Our Team in Turkmenistan

Aidai Kurmanova

Aidai Kurmanova

UNEP
Head of Subregional office for Central Asia
 
Ms. Aidai Kurmanova started her assignment as the Head of Central Asia Office in Almaty on 2nd February 2019. She has 21 years of experience in the field of sustainable development. Prior to joining UNEP, she worked as the State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy of the Kyrgyz Republic for five years. Her main areas of expertise include design and implementation of policies on sustainable economic development. She developed strategic documents on green economy, e-governance, small and medium enterprise. She led the process of nationalizing the Sustainable Development Goals in the Kyrgyz Republic. She has significant practical work experience with the Parliament of the Kyrgyz Republic in improving the environment for business and has promoted draft laws on economic growth. She holds Master degrees on Development Economics from International University of Japan and Public Governance from the Academy of Management under the President of Kyrgyz Republic.
Ayna Seyitliyeva

Ayna Seyitliyeva

UNFPA
Head of Office
Ms. Seyitliyeva was appointed as Head of Office for UNFPA in May 2019. She brings 20 years of extensive and diversified experience in leadership, programme management and communication. Prior to joining UNFPA, she worked 12 years for UNICEF Turkmenistan as Cross-Sectoral Programme Specialist leading the social development, communication and youth programmes, and covering the Partnerships and Resource Leveraging portfolio. In her earlier UN career (2001-2006), she coordinated an advocacy and communication component with UNFPA Turkmenistan. Seyitliyeva graduated from the London School of Economics and Political Science, UK (2006-2007). She holds a Master of Science in Media and Communication with a focus on Behavioral and Social Science. She is the UK Chevening Scholarship Programme Alumna. She also holds a university degree from the Turkmen State University with a Diploma in World Economy and International Relations.
Azat Atajanov

Azat Atajanov

IOM
Head of Office in Turkmenistan
Azat has more than 20 years of experience and has worked for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, UNFPA, UNDP and UNODC. His areas of expertise include human rights, democratic governance, population and development, and trafficking in persons. He holds an MA in International Relations from Kyiv State University and Political Science from University of Missouri-Columbia.
Chary Atayev

Chary Atayev

UNODC
Officer in Charge
Mr.Chary Atayev brings more than ten years of work experience in law enforcement and is a specialist in drug-related and crime prevention issues in Turkmenistan. In 1996 he joined UNODC and previously worked at UNDP (Global Fund). He received his diploma from the D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia and has undertaken research at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
Christine Weigand

Christine Weigand

UNICEF
Representative
Christine has around twenty years of international development experience. Prior to Turkmenistan, she served as UNICEF Deputy Representative in Iran and Chief Social Policy and Evaluation in Madagascar. Prior to joining UNICEF, Christine worked as Sector Economist for Social Protection and Project Manager with the KfW Entwicklungsbank, the German development bank. In this capacity, she provided technical advice on social protection to all levels of German financial and technical cooperation, managing the development projects totaling 50 mln. EUR. Between 2001 and 2008, Christine worked with the World Bank in Washington DC, in poverty reduction and social protection.
Christine is national of Austria. She holds a Master’s degree in International Economic Studies from Maastricht University, in Maastricht, The Netherlands. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish, and German.
Cvetan Cvetkovski

Cvetan Cvetkovski

UNESCO
Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office
 
Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, of Macedonian nationality, is the Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office. He was born on 28 March 1960 in Skopje, Republic of Macedonia. He holds a PhD in Law, St. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia, and LLM in Law from the College of William and Mary Law School, Williamsbourg, Virginia USA.
Before being designated as Officer-in-Charge for UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office (10 March 2019 – present), he served as Senior Planning and Programme Officer, in the Office of the Director-General, as well as Chief, Staff Relations Section, Bureau of Human Resources Management, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. Before joining UNESCO in 2002, Mr. Cvetkovski served as Senior Advisor to the President of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, United Nations, International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
Dmitry Shlapachenko

Dmitry Shlapachenko

UN Resident Coordinator
 
Mr. Dmitry Shlapachenko brings more than 25 years of experience in diplomacy, international cooperation, political and socio-economic affairs, development coordination, peacebuilding, and strategic planning to the position. At the United Nations, he was most recently Team Leader for the Horn of Africa and the United Nations Integrated Transition Assistance Mission in Sudan (UNITAMS) at Headquarters in New York with the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and the Department of Peace Operations (DPO). He also held leadership positions in Iraq, Kosovo, New York, Somalia, Tajikistan, and Vienna.

Prior to joining the Organization, Mr. Shlapachenko worked with the US Peace Corps and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). He was also a writer on international affairs in his country.

