Paola Albrito appointed as the new Director of UNDRR

Source(s): United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction
Paola Albrito, at the MTR session on gender
UNDRR Director Paola Albrito

GENEVA - The Office of the UN Secretary-General has appointed Ms. Paola Albrito as the next Director of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) effective 1 October 2022.

The Head of UNDRR and Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Ms. Mami Mizutori, welcomed the appointment in a note to UNDRR’s over 100 staff members all over the world.

Ms. Albrito comes with extensive experience in supporting disaster resilience and sustainable development policies and instruments in Africa, Europe and Central Asia. Her broad expertise includes the development of policy guidance, cross-government strategy development, and high-level advocacy.

Ms. Albrito has risen through the ranks at UNDRR, where she most recently served as the Chief of the Intergovernmental Processes, Interagency Cooperation and Partnership Branch at UNDRR’s headquarters in Geneva.  In that capacity, she steadily built new partnerships and renewed traditional ones, both within the UN system and with stakeholder groups.

Before moving to Geneva, she led the UNDRR Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia in Brussels, which covers 55 countries. During her tenure, she elevated the disaster risk reduction agenda to the highest political levels within the Europe region, including by making DRR binding in the legislations of European Union countries. Her partnership outreach portfolio included the European Union, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Disaster Preparedness and Prevention Initiative for South-Eastern Europe (DPPI SEE), and the Council of the Baltic States.

Prior to joining UNDRR in 2004 and as part of her experience in the Djibouti Resident Coordinator’s office, she developed and coordinated policy guidance, facilitated climate adaptation and development strategies, and she acted as the focal point for humanitarian appeals, emergency, and rapid response. Her past experiences also include time with the International Labor Organization and the United Nations Staff System College.  

Ms. Albrito has published widely including contributing to the Cambridge University Handbook of Disaster Risk Reduction and International Law and holds a master’s degree in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Turin, Italy, with her thesis research held at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London, UK.

Ms. Albrito will be replacing Mr. Ricardo Mena, who has served with distinction as the Director of UNDRR since 2020 and is retiring from the UN Secretariat.

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