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Mark Lowcock

The Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) is responsible for the oversight of all emergencies requiring United Nations humanitarian assistance. He also acts as the central focal point for governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental relief activities.

The ERC also leads the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC), a unique inter-agency forum for coordination, policy development and decision-making involving the key United Nations and non-United Nations humanitarian partners.

The IASC was established in June 1992 in response to resolution 46/182. General Assembly resolution 48/57 affirmed the IASC's role as the primary mechanism for the inter-agency coordination of humanitarian assistance.

In a country affected by a disaster or conflict, the ERC may appoint a Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) to ensure response efforts are well organized. The HC works with government, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and affected communities. An OCHA office will be established to support the HC.

Mark Lowcock began the role of OCHA's USG/ERC on 1 September 2017. He succeeded Stephen O’Brien.

Ramesh Rajasingham Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and
Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator

Mr. Ramesh Rajasingham is the Acting Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Before beginning this role in March 2020, Mr. Rajasingham served as Director of OCHA’s Coordination Division since September 2018.

Mr. Rajasingham’s career in the field of humanitarian affairs and with the United Nations system spans over 25 years, and includes assignments in Headquarters as well as in crisis settings, with OCHA and UNICEF. Most recently, he served as Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syria Crisis. Prior to that, he held such senior appointments as the Director of the Secretariat of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on the Global Response to Health Crises and OCHA’s Head of Office in the occupied Palestinian territory.

His other field assignments also include Afghanistan, Iran, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzegovina and Sudan. At Headquarters, he has served in various capacities in the response, protection and policy activities.

Originally from Sri Lanka, Mr. Rajasingham is an economist trained in the United Kingdom and the United States of America. He and his wife are parents to two children.


Reena Ghelani Director, Operations and Advocacy Division

Reena Ghelani is OCHA’s Operations Director. She oversees the day-to-day management of all OCHA field operations worldwide and on behalf of the Emergency Relief Coordinator. She is the daily focal point for supporting Humanitarian Coordinators and the lead adviser to the Under-Secretary-General on operational decision-making.

Lisa Carty
Lisa Carty Director, Humanitarian Financing & Resource Mobilization Division
Lisa Carty leads OCHA’s work on humanitarian financing, including providing oversight and strategic direction for the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund and Country-Based Pooled Funds. Her Division helps maximize the impact and accountability of OCHA-managed funding instruments, supports full resourcing of the global humanitarian system, and explores new financing approaches to ensure that growing humanitarian needs are met.

rein paulsen
Rein PaulsenActing Director, Coordination Division

Rein Paulsen manages the Coordination Division, including the Inter-Agencies Services Branch, the Assessment, Planning and Monitoring Branch and the Emergency Response Support Branch. The Division is responsible for assessing situations and needs; supporting the leadership of Humanitarian Coordinators; managing a range of rapid response tools; developing common strategies to address issues such as negotiating access, mobilizing funding and other resources; and monitoring progress.


Sofie Karlsson photo
Sofie KarlssonActing Chief of Staff, Office of the USG/ERC

Sofie Karlsson is Acting Chief of Staff to the Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General of OCHA.

Andrew Alspach
Andrew AlspachChief, Information Management Branch (IMB)

Andrew Alspach is Chief of the Information Management Branch, which provides information services for OCHA staff and humanitarian partners globally.

Alice Armanni Sequi Chief, Pooled Fund Management Branch (PFMB)

Alice Armanni Sequi oversees the CERF Secretariat and the Country-Based Pooled Fund Section to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness of the funds, as well as reaffirming their key role in the humanitarian financing architecture, setting out a clear path for achievement of their expanded funding targets through high-level partner engagement.

Edem WosornuChief, Response Support Branch (RSB)

Edem Wosornu leads OCHA’s Response Support Branch, which is responsible for strengthening national and international disaster response through specialized services, including the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination mechanism, the International Network of Search and Rescue Advisory Group, and the Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination Service. The Branch also fosters strong operational partnerships with stakeholders, including the private sector through OCHA/UNDP’s Connecting Business Initiative; and provides expertise to address the environmental dimensions of humanitarian emergencies through the UNEP/OCHA Joint Unit.

Menada Wind-Andersen
Menada Wind-AndersenExecutive Officer

As head of the Executive Office (EO) in New York and Geneva, Menada Wind-Andersen is responsible for directing and overseeing the provision of OCHA administrative services including budget and finance, supply management and travel and human resources to both headquarters and the field. She also provides strategic advice and oversight on administrative matters to senior management.

Zoe Paxton
Zoe PaxtonActing Chief, Strategic Communications Branch (SCB)

Zoe Paxton oversees OCHA’s work in global news, public advocacy, crisis communications, reporting, visualization and analysis, and other tools, guidance and services for clients in the field and HQ.

Hansjoerg Strohmeyer
Hansjoerg StrohmeyerChief, Policy Branch

Hansjoerg Strohmeyer joined OCHA in December 1998. He has been the Chief of OCHA’s Policy Development and Studies Branch since 2007. In this capacity, he also served as Secretary of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis in 2008.

Anja Nitzsche photo
Anja NitzscheChief, Partnerships and Resource Mobilization Branch

Anja Nitzsche leads the development of OCHA’s partnership-and-inclusivity agenda, ensuring that all appropriate resources help to meet people’s needs in emergencies.

Andrew WyllieChief, Assessment, Planning and Monitoring Branch

Andrew Wyllie is Chief of the Assessment, Planning and Monitoring Branch in OCHA Geneva. The branch facilitates and supports the development of policies, procedures, tools and technical guidance on the humanitarian programme cycle for the humanitarian community.

Mervat ShelbayaChief, Inter-Agency Services Branch and IASC secretariat

Mervat Shelbaya oversees the functional areas that provide support to the ERC and the General-Assembly-mandated Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) charged with coordinating system-wide efforts around humanitarian action. She also oversees functional areas responsible for providing targeted support to Humanitarian Coordinators, including through the Humanitarian Leadership Section, the Protection and Gender Capacities Projects and in support of the IASC Peer to Peer Project.