He holds a bachelor and a master’s degree in international journalism as well as a doctorate in international relations from the University of Kyiv, Ukraine, a master’s degree in political science from the Central European University in Budapest, Hungary, and a master’s degree in international relations from the London School of Economics in the UK. He also completed a fellowship in international journalism and public policy at Duke University in North Carolina, USA.
Elena Boutrimova

Elena Boutrimova

ITC
Chief of the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the International Trade Centre
 
Elena Boutrimova has been Chief of the Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia of the International Trade Centre (ITC), Geneva, Switzerland since 2009. She joined ITC in 2004 as Trade Promotion Officer for Eastern Europe. Prior Ms Boutrimova was a Project Manager with UNCTAD in the areas of trade facilitation and competition law and policy. Her other previous assignments include positions in UNECE, OCHA and the World Bank. She holds a Masters degree in economics and international relations from a Moscow State University.
Freya Von Groote

Freya Von Groote

UNOPS
Representative
 
Freya brings 20 years of diverse operational and leadership experience from the UN, inter-governmental and non-governmental sector. She served in Georgia, Armenia, Liberia/West Africa, Iraq and in HQ positions in Vienna and New York, managing complex development, humanitarian and partnership portfolios. A native of Germany, Freya holds an MScEcon in International Politics from the University of Wales and a Bahons in History and Russian from Trinity College Dublin. Freya is fluent in German, English, Russian and French.
Hans Friedrich Schodder

Hans Friedrich Schodder

UNHCR
Representative for Central Asia
 
Previously, Mr. Hans Friedrich Schodder served as Representative of UNHCR in Serbia, including one year as Resident Coordinator a.i. of the United Nations. In 2012-2015 Mr. Schodder was Deputy Chief of Mission of UNHCR in India, Senior Emergency Coordinator of UNHCR for the Syria Crisis (2014) and Representative of UNHCR in Kyrgyzstan (2008-2012). Mr. Schodder began his career with UNHCR in 1991 in Hong Kong, followed by subsequent assignments in Viet Nam, as Senior Liaison Officer of UNHCR to the OSCE in Vienna (1996-2001) as well as Senior Protection Officer of UNHCR in Ukraine, in Sudan, and in Sri Lanka (2001-2008). He is married with two children and graduated with a BA (hons) in Social Anthropology and Vietnamese Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
Jacek Cukrowski

Jacek Cukrowski

UNIDO
Chief of the Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia United Nations Industrial Development Organization
 
Jacek Cukrowski is a Chief of the UNIDO Regional Coordination Division for Europe and Central Asia at UNIDO headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
Prior to joining the Regional Coordination Division, Jacek Cukrowski served as a head of the UNIDO Institute for Capacity Development. Previously he worked for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the capacity of the Adviser on Millennium Development Goals and the Head of the Regional Center for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States. Earlier, he worked at the Center for Social and Economic Research (CASE) in Poland and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
The academic background of Jacek Cukrowski includes MSc in systems engineering, a PhD in computer science, as well as a PhD and a post-doctoral degree in economics. In recognition of his professional and academic excellence, Jacek Cukrowski received the title of Professor conferred by the President of Poland.
Natalia Gherman

Natalia Gherman

UNRCCA
Special representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Central Asia Head of UNRCCA
Ms. Natalia Gherman was appointed as Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) on 15 September 2017.
Ms. Natalia Gherman brings to the position 25 years of experience in diplomacy and international affairs having held various high level government positions. Most recently from 2013 until 2016, Ms. Gherman served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of Moldova during which time she also served as the Deputy Prime Minister and as the Acting Prime Minister in 2015. Prior to this, she was Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and European Integration from 2009 to 2013 while also serving as Chief Negotiator on behalf of the Republic of Moldova for the Association Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union. Earlier in her career, Ms. Gherman served as Ambassador to Sweden, Norway and Finland (2006-2009), Ambassador to Austria and Permanent Representative to the UN Agencies in Vienna and to the OSCE (2002-2006) and Deputy Head of the Mission of Moldova in Brussels (2001-2002).
Ms. Gherman holds a Bachelors of Arts from the State University of the Republic of Moldova and Masters of Arts in War Studies from King’s College, University of London and speaks Romanian, English, Russian, French and German.
Natia Natsvlishvili

Natia Natsvlishvili

UNDP
Resident Representative a.i.
Ms. Natia Natsvlishvili has over 15 years of experience in the field of development working in international institutions such as UNDP, the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University and a Master in Physics and Mathematics from Tbilisi State University.
Nikolay Pomoshchnikov

Nikolay Pomoshchnikov

UN ESCAP
Head of the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia
 
Mr. Nikolay Pomoshchnikov is the Head of the ESCAP Subregional Office for North and Central Asia.
The Office provides technical and analytical advisory services, training workshops to promote ESCAP’s subregional economic, social and environmental activities, and implements field projects.
It also serves as a catalyst to operationalize the analytical and normative work of ESCAP at the subregional and national levels.
Mr. Pomoshchnikov has an extensive experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy.
Before joining ESCAP in 2011, he was the Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to ESCAP.
He has the diplomatic rank of Envoy Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary (second class). He holds a PhD in Political Science.
Octavian Bivol

