Our Team in Türkiye

Alvaro Rodriguez

Alvaro Rodriguez

Resident Coordinator
On 10 December 2021, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Alvaro Rodriguez of Canada as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Turkey, with the host Government’s approval.

Mr. Rodriguez brings more than 30 years of international development experience, which he has acquired at the United Nations and externally, to the position. Within the Organization, he most recently served as Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations in Turkey after serving as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Tanzania. He also held managerial positions at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including in New York with the Bureau for Development Policy, as well as in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. Earlier in his United Nations career Mr. Rodriguez worked in China, Kenya, and Thailand.

Prior to joining the United Nations, he completed his military service in Canada and worked as a consultant with the Ottawa-based International Development Research Centre, as well as with the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

Mr. Rodriguez holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University and a master’s degree in political science from the University of British Colombia, both in Canada. He also undertook doctorate level coursework at the Australian National University.
Asya Varbanova

Asya Varbanova

UN Women
Country director
Ms. Varbanova assumed the position of Country Director of UN Women Turkey in April 2019. Prior to that, she was Chief Technical Advisor for the UN Women Country Office in Moldova since 2015 and the Representative a.i. in 2017- 2018. Previously, Ms. Varbanova served as Head of Office for the UN Women Programme Office in the Republic of Serbia in 2010-2015 and Head of Office for UNIFEM in North Macedonia in 2008-2010. In 2015, Ms. Varbanova was deployed to Nepal to serve as Gender and Humanitarian Advisor for UN Women’s post-earthquake response. Ms. Varbanova is a national of Bulgaria and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota, USA.
Dr. Batyr Berdyklychev

Dr. Batyr Berdyklychev

Prior to joining the WHO, Dr Batyr worked as a neurologist in the Scientific Research Institute of Neurology in Turkmenistan. He first joined the WHO in 1996 as the National Head of the WHO Country Office in Turkmenistan. In 2003, Dr Batyr moved to the WHO Regional Office for Europe to work in the Country Support Unit. At the regional level, as a Strategist, he was responsible for evaluating the strategic health needs of countries, developing country work plans, and monitoring these practices. In addition to his duties, Dr Batyr was actively involved in the WHO European Task Force's work on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), the development and pilot work of the country's business performance assessment system. In 2003 and 2006 Dr Batyr had temporary assignments as Head of Country Office, a.i. in Ukraine, and Albania respectively. In his post as WHO Representative / Head of Belarus Country Office from 2016 to 2020, Dr Batyr received the honorary award for excellence in health care from the Belarusian Ministry of Health in 2019. As well as being a doctor of medicine with postgraduate expertise in neurology and infectious diseases, Dr Batyr also holds a master's degree in Health Systems Management from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Dr Batyr started his new assignment in Turkey on 2 November 2020.”
Gerard Karl Waite

Gerard Karl Waite

Chief of Mission
Mr. Gerard Karl Waite assumed the position of Chief of Mission, IOM Turkey, in September 2021. Mr. Waite has 24 years of experience in migration management. His prior experience with IOM includes serving as Chief of Mission in Iraq, Somalia, Uganda, and South Sudan. In addition, he held various positions at IOM Sudan, including Darfur Regional Coordinator in Khartoum, Head of Sub-Office in El-Fashir, and Protection Officer in Nyala.

Prior to joining IOM, Mr. Waite served as Program Officer at Transparency International in Germany, Program Coordinator at the Alternative Information Center (AIC) in the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Refugee Support Officer at the Scottish Refugee Council in Scotland.

