Executive Director - Latin America and the Caribbean

Dr. Natalia Kanem  

Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)On 3 October 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Dr. Natalia Kanem as Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

Dr. Kanem brings to the position more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy. She started her career in academia with the Johns Hopkins and Columbia University schools of medicine and public health.
 
While serving as a Ford Foundation Officer from 1992 to 2005, she helped pioneer work in women’s reproductive health and sexuality, in particular through her position as the representative for West Africa. She then served at the Foundation headquarters, becoming Deputy Vice-President for its worldwide peace and social justice programmes in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America.
 
From 2014 to 2016, Dr. Kanem served as UNFPA Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania. In July 2016, she was named Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA in charge of programmes.
 
Dr. Kanem was founding president of ELMA Philanthropies Inc., a private institution focusing primarily on children and youth in Africa. She also has been a senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies.
 
Dr. Kanem holds a medical degree from Columbia University, New York, and a Master’s degree in Public Health, with specializations in epidemiology and preventive medicine, from the University of Washington, Seattle. She is also a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard University, where she studied history and science.
 
Dr. Kanem becomes the fifth Executive Director of UNFPA since the Fund became operational in
1969. 

 

Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region in Panama

Harold Robinson

 

Harold Robinson is  the  Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Region in Panama

A national of Costa Rica, Harold brings over 28 years of extensive experience in international development, collaborative partnerships, and strategic organizational management in the UN system.  He first joined UNFPA in 1991 as a National Programme Officer in Costa Rica for three years before serving with UNDP as a Junior Professional in Zimbabwe (1994-1995); Assistant Representative in El Salvador (1995-1997),  Deputy Representative in Honduras (1998-1999),  in Jamaica (1999-2000) and as Programme Advisor at HQ (2001-2005). He returned to UNFPA in 2005 as Director of the Sub Regional Office for LACRO and Representative in Jamaica. He served as Representative for Brazil, Argentina, and Paraguay from 2009 before reassigning to Headquarters as Chief, Post 2015 Development Agenda Branch in 2014.

 

Harold became UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Panama in 2017 and currently, as the UN Resident Coordinator, coordinates the UNCT towards the UNDAF results and leads the strengthening of the Resident Coordinator Office and the coordination function as part of the UNDS reform agenda.

 

Harold has an MSc degree in Economics from the University of California as well as a BSc degree in Engineering from the Universidad de Costa Rica.   He is passionate about fighting inequality in all its forms. 

 

 

Deputy Regional Director - Latin America and the Caribbean

Sheila Roseau

Ms. Sheila Roseau is the Deputy Regional Director of the Regional Office (Panama) for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

A registered nurse and social worker by profession, she possesses vast experience in the areas of social development work, advocacy and policy dialogue.  Prior to joining UNFPA, she worked in senior positions in the Health and Social Services in the UK and recently for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda as the Executive Director, Directorate of Gender Affairs from 1995.  In her role as Executive Director she made numerous invaluable contributions to the strategic development of the national machinery responsible for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment.  Using her contacts and experience she facilitated valuable partnerships that have greatly enhanced the work of the organisation and was instrumental in the establishment of the Caribbean Institute for Women in Leadership (CIWIL) and the Antigua and Barbuda Chapter of  Advocates for Safe Parenting Improving Reproductive Equity (ASPIRE).  She has worked tirelessly and passionately over the years as an activist and advocate for the rights of women and children.  Her passion is exemplified by her strong commitment and dedication to improving the lives of others and ultimately the development of the Caribbean region.

In addition to her work as an activist and advocate for women’s empowerment and gender equality, Sheila has served as an elections observer for the Commonwealth Secretariat and the OAS observing numerous elections throughout the world.  She also served as an expert for the monitoring of the implementation of the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of All Forms of Violence against Women (Belem do Para Convention).  Until recently she was a member of the Antigua and Barbuda Planned Parenthood Association.

Sheila is the recipient of various awards, among which the US Secretary of State, Hilary Rodham Clinton Award Hero Acting to End Modern Day Slavery (2011), the National Award, Commander of the Most Illustrious Order of Merit (2009) and was nominated for Women of Courage Award (2011).

Sheila holds a BA (Hons) in Social Policy with Social Science, MBA in Public Sector Management and has pursued numerous courses and studies including International Human Rights Law.

 

Sub-Regional Director - Caribbean

Alison Drayton

Alison Drayton has worked in UNDP for fifteen years in a series of functions both globally and in the Caribbean region, most recently as RBLAC as Senior Advisor. In that capacity she has led the formulation of Regional Human Development Report focused on multi-dimensional progress in the Caribbean for which she has provided strategic advice to RBLAC Senior management on engagement with Caribbean partner institutions, governments and thought leaders in the preparation of the report.

Alison has also provided strategic advice on Financing for Development (FFD) issues as they concern the Caribbean and was part of the UNDP Samoa Conference preparation team based in the Pacific to prepare UNDPs inputs into the Samoa pathway. During her last year in New York Alison also supported BERA efforts in relation to issues of importance to the Caribbean including support and input for the EU Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) strategy post-Cotonou in close collaboration with UNDP’s Brussels office.

From 2009-2012 Alison served as the Director for the Division for UN Affairs (DUNA) in BERA leading UNDP’s inter-governmental and inter-agency partnerships. Alison has extensive experience in intergovernmental negotiations on UN reform, sustainable development, climate change and other key development issues. Before joining UNDP in 2001, Alison served in the Permanent Mission of Guyana to the UN, chairing the G77 on Sustainable Development and Administrative and Budgetary issues during Guyana’s chairmanship of the Group in 1999. She has also served as a Political Officer in the Commonwealth Secretariat and was Special Advisor to the President of the UN General Assembly in 1993-4.

Alison was in the NYU Masters Programme on Public Administration and holds a BA Honors in History and Politics from the University of London.

 

Deputy Director/ Deputy Representative- Caribbean

Mr. Seth Broekman

Seth comes to us from the UNFPA East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) where he had been providing oversight and quality assurance support to 21 Country Offices, 22 UNCTs and the Regional Office on strategic planning, programme management and UN Reform since 2013. Before joining the ESARO, Seth was involved in the following: Head of the UNFPA Decentralized Office for Northern Nigeria with UNFPA Nigeria; UN Reform Advisor for ILO Regional Office in Bangkok, Thailand; M&E Focal Point for UNFPA Afghanistan and UNFPA Nepal. Prior to joining the UN, he worked in Uganda for an NGO specializing in HIV/AIDS and for a financial institution in the Netherlands.

Seth is a Dutch National and holds a Master’s Degree in Health Care Studies and a Master’s Degree in Health Policy and Administration, both from the Maastricht University.