Dates served: 1 August 2011 to 29 August 2015
Director of Europe and Latin America Division of DPKO since August of 2010, he served as the Chief of Staff and Acting DSRSG with UNMIS in Sudan, and prior to that, as the Chief of Staff of UNAMI in Iraq since January 2004. Following 3 years of service as the UN Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq since January 1997, he was appointed as Chief and, later, Director in the Office of Iraq Programme at the UN headquarters in New York.
He was Chief Elections Officer with UNMIL in Liberia from 1994-96, and served in as Referendum/Elections Coordinator with the UN missions in Eritrea and South Africa in 1993 and 1995, respectively.
In 1991-92, he was the Secretary-General of the Economic Advisory Council, Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan. Serving his national governments, he was the Principle Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Afghanistan from 1989-1991, and Deputy Foreign Minister from 1987-1989. Prior to that, Mr. Zarif was Ambassador, Permanent Representative of his country to the United Nations in New York from 1980. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan in 1974 and served in various departments in increasingly responsible positions, as well as Charge d’Affaires in Havana.
He has studied Law, Diplomacy and International Relations at the Faculty of Law and Political Science of Kabul University, the Afghan Institute of Diplomacy and Oxford University. He is married with two sons.
Lamberto Zannier (Italy)
Dates served: 20 June 2008 to 1 July 2011
Mr. Zannier, who presently holds the rank of Ambassador, has worked for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on EU Common Foreign and Security Policy issues, headed the OSCE Conflict Prevention Centre, and was the Italian Representative in the Executive Council of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Mr. Zannier’s extensive experience with politico-military issues dates back many years; he has been Chairman for negotiations on the Adaptation of the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE), and he has also been seconded by the Italian Government to NATO as Head of the Disarmament, Arms Control and Cooperative Security Section.
Mr. Zannier joined the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1978 as a career diplomat and served the Italian Embassies in Abu Dhabi, Vienna and The Hague. He has also worked for the FAO Legal Office in Rome. Mr. Zannier holds a Doctorate in Law from the Trieste University, and is married with two sons and two daughters.
Joachim Rücker (Germany)
Dates served: 1 September 2006 to 20 June 2008
Mr. Rücker was Deputy Special-Representative and Head of the Economic Reconstruction Pillar of UNMIK. Prior to joining UNMIK, he served in a variety of international and national posts including as Deputy High Representative in Sarajevo, and for almost a decade as Mayor of the Industrial city of Sindelfingen, Germany. Mr. Rücker, who holds a Doctorate in International Economics, is also a German Ambassador and has held various positions in the German Foreign Service both at Headquarters and abroad. He began his engagement with the Balkans during his tenure as foreign policy advisor to the Social Democratic parliamentary group in the German Bundestag in the early 1990s.
Søren Jessen-Petersen (Denmark)
Dates served: 16 August 2004 to 30 June 2006
Mr. Jessen-Petersen has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an international civil servant, having worked with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the European Union, and the UN Secretariat. He also served as the EU Special Representative in Skopje from February to June 2004. Prior to this, Mr. Jessen-Petersen was Chairman of the EU Stability Pact’s Migration, Asylum, and Refugees Regional Initiative (MARRI), where he developed and directed a strategy to manage population movements in the Western Balkans. From January 1998 to December 2001, he served as UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner, directly supervising all UNHCR global bureaus.
Holkeri, Harri Hermani (Finland)
Dates served: 25 August 2003 to 11 June 2004
Mr. Holkeri, a long-standing Finnish politician, served his country in the parliament for many years before becoming Prime Minister from 1987 to 1991. After leaving domestic politics, his personal qualities paved the way for international positions of responsibility. He served as a member of the International Body on Decommissioning in Northern Ireland from 1995 to 1996. This led to his being on the team which helped to secure the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, for which he was awarded the Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Mr. Holkeri then served as a speaker of the UN General Assembly from 2000 to 2001.
Michael Steiner (Germany)
Dates served: 14 February 2002 to 8 July 2003
Mr. Steiner has been deeply involved in German foreign affairs throughout his career, and has held of number of positions in the Balkans including those of Principal Deputy High Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Germany member on the contact Group for the former Yugoslavia. Mr. Steiner also served as Director General in the Federal Foreign Office, as the German Chancellor’s Foreign and Security Policy Advisor, and as Ambassador to the Czech Republic before coming to Kosovo.
Hans Haekkerup (Denmark)
Dates served: 13 January 2001 to 31 December 2001
Mr. Haekkerup was elected as a Member of Parliament of Denmark in 1979, and served in a variety of government positions including as Minister for Defence from January 1993 until his appointment as UNMIK SRSG. After his departure, Mr. Haekkerup wrote a book on Kosovo and spoke at many conferences on NATO’s role in the world.
Bernard Kouchner (France)
Dates served: 15 July 1999 to 12 January 2001
Dr. Kouchner has played an important role on the French political scene for the past 20 years, having held a number of ministerial positions in different French Governments. In the humanitarian field, Dr. Kouchner founded Médecins Sans Frontières, a Paris-based non-profit humanitarian organization made of voluntary medical personnel who contribute their time and expertise in the developing world.
Sérgio Vieira de Mello (Brasil)
Dates served: 11 June 1999 to 14 July 1999Mr. de Mello was a Brazilian diplomat who served the United Nations for over 34 years, earning respect and praise around the world for his efforts in the humanitarian and political programmes of the UN. He was killed in Baghdad along with 21 other members of his staff on 19 August 2003, while working as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Iraq.