Mr. Imran Riza was appointed UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Syrian Arab Republic in September 2019.
Before this appointment, Mr. Riza was Deputy Head of Mission of UNIFIL and the Director of the Division of Political Affairs, Civil Affairs and Strategic Communications in Lebanon. He has over 30 years of international experience across the UN System, mainly in field settings including Hong Kong, Vietnam and Sudan
Mr. Riza served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Regional Representative to the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (GCC) from 2011 to 2014. Much of the focus during this assignment was helping strengthen the humanitarian response to the crisis in Syria. From 2007 to 2011, he was a UNHCR Representative in Jordon. Prior to this (2001-2007), Mr. Riza acted as Senior Advisor to the PRSG (later UNSCOL) in Beirut, Lebanon.
Mr. Riza held position as World Food Programme’s Inter-agency Affair Branch Chief in Italy from 1999 to 2001. He was the Senior External Relation Officer for UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva from 1996 to1999. From 1991 to 1996, Mr. Riza served as Head of Sub-Office for UNHCR in Vietnam. Prior (1989-1991) he was a UNHCR Field Officer in Hong Kong. Mr. Riza began his career as an Associate Project Officer for UNHCR in Yei, Sudan (1987-1989).
Mr. Riza holds a Masters’ degree in Social-Cultural Anthropology, from Johns Hopkins University, US (1986); and a Bachelors’ degree in History and Political Science from McGill University, Canada (1982). He was born in 1961 in Madrid and is a national of Pakistan. He is married and has two children.