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.
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.
Egor Zaitsev

Egor Zaitsev

WHO
Resident Representative
 
Egor Zaitsev was appointed as WHO Resident Representative in Turkmenistan in August, 2021. He brings more than 15 years of experience in country office management, advise on health policy to the government, implementation of technical programmes with the governments and building partnership.
Before being appointed as a Resident Representative of WHO in Turkmenistan, he served as WHO Representative in Armenia (2016-2021) developing new law on tobacco control, driving health system policy towards Universal health coverage and assisting Armenia in emergencies including COVID-19 and armed conflict in Nagorno Karabagh through DG NEAR, USAID and other projects.
Mr. Zaitsev began his career with WHO in 2003 as the Head of WHO Country office in Belarus. His main achievements during his work in Belarus is elimination of vertical HIV transmission, strengthened health system response to TB and initiation project on NCDs control in Belarus with participation of WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and UNFPA.
Mr. Zaitsev holds a bachelor degree from Minsk Medical institute, Belarus and a master degree in Science Public Health (General) from the University of Edinburgh, UK.
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.
Mohammad Fayyazi

Mohammad Fayyazi

UNICEF
UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan
Mohammad Fayyazi was appointed as UNICEF Representative in Turkmenistan in October 2021. Mohammad brings over 20 years of experience working with the United Nations, managing humanitarian and development programmes.

During his previous assignment, he was the Chief of Field Operations for UNICEF Lebanon managing between 2019 to 2021 the Emergency Response for the Lebanon crisis. He coordinated the design and implementation of UNICEF country programme and partnerships at the sub-national level and supervised five UNICEF field offices in the country.

Mohammad has served in Iran, Sudan, Afghanistan, New York HQs, Lebanon, and has been deployed on support missions to more than 20 countries and territories. He has worked at Field Office, Country Office and Headquarters level, in different roles spanning across technical (child protection), policy advise and managerial functions.

Mohammad is a national of Iran. He holds a BA in Political Science from Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, and a Master’s in Political Science from the University of Tehran. He speaks Persian, English, Arabic, and French languages.
Narine Sahakyan

Narine Sahakyan

UNDP
Resident Representative
 
Ms. Sahakyan brings over 18 years of experience within the UN system with increasing levels of responsibility from Project Coordinator to UNDP Resident Representative and additional 15 years of professional experience with the Government and the scientific research institutions, the local and international NGOs, the WB, USAID and other international organizations. She has an extensive experience in developing and advancing core reforms for government towards transitional agenda and EU integration; in resource mobilization for development and investment programmes; in negotiating complex solutions with counterparts from state institutions, local authorities, donors and private sector.
Ms. Sahakyan has previously served as UNDP Resident Representative in North Macedonia, and as Deputy Resident Representative in Macedonia, Moldova and Turkmenistan. Prior to joining the UNDP, she worked with the USA based public-private partnership “EurAsia Foundation”, leading the department of economic development. Ms. Sahakyan served also the Government of Republic of Armenia in different positions - heading the Investments Directorate in the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Directorate of Foreign Investments in the Ministry of Economy.
Ms. Sahakyan holds a PhD in Economics (Moscow, State Planning Authority) and a BSc in Business Administration (Yerevan, Engineering University).
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.
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.
Viorel Gutu

Viorel Gutu

FAO
Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia
 
A national of Moldova, Viorel Gutu is FAO's Subregional Coordinator for Central Asia and FAO Representative for Turkey and Uzbekistan.
He joined FAO in 2014 as the head of FAO Tajikistan office, leading the country office in establishing productive relations with the national government and with key donors including the European Union and Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Before joining FAO, Gutu was Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry in Moldova. In this position, he was responsible for the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of strategic policy implementation in agriculture and rural development. He also served as Economic Affairs Officer with the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor, where he dealt with peacekeeping operations, poverty alleviation and prevention of the emergency situations. He holds a doctoral degree in economics.