Mr. Waite holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics and Anthropology and master’s degree in Linguistics from the University of Edinburgh, and a master’s degree in Human Rights from the University of London.
Hassan Mohtashami - UNFPA

Hassan Mohtashami

Hassan Mohtashami is a medical doctor with a specialty in psychiatry and post-graduate training in Population Leadership with over 26 years of leadership experience in health sector. Prior to joining UNFPA, he served in his home country (Iran) in different positions as District Health Director, World Bank Project Manager, CEO of the National Family Planning Association (IPPF-affiliate), and then in Afghanistan as WHO reproductive health advisor. He joined UNFPA in 2004 and prior to his current posting in Turkey, he held positions of UNFPA Representative/OIC in China, DPRK, Pakistan, Laos, Swaziland, Uganda and Sudan.
Ahmet Parla

Kadir Ahmet Parla

Head of Office
Before joining the UN, Parla worked for the Office of the Prime Minister, Directorate General of Press and Information, in various capacities including, Director of Antalya Provincial Office and Acting Director of Information Department. He also worked as the Press Attaché at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C, USA. He has master's degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University.
Mrs. Kavilmadam Ramaswami Parvathy

Kavilmadam Ramaswami Parvathy

Representative and Country Director
Mrs. Kavilmadam Ramaswami Parvathy, national of India, is a seasoned international leader and aid professional, with more than 30 years of experience in development and humanitarian sectors, focusing on strategic planning, performance, and risk management, people management, conflict analysis and humanitarian access negotiations. She joined her assignment as Representative and Country Director for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in Türkiye in July 2022. In this role, Parvathy will lead WFP Operations towards addressing the food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable people living in Türkiye. She will work together with the national government, United Nations Agencies and other development and humanitarian actors for promoting sustainable actions towards building healthy, productive, and cohesive communities and societies, while advocating for responsible policies and legislations for safeguarding the environment for current and future generations.

Prior to her current assignment, Parvathy worked as Representative and Country Director for WFP in Liberia and as Deputy Country Director (Programme and Operations) for WFP in Afghanistan. In her career assignments, Parvathy has served in the Asia Pacific, West Africa, Regional and Global Headquarters of WFP, contributing to ending hunger in the world. Parvathy is very adept in operating in insecure and uncertain contexts, representing the United Nations, leading multi-cultural teams towards effective service delivery and high performance. Parvathy holds a Masters’ degree in Organizational Performance Management from the School of Management, Cranfield University in England.

Louisa Vinton

Resident Representative
Louisa Vinton is the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Republic of Turkey from May 2021. Vinton is a development professional with more than 30 years of work experience in the region covered by the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia.

Previously she served as the UNDP Resident Representative in Georgia from November 2018 to March 2021. Earlier she held the dual roles of UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in North Macedonia, from November 2013 to October 2018, and Croatia, from July 2010 to June 2014. Her first post with UNDP was as Division Chief in the Regional Bureau for Europe and Central Asia in New York, starting in February 2004, where she was responsible for UNDP activities in seven countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine. She also led UN coordination on issues related to the legacy of the Chernobyl nuclear accident of 1986.

Before joining UNDP, Louisa Vinton worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit for nine years as Editor, Editor in Chief, and the head of the company's Executive Services unit in New York. Between 1988 and 1994 she worked as a Senior Research Analyst for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Inc., in Munich. She holds a B.A. in Russian Studies from Cornell University and an M.A. in History from the University of Michigan. As well as English, she speaks conversational Croatian, German, Polish and Russian.
Numan Özcan


Country Director
Mr. Özcan became Director of the ILO Office for Turkey in January 2015. Mr. Özcan started his career at the Hak-İş Trade Union Confederation in 1998. He then worked in the private sector on international business risk consultancy, and in the public sector, contracting and managing EU-funded social and employment projects. During his employment at the EU Delegation to Turkey (2005-2015), Mr. Özcan followed up EU-Turkey accession negotiations in social policy and employment areas. Mr. Özcan studied Political Science and International Relations at Boğaziçi University (Istanbul), and obtained masters degrees in International Business and Management from the University of Westminster (London) and in International Relations from Gazi University (Ankara).
Philippe Leclerc

