Leadership

Farid Zarif

Farid Zarif

Under Secretary-General

Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNMIL

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.    

Waldemar Vrey

Waldemar Vrey

Assistant Secretary-General 

Deputy Special Representative for Political and Rule of Law
 
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on 19 October, 2015, announced the appointment of Waldemar Vrey of South Africa as his Deputy Special Representative (Political and Rule of Law) for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
 
Mr. Vrey succeeds Mark Kroeker of the United States, whose appointment ended in September 2015, and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his outstanding service in Liberia.
 
Mr. Vrey brings to his new position a wealth of senior management, political, rule-of-law, regional coordination and security-sector reform experience in the United Nations, having served since 2004 in political and peacekeeping missions in Burundi, Sudan, South Sudan and most recently in Somalia as Director for the Rule of Law and Security Institutions Group.  He previously served as Commander of South African peacekeeping deployments and as Chief of Staff of the African Union Mission in Burundi.
 
Mr. Vrey graduated from the Stellenbosch University’s Military Academy in 1987, following which he studied senior management at the Stellenbosch Graduate School of Business and total quality management at the University of South Africa.
 
Born in 1962, he is married and has two children.

Yacoub El Hillo

Yacoub El Hillo

Assistant Secretary-General

Deputy Special Representative for Peace Consolidation 

Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Yacoub El Hillo of Sudan as his Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).  He will also serve as the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr. El Hillo succeeds Antonio Vigilante of Italy, who concluded his assignment on 15 June 2016, and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his outstanding contribution and dedicated service in supporting the implementation of the mandate of UNMIL and coordinating the activities of the United Nations system in Liberia. 

Mr. El Hillo brings to the position a wealth of experience in the field and at United Nations Headquarters.  Since August 2013, he has served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the Syrian Arab Republic, based in Damascus. 

Prior to his assignment in Syria, he served as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Director for the Middle East and North Africa in Geneva, a position he held since November 2010.  He was the UNHCR Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (2009-2010); UNHCR Representative in Tanzania (2006-2009); Deputy Reconstruction and Humanitarian Coordinator, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in Baghdad (2005-2006); UNHCR Chief of Mission in Iraq (2003-2005); and he was the Chef de Cabinet of the High Commissioner’s Office at UNHCR Headquarters (2001-2002). 

He also served in a number of other assignments since joining the United Nations in 1989, in his native Sudan (1989-1991), Kenya (1991-1993), Somalia (1993-1994), Tanzania (1994-1996), Liberia (1996-1999), Geneva (1999-2002) and at the United Nations Headquarters in New York (2002-2003). 

Mr. El Hillo graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from the University of Khartoum, Sudan, in 1986. 

Born in 1963, he is married and has five children. 
 

Major General Salihu Zaway Uba

Major-General Salihu Zaway Uba 

Force Commander

Major General Uba brings to this position 32 years of national and international military service.  Prior to his appointment by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to serve as the Force Commander for the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), Major General Uba served as the Commander of Training and Doctrine Command of the Nigerian Army and the Commandant of the Nigerian Army Peacekeeping Center from 2013 to 2014.  Between 2012 and 2013, he served as the Director of the Veterans’ Affairs Department in the Nigerian Ministry of Defence.

Major General Uba has also held a number of high-level positions within United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. He previously served UNMIL as Sector Commander from 2010 to 2012, and as Company Commander in the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) from 1992 to 1993.

Major General Uba has master’s degrees in strategic studies, business administration, and peace and conflict from the University of Ibadan, Imo State University, and the National Open University, respectively, in Nigeria.  He is also a graduate of the War College, Nigeria.

Born in 1959, he is married and has three children.

Picture coming soon

Ms. Bibi Eng 

Chief of Staff

(Biography coming soon)

Mr. Simon Blatchly

Simon Blatchly

Police Commissioner

Mr. Blatchly is a serving senior Police Officer from the United Kingdom. He succeeded Mr. Gregory Hinds as the Police Commissioner in December 2016.

Before his appointment to UNMIL, Mr. Blatchly was the Chief of Mission Management and Support Section for Police Division within the United Nations Secretariat in New York, providing strategic advice and support to the Police components in UN Peacekeeping Missions. In 2014, he was the Senior Police Adviser to the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), a role in which he served as the international security adviser to the Iraqi High Election security Committee for the Presidential elections.

Prior to secondment to the United Nations, Mr. Blatchly held a number of diverse senior roles in the UK, including responsibility for major and organized crime investigation, counter terrorism and intelligence functions, and as Firearms and Public Order Commander .

Mr. Blatchly holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Leicester University and a Bachelor’s degree in Policing.

 
David John Penklis

David John Penklis

Director Mission Support

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed David John Penklis of Australia as the Director Mission Support on 6 July 2016. 

Dr. Penklis has served with the United Nations since 1994, working at the United Nations Secretariat in New York and in Vienna, and in peacekeeping operations in Africa and Eastern Europe. He brings significant expertise in the management of mission support, the start-up, the transition and the liquidation of United Nations peacekeeping operations. He has experience in implementing service optimization and improvement programmes for new and established organisations.

Dr. Penklis holds a bachelor’s degree in business, postgraduate degrees in commerce and international relations and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from The University of Sydney.