Our Team in Nepal

 Sara Beysolow Nyanti, Resident Coordinator

Sara Beysolow Nyanti

UN Resident Coordinator
Ms. Sara Beysolow Nyanti is the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal. Ms. Nyanti brings more than 20 years of experience in development and humanitarian work to the position, which she has acquired from assignments around the world with the United Nations and externally. Within the Organization, she most recently served as Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen, where she set up programmes that provided cash assistance to nine million people, after occupying a similar position in the Gambia. She also held leadership positions across the United Nations in Jordan, Namibia, Nepal and Nigeria, working in multiple sectors and agencies on key issues such as Ebola response coordination.
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Nyanti worked as her country’s Director of the National AIDS Control Program in the health ministry. She authored the first Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria funding for the Liberia’s national AIDS response and led the development and subsequent legislation of the national AIDS policy, guidelines and law.
She holds a master’s degree in public administration and is a globally accredited Partnership Broker.
Ayshanie Labe, RR, UNDP

Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé

Ms. Ayshanie Medagangoda-Labé is the UNDP Resident Representative for Nepal since April 2019. Prior to this appointment, Ayshanie worked as the Deputy Resident Representative for UNDP in Nepal since August 2018. She also served as UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in the Kingdom of Morocco as well as in the Republic of Algeria. Ayshanie holds a MSc in Agro-Economics, Sociology and Rural Development from the Faculty of Agriculture, Gembloux/Liège, Belgium. She speaks English and French.
Carolin, Representative, UNHCR

Carolin Spannuth Verma

Carolin Spannuth Verma is the UNHCR Representative to Nepal. Her thematic focus during her service with UNHCR, includes but is not limited to International Protection, Resettlement, Integration, Voluntary Repatriation, Refugee Status Determination, International Humanitarian Law, Protection of Civilians, LGBTIQ integration, Child protection and Gender issues, Capacity Development, Refugee Law Training and Staff Welfare. Carolin attained her higher and post-graduate Law Degree from the University of Freiburg and Hamburg, Germany and in 1995 obtained her license to practice as a Judge in Germany.
Charles Callanan

Charles Callanan

Country director
With more than 20 years of experience in development and operations across several different regions and organizations, Charles Callanan now serves as the Director of UNOPS South Asia Hub, responsible for UNOPS operations in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka. Previously he was running UNOPS operations in Nepal after the devastating earthquakes in 2015, where he led his office to carry out detailed damage surveys of one million houses, as well as large-scale reconstruction efforts and capacity support. Prior to this, he served as Director of UNOPS New York office where he managed operations in 110 countries and represented UNOPS in the Executive Board. Charles holds an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is an MIT Sloan Fellow.
Christian Manhart, Representative, UNESCO

Christian Manhart

Christian Manhart is the UNESCO’s representative to Nepal since August 2014. At UNESCO he was mostly working for the conservation of historical sites in South and Central Asia, such as the Taj Mahal in India, Chogha Zanbil in Iran, or Bamiyan in Afghanistan. For several years he conducted projects initiated by the Director-General in the Mediterranean to enhance social cohesion in cities. In 2005, he has been appointed to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as chief of communication and partnerships, and later in charge of museums and international cultural conventions (Conventions of 1954, 1970, 2001 and the Intergovernmental Committee for Return and Restitution of Cultural Property). Manhart has a Masters in Art History and Archaeology.
Elke Wisch, Representative, UNICEF

Elke Wisch

For over 23 years, Elke Wisch has been working to improve the lives of children and women and their communities in a range of development, transition and emergency contexts. In 2008, Wisch took on the role of Senior Peacebuilding and Recovery Coordinator for Northern Uganda within the UN Country Team, and then held the position of UNICEF Deputy Regional Director for the Eastern and Southern Africa region from 2009-2014. She was appointed as the UNICEF Representative in Madagascar in 2014 (a position she held for four years). In August 2018, Wisch joined the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, serving as the Deputy Regional Director ad interim, until taking up the Representative post in Nepal. Ms. Wisch holds a Master of Arts in Social and Political Sciences from Munich University and a Master of Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Jane Pearce, Country Director