Philippe Leclerc

Philippe Leclerc is the Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Turkey since January 2021.
He graduated in International Law in Paris in 1986 and served as Cultural Attaché for the Embassy of France in Tirana, Albania (1987-1988). He has been working for UNHCR since 1990 in various positions throughout the world. He has been in charge of protection of refugees in Cameroon (1990-1992), in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in Serbia (1993), in Slovenia (1994-1995), in Brussels (1996), in Geneva UNHCR Headquarters as the Head of the Liaison Office for Switzerland and Liechtenstein(1996-2000), then in charge of the organization of the first Ministerial Meeting of State Parties to the UN Convention on the Status of Refugees held in the context of the Global Consultations on the protection of refugees on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention (2001). He was Assistant Chief of Mission in Kabul, Afghanistan (2002-2003), Head of the Statelessness Unit within the Division of International Protection at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva (2004-2008), and Deputy-Representative in Damascus, Syria (2008-2010). He also participated to many emergency missions to the field, the last of which was in the Central African Republic from December 2013 to February 2014. He was the Representative in France (2010-2015) and in Greece (2015-2020).
Regina De Dominicis

Regina De Dominicis

Ms. Regina De Dominicis, an Italian national, assumed her responsibilities as UNICEF Representative to Turkey in October 2020. Previously, she served as UNICEF Representative to Morocco and Serbia. Before joining Morocco, Ms. De Dominicis worked in Turkey as Deputy Representative. Ms. De Dominicis has also worked at the European Commission, served in Kosovo (under UNSC Resolution 1244) and Serbia and Montenegro, and before she worked for the private sector in Canada on public relations and corporate social responsibility. After obtaining her Laurea di Dottore in Political Sciences at LUISS University in Rome, Ms. De Dominicis specialized in European studies at the College of Europe in Europe, Belgium, where she obtained her master degree in 1999. Ms. De Dominicis is accompanied in Turkey by her husband and daughter.
Ms. Sanjana Quazi

Sanjana Quazi

Head of Office
Ms. Sanjana Quazi has been appointed as OCHA Head of Office in Turkey in late 2021. Prior to this, since 2019, she was the Deputy Head of Office in the OCHA Regional Office for the Syria Crisis, where she advised the UN leadership and key stakeholders on shaping interventions, advocacy, resource mobilization, and response coordination. She returned to the OCHA operation after serving it during the early years of the Syrian conflict, from 2013 to 2015. Ms. Quazi has 25 years of professional experience, including in the UN Secretariat, UN Funds and Programmes, an NGO and the private sector. A national of Bangladesh, she has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Tufts University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from Columbia University, both in the United States.
Süleyman Yılmaz

Süleyman Yılmaz

Mr. Yilmaz has been UNIDO Country Representative & Director of the UNIDO Centre for Regional Cooperation in Turkey since November 2009, having worked for the OECD Development Centre in Paris as Adviser, Economist-Policy Analyst from 2007 to 2009. Between 2003 and 2007, He was Representative of the Turkish Standards Institute in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and then he was Head of the Bosnia and Herzegovina (Sarajevo) Coordination Office of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA). He worked at the European Commission-DG Enterprise and Industry in Brussels between 1999-2000. He holds an MBA from Warwick Business School, UK, an MSc in Economics from Hacettepe University, Ankara, and a BSc in Physics from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara.
Viorel Gutu

Viorel Gutu

Mr. Gutu has been FAO Representative for Turkey and Sub-regional Coordinator for Central Asia since 2018. Previously, he served as FAO Representative in Tajikistan (2014-2018). He started his career at Price Waterhouse LLC in 1994. He has held various positions at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry in Moldova and worked at senior levels on several USAID projects related to agribusiness development and agricultural policy. Between 2011 and 2014, he worked as Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Industry in Chisinau, Moldova. Mr. Gutu obtained a master’s degree in Management and a doctorate degree in Economics from the Technical University of Moldova (1995-1998).