR and graduated in 1984 from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (diploma in international economic relations). He is Fluent in English, French and Russian. He is married and has a daughter.
Director, United Nations Information Service in Geneva
Ms. Alessandra Vellucci is the Director of United Nations Information Service in Geneva.
She has been with the United Nations since 1991, at first with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and then with the UN Department of Global Communications (DGC). She joined UNCTAD as an Associate Expert on Training, and then worked as Public Information Officer and Focal Point for Communications. Later she headed the training programme “TrainForTrade”, aimed at strengthening the skills of developing countries’ officials in the field of trade, sustainable development and port management.
In December 2010, she joined DGC as Chief of Press and External Relations of the Geneva UN Information Service, where she oversaw media accreditation and outreach activities for UN Geneva and served as Deputy Spokesperson for the Office.
From 2014 to 2016, she joined UNCTAD again as Head of the Intergovernmental Support Service, Executive Secretary of the Trade and Development Board and Officer-in-Charge of Information and Communications. As such she oversaw the intergovernmental negotiations and the promotion of UNCTAD XIV (Nairobi, July 2016).
In July 2016, she became Director of the UN Information Service in Geneva, a position she still holds today. As such, she coordinates all media-related activities at the Palais des Nations, chairs the Geneva UN Communications Group, oversees the activities of UNTV, radio and social media, and supervises outreach events of UN Geneva and the Visitors’ Service. She is also the UN spokesperson in Geneva and holds a bi-weekly press briefing for journalists accredited to the Palais des Nations.
Ms Vellucci holds a Political Science Degree from the Italian University L.U.I.S.S., and a diploma in International Relations with a specialization in International Public Law from the Geneva Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID). Previously she attended a high-school of languages and is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian, her mother tongue.
Director, United Nations Library in Geneva
Mr. Francesco Pisano is an expert in international affairs with a professional background in humanitarian affairs, risk management, and research on knowledge systems. He has studied international relations with a specialisation in diplomatic studies and conflict resolution, and law with a focus on public international law.
He briefly served with the Italian Foreign Office in 1988-89 as a junior expert in development cooperation and was in the executive office of the Director-General of Italy’s Development Cooperation. After his studies he worked as a researcher on strategic studies, among which the definition of measures for the verification of conventional disarmament treaties in Europe as well as the strategic consequences of the dislocation of the Soviet Union.
From 1991 to 1993 he worked in business development in Africa and Asia for a large multinational company in the areas of integrated risk management and environmental monitoring systems. In 1993 he joined the United Nations where he took various positions of increasing responsibility with the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs (DHA), its Division for Disaster Mitigation, and was part of the initial group of professionals who developed the UN strategy for disaster risk reduction and the early developments of United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). He served as Senior Officer under Under-Secretaries-General De Mello, Oshima and Egeland until 2004. From 2005 until 2007 he co-led the partnership between the UN and the European Space Agency to develop earth observation applications for the UN humanitarian agencies. He was head of UNOSAT (the Operational Satellite Applications Programme) from 2007 to 2012 and then Director of Research, Technology Applications and Knowledge Systems at the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) until 2015. Since 2016 he leads the UN Library Geneva, a centre for research and knowledge exchange established in 1919, and is the head of the Cultural Activity Programme of UN Geneva, a space dedicated to cultural diplomacy and international outreach.
Director of the SDG Lab, Office of the Director-General
Ms. Nadia Isler is the Director of the SDG Lab in the Office of the Director General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG). Ms. Isler is part of the Senior Management Team of UNOG and led the creation and setting up of the SDG Lab in 2016.
Ms. Isler has a long career in international development and diplomacy with several years of field experience in bilateral cooperation and extensive experience in multilateral affairs with and outside of the UN system. She started her career with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and the Swiss Red Cross before joining the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) where she served for several years in Eastern Africa.
Ms. Isler has extensive experience in working with a variety of different partners, including academia, civil society and the private sector, especially in the field of public health where she spent many years in charge of programs to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Ms. Isler then joined the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs where she served as a Swiss diplomat for over 10 years, first as Deputy Head of development affairs at the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the UN in New York, before leading on development affairs and the SDGs at the Swiss Mission to the UN in Geneva.
Ms. Isler holds a Master’s degree in Contemporary History from the University of Geneva and academic post graduate certificates from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Isler is a Swiss citizen and speaks French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese.
Chief, Security and Safety Service, Geneva
Mr. Jorge J. Villanueva joined the United Nations in 1994, as Chief of the Security and Safety Section - Santiago, in Santiago de Chile. While in the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) he had the opportunity to modernize the Section and introduce sound changes in its structure and functioning to align it with security units such as those of Vienna and New York. He left Santiago in 1998, and since then he has occupied managerial responsibilities in the UN security services of New York and Geneva.
