Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Liberia, Farid Zarif
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 12 August 2015 announced the appointment of Farid Zarif of Afghanistan as his Special Representative for Liberia and Head of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
He succeeds Karin Landgren of Sweden, who completed her assignment in July 2015.
Until his new assignment, Mr. Zarif was the Special Representative of the Secretary-General to Kosovo and Head of the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). He has extensive experience in diplomatic, international and United Nations affairs. During his diplomatic service, he served in various positions inside and outside Afghanistan, including as Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York (1981-1987), Deputy Foreign Minister (1987-1989) and Presidential Adviser on International Affairs (1989-1991).
Having joined the United Nations in 1993, Mr. Zarif has since served at Headquarters in New York as well as in political, humanitarian and peacekeeping operations in Eritrea, Liberia, South Africa, Iraq and Sudan in various capacities, including Chief of Section, Director of Division, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator and Chief of Staff. He served as Director of the Europe and Latin America Division in the Office of Operations, Department of Peacekeeping Operations (2010-2011).
Mr. Zarif graduated from Kabul University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science in 1973. After graduating with honours from the Afghan Institute of Diplomacy, he studied international relations and diplomacy at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Born in 1951, he is married and has two sons.