Senior Management

Timo pakkala UN RC RR UNDP

Neil Buhne
UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Pakistan

Prior to his appointment by the Secretary General and UNDP Administrator, Mr. Buhne was Director of the UNDP Office in Geneva. Prior to that he joined UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) in February 2011, as Director of the BCPR Geneva Liaison Office.   

He has served with the United Nations as Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in three countries for 12 years, since joining the United Nations 30 years ago.  From 2007 until February 2011 he served as Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Sri Lanka.  From 2003 to 2007 he was RC/RR in Bulgaria, and before that, from 1999 to 2003, in Belarus.   

In Sri Lanka, as senior UN official in the country, he led the response to the humanitarian crisis, and work on post-conflict recovery.  In Bulgaria, he worked with Bulgarian government and municipalities in reducing inequalities and becoming better prepared to benefit from EU membership.  In Belarus he led programming to reduce the continuing impact on people from the Chernobyl disaster, to preserve areas of unique biodiversity, and to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Prior to that he spent many years in Asia, as UNDP Deputy Representative in Malaysia (and acting RC/RR for 20 months) from 1995 to 1999, UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in Pakistan from 1990 to 1995 and Programme Officer in UNDP Bhutan. In 1985 and 1986 he served with UNDP and other agencies as Junior Professional Officer in Sudan on humanitarian and recovery issues.

He holds an M.A. from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University Ottawa, Canada. @NeilBuhne

Ignacio Artaza
Country Director

Mr. Ignacio Artaza has over 20 years of experience in development cooperation and relief operations. Prior to his appointment in Pakistan, he was Country Director of UNDP in Egypt for four years where he oversaw the design and implementation of job creation for youth and women empowerment initiatives, as well as capacity building for administrative reforms and a vast climate change and biodiversity programme.

He has served with UNDP since 1999 as a Management Advisor based in New York (2008–2012), Deputy Resident Representative in the Republic of Moldova (2005–2008), Programme Specialist in the Republic of the Sudan (2003–2005) and Programme Officer in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (1999–2003). He is also an experienced UNDP SURGE Advisor supporting country offices in crisis situations.

Before joining UNDP, he worked in humanitarian programmes with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders in Ecuador, Iran and Mozambique (1993–1998).

A Spanish national, Mr. Artaza holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris) and a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from Miami University (USA).

Abla Mohamed Ahmad Amawi 
Deputy Country Director, Programme 
She served as  Senior Programme Manager and Senior Policy Adviser with UNDP’s Programme of Assistance for Palestinian People (PAPP), where she has been key in programme development and management for a $100 million pus programme. Previously, to that she served as Country Director for UNWOMEN Egypt and Country Representative a.i. for UNWOMEN Sudan. Her former assignments include Governance Team Leader/Senior Advisor at UNDP/PAPP; Capacity Development Practice Team Leader and Regional Coordinator for Arab States; Assistant Resident Representative and Senior Advisor with UNDP/Jordan and Sudan in charge of Social Development, Poverty and Gender, in addition to detailed missions to UNDP/Headquarters.

In addition to this extensive management experience in UNDP and the UN system, Abla  has extensive academic experience including policy research/publications. She taught political economy, political theory and comparative politics as a visiting assistant professor at Georgetown University, Randolph-Macon College (USA) and the Applied Science University, Jordan and published several books and articles. She also worked as a lead expert on democratization, poverty, and gender and as advisor to both Queen Noor and Queen Rania of Jordan. She is  a Jordanian/American national and holds a Ph.D. and M.A from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., all with distinctions.

Vitalie Muntean
Deputy Country Director, Operations

Vitalie Muntean has over 28 years of extensive professional experience acquired in government institutions, UN/UNDP, civil society organizations and private sector. This includes 19 years of progressively responsible national and international work experience in substantive development programming and operations management in predominantly complex and challenging regions and countries.

Mr. Muntean started his career with UNDP in 1994 as National Programme Officer in the Moldova office. He subsequently served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative (Programme and Operations) in Uzbekistan, Papua New Guinea and The Gambia. Prior to joining UNDP Pakistan Vitalie served as Deputy Country Director-Operations in UNDP Ethiopia. He joined UNDP Pakistan office in February 2014.