Octavian Bivol

UNDRR
Chief of Regional Office for Europe
 
 
 
Mr. Octavian Bivol brings 25 years of experience in international development and management, and in building resilience in health, education and social protection systems. He was also engaged in disaster preparedness and response in different capacities. Prior to this assignment he held leadership positions in UNICEF, including serving as UNICEF Representative to Bulgaria and Lao PDR, and Deputy Director in the UNICEF Office for the Relations with the European Union institutions in Brussels where he was responsible for the partnership with the EU institutions.
His career with the United Nations dates to 1995, when he joined the UNICEF country office in Moldova as health officer. Mr. Bivol had subsequent assignments with UNICEF including in the Gulf Area Office in Saudi Arabia, in Kazakhstan where he was heading the office in Astana, and as Regional Advisor, Health System and Policy in the Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in Geneva.
Mr. Bivol is a national of the Republic of Moldova and holds a Medical Doctor degree.
Olga V. Koulaeva

Olga V. Koulaeva

ILO
Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia
Olga V. Koulaeva was appointed Director of the ILO Decent Work Team and Country Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia on 1 November 2016.
Since February 2010, she had served as a Senior Employment Specialist at the ILO DWT/CO for Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Ms Koulaeva graduated from the Moscow State University Department of Economics and holds a Ph. D. in Economics. She is fluent in English and Swedish. In 1983-1990, Ms Koulaeva lectured at the Patrice Lumumba University of People’s Friendship in Moscow, and conducted research in areas such as labour market and vocational training.
Between 1990 and 2002, she served as Marketing and Finance Director in a number of companies, including VneshAgro Soviet-Swedish Joint Venture, Vita Corporation, and 2F Sverige AB in Stockholm. In 2002-2004, she was Financial Manager with the Swedish National Labour Market Board (AMS).
In 2004-2005, she served as Deputy Project Director and in May 2005, was appointed Project Director of the Swedish National Labour Market Board (AMS) and the Swedish Public Employment Service. Her main areas of responsibility included planning, budgeting, implementation, monitoring and follow-up of international projects related to the labour market and employment policy.
Ozan Sevimli

Ozan Sevimli

World Bank
Country Manager for Tajikistan and Turkmenistan
 
 
 
Ozan Sevimli, a German national, was appointed as World Bank Country Manager for Tajikistan and Turkmenistan starting August 2, 2021. In this position he will lead the World Bank’s policy dialogue and manage overall program delivery.

Prior to this assignment, he was serving as World Bank Resident Representative for Jamaica and Guyana in the Latin America and Caribbean Region.

Previously he has served as the Program Coordinator for the South Caucasus unit of the World Bank (2016-2019), based in Tbilisi, Georgia. He has also served as Senior Strategy and Operations Officer in the Vice President’s office for the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. He supported senior management in the development and implementation of the Bank’s regional strategy and corporate priorities.

Between 2005 and 2012 he worked in the World Bank’s Operations Policy and Country Services department and the Africa Regional department as a labor economist.

Prior to joining the World Bank, he was a labor market specialist at the German Employment Agency.

Mr. Sevilmi holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas and a master’s degree in Labor Economics from the University of Applied Sciences of Mannheim.
Plamen Skrobanski

Plamen Skrobanski

UNDSS
Security Advisor
 
Before joining UNDSS, Mr. Skrobanski has more than 16 years police background from different branches of the Ministry of Interior, Bulgaria. His professional experience in international organizations includes various posts at the OSCE Mission to Georgia; UN DPKO Mission in Cambodia (UNTAC); UN DPKO Mission in Bosna and Hercegovina (UNMIBH); UN DPKO Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK).
In 2007 he joined UNDSS DRO as Field Security Coordination Officer in Mogadishu, Somalia 2007-2009, and then served as UNDSS Security Adviser for Armenia 2009-2013 with Security Adviser regional functions for Bulgaria, Macedonia FYR and Malta (2012); and Security Adviser for Kyrgyz Republic 2013-2017.
Ryzsard Komenda OHCHR Representative Turkmenistan

Ryzsard Komenda

OHCHR
Regional Representative
 
Mr.Ryzsard Komenda is a lawyer with a Master of Laws degree in International Human Rights from the University of Ottawa and a Magister Juris from the University of Gdansk. Over the last twenty years he has worked at the UN in Russia; the Canadian Red Cross Society; UN Women; the Canadian Federal Department of Foreign Affairs; the Canadian International Development Agency; OHCHR; and the UN Peacekeeping.