Jane Pearce

Ms. Pearce is the Country Director ad interim of WFP Nepal, leading a diverse programme portfolio comprising of both humanitarian and development projects. Ms. Pearce has over 25 years of operational and leadership experience with WFP, having held a variety of policy and programme positions including field assignments in Zaire, Rwanda, Tanzania, DPR Korea and Iraq. She was the Country Director a.i. of Liberia in 2001, and Representative and Country Director of Iraq from 2014 to 2016. Ms. Pearce has extensive experience of working during emergencies, being deployed to the Great Lakes Emergency during the Rwanda genocide, to support operations in Macedonia, to the Special Envoy’s office in Pakistan covering the post-9/11 Afghan operations, the 2003 Iraq war, the Indian Ocean tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake. Most recently, Ms. Pearce was Director of Performance Management, Monitoring and Reporting in WFP’s Rome headquarters. Ms. Pearce studied at Monash University, Oxford University and the School of Oriental and Africa Studies. She speaks Italian and French.
Lorena Lando, Chief of Mission, IOM

Lorena Lando

Lando has been serving in development and humanitarian field for over 25 years and has been advocating for migrants’ rights, their protection, and highlighting the contribution of migration to development during her service with IOM since 2000. Prior to her posting in Nepal, she worked as the IOM Chief of Mission in Africa, Asia and in Europe. Lorena holds an International Post-graduate Diplomas in Humanitarian Assistance and Civilian Personnel in Peacekeeping Operations from Fordham University, New York and Sant’Anna di Pisa, Italy respectively. Lorena is an Italian national and is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and Italian.
Lubna Baqi, Representative, UNFPA

Lubna Baqi

Lubna Baqi is the Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund for Nepal since 3 October 2017. She has over 25 years of experience working in the development field, many of them at UNFPA. Prior to this, Baqi served as the UNFPA Deputy Regional Director for the Asia-Pacific, providing oversight and support to the 23 country offices in the region and managing the work of the programme, technical and communications teams in the regional office, including regional interventions and strategic partnerships. Baqi is a British national and holds a Master of Science degree in Economics from the Development Planning Unit, University College London.
Masauso Nzima

Masauso Nzima

Masauso Nzima is the UNAIDS Country Director in Nepal.

Masauso is responsible for providing leadership and coordinating support to the national HIV response, through policy and strategic guidance, technical collaboration and political outreach to key partners.

Masauso has been with UNAIDS for fifteen years, and served as Strategic Information Adviser prior to taking up the current assignment. Masauso has been instrumental in engaging governments and other stakeholders in various countries, particularly helping them prioritise locally led analyses of strategic information for more effective programming.
Masauso, a Zambian national and has a Master’s degree in Demography from the Australian National University and has over 20 years combined experience in the development and academic fields.

Rajesh Sambhajirao Pandav

Rajesh Pandav

Dr Rajesh Sambhajirao Pandav has been appointed as the WHO Representative to the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal from September 2020.
His association with WHO started in 2004 with Mental Health and Substance Abuse Unit in the WHO Regional Office for South East Asia Region. Since then he has served WHO in various capacities that include: Medical Officer (Public Health,) WHO Country Office for Maldives, (2009-2011); and Health Policy Advisor, WHO Country Office for Timor-Leste, (2011-March 2015).
He was awarded the WHO Director General’s Excellence Award in 2016.
CD ILO Richard

Richard Howard

Richard is the Country Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Nepal since August 2016. With more than 20 years of experience in management and research in the private sector, non-government organisations and the ILO in Asia and the Pacific, Richard has developed expertise in gender equality and non-discrimination, migration, indigenous peoples, sexual and reproductive health, and HIV and AIDS. Prior to his appointment in Nepal, he had worked in the ILO office in Bangkok as a Senior Regional Specialist on HIV and Decent Work for Marginalised Groups. He also worked in China and Indonesia in other capacities. An American national, Howard holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Anthropology from the University of Illinois.
Suresh Balakrishnan, Regional Team Leader

Suresh Balakrishnan

Dr. Balakrishnan has three decades of experience in local development finance, sustainable development and governance reform. He has worked closely with national and sub-national governments, civil society networks and multilateral organizations across Asia and Africa. Dr. Balakrishnan was closely involved in the evolution of Citizen Report Cards, a global best practice that enables and empowers communities to influence public service delivery. With a doctoral degree in Management, he has published extensively on public administration reform, organizational development and evaluation.
Wenny Kusuma, Country Representative, UN Women Nepal

Wenny Kusuma

UN Women
Country Representative
Ms. Kusuma joined UN Women Nepal as Country Representative in 2016. She has served as the UN Women Country Representative in Cambodia (2010-2016), UNIFEM Country Director in Afghanistan (2008-2010) and UNIFEM Programme Manager for South East Europe based in Macedonia (2006-2008). She has more than thirty years of experience in the field of women’s human rights and gender equality. Her focus has been on substantive equality, inclusive governance, women’s economic empowerment, and violence against women and girls across the humanitarian and development continuum.