In September 2015 he was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) Security and Safety Service, Geneva, and since 2016 he has occupied the position of Chief of Security and UNDSS Chief Security Advisor for Switzerland.
Before joining the service of the United Nations, Mr. Villanueva was an Inspector in the Spanish National Police (1985-1994), where he worked as lead investigator in criminal cases related to terrorism in the Spanish Basque Country.
Added to his formation as Police Inspector (1983-1985), he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy (Quantico VA, USA, 1992) and of the Police Staff College (Bramshill House, Readings, UK). He holds a degree in Police Studies and a Master’s degree in English Philology.
He has contributed to the preparation of UNDSS policy and has directed initiatives to improve the way the Geneva Security Service performs, including the upgrade of operational procedures and the presentation of far-reaching physical security projects. One of his latest achievements has been the preparation of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Swiss Police for security cooperation that was signed in July 2019. He has planned and organized the security coverage of numerous UN external conferences and has provided technical advice to many UN entities on issues related to the security and safety of their staff and premises.
Chief, Political Affairs and Partnerships Section, Office of the Director-General
Mr. Philippe Baudin-Auliac presently heads the Political Affairs and Partnerships Section within the Office of the Director-General of UN Geneva.
Mr. Baudin-Auliac has worked in the field of Political Affairs at the international level over the past twenty years. Before assuming his current assignment, he established and headed the Liaison Office of the UN Department for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and of the Department of Peace Operations (DPPA/DPO) in Vienna. Prior to this, he was the Team Leader for Eastern Europe within the Europe and Central Asia Division of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), where he oversaw and contributed to various UN conflict prevention and conflict resolution initiatives.
At UN Headquarters, he also served as Team Leader for Western Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean in DPPA, during which time he worked extensively on the negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue as well as on a number of peace and security matters involving the countries of the region.
Mr. Baudin-Auliac also served in the field in Haiti and as Political Affairs Officer in the UN Regional Office for West Africa (UNOWA) based in Dakar, Senegal. Throughout this assignment, he was responsible for the Early Warning and Reporting Unit of the Regional Office and covered a wide-range of issues in support of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s conflict resolution efforts, including the crises in Côte d’Ivoire (2010-2011), Niger (2010-11) and Mali (2012) as well as in the broader Sahel region. Prior to joining the United Nations, he served in the International Organisation of La Francophonie.
Originally from France, he has lived many years in Colombia, Morocco and the United States. He graduated from the University of Montréal (Political Science) and from the Graduate Institute of the University of Amsterdam (International Relations).
Markus G. Schmidt
Senior Legal Adviser, UNOG
Mr. Markus G. Schmidt has been Senior Legal Adviser of the UN Office at Geneva (UNOG) since January 2010. In that position, he advises the Director-General of UNOG, UNOG’s senior management and other UN entities based in Geneva on all legal issues related to the operation of UN activities in Geneva, on relations with the host country, and other matters.
Prior to this, he served as team leader of the Petitions Unit in the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (2002-2009), as secretary of the Human Rights Committee (2000-2004), secretary of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (1998 – 2000) and legal officer in the communications unit of the UN Human Rights programme.
Before joining the UN in June 1987, Mr. Schmidt obtained a law degree from the University of Bonn, Germany, a Diploma in Higher European Legal Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium, and a Masters and PhD in International Relations from the University of Oxford.
Head of the Perception Change Project
Ms. Aziyadé Poltier-Mutal is the Head of the Perception Change Project (PCP).
She has worked in the field of communications in public relations firms and United Nations agencies for more than 20 years. She coordinated media relations and special events at the United Nations “Earth Summit” before being appointed Head of Communications at the Earth Council in Costa Rica.
Before joining the PCP she was Communications Partnerships Manager at the Geneva office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) where she initiated and managed partnerships with world leading advertising agencies, media, celebrities, influential people and private companies to boost UNDP’s corporate communication and benefit field projects.
She also managed the relations with the celebrities appointed UNDP global Goodwill Ambassadors as well as the 12 annual “Matches Against Poverty” initiated by football players Ronaldo Nazario and Zinédine Zidane. Through her career she has contributed to the sports for development activities with international sports organizations based in Switzerland.
Ms. Poltier-Mutal graduated from la Sorbonne, the Institute of International Relations Studies in Paris and the Graduate Institute of Development Studies in Geneva. Originally from The Netherlands, she has lived many years in South America and is fluent in English, French and Spanish.