Our Team in Malawi

Maria Ribeiro

Maria Manuel Gomes Do Valle Ribeiro

Resident Coordinator a.i.
Maria Do Valle Ribeiro is the UN Resident Coordinator (ad interim) for Malawi. Ms. Ribeiro has more than three decades of humanitarian and development leadership experience in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean with different United Nations entities and with international non-governmental organizations. She served as United Nations Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) from January 2017 until September 2019.

Prior to joining UNSMIL, Ms. Ribeiro served as the Deputy Special Representative in Guinea-Bissau and was the United Nations Resident Coordinator and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in Angola and Mauritania. She also held various senior positions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including Regional Chief of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Regional Office for West and Central Africa (2006-2008); Representative for Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago (2004-2006); Deputy Representative in Algeria (2002-2004); and Chief of Planning in Angola from 2000 to 2002.

Born in Portugal, Ms. Ribeiro holds a Master of Economic Science degree in development policy and planning from the University of Wales, United Kingdom.

Rudolf Schwenk

Rudolf Schwenk is the UNICEF Representative for Malawi. He started his mission in August 2019. After working with NGOs in Germany, he joined the United Nations in 1995 and worked with UNRWA in Jordan and with UNICEF in Niger, India, Denmark and Bhutan. He has worked in various programme functions as well as in operations, and has achieved sustainable results for children in Field Office, Country Office and Headquarters locations. Prior to his arrival in Malawi in August 2019, he was the UNICEF Representative in Bhutan. Mr. Schwenk holds a Master’s in Modern Middle East, Political Science and History from the Free University of Berlin.
Cyr Modeste Kouame

Cyr Modeste Kouame

Mr. Kouame Cyr Modeste is the UNHCR Representative in Malawi since February 2021. He has 22 years of experience in protection and management. Previously, he worked as UNHCR Representative in the Republic of Congo from 2016 to 2020, following his rising through the ranks from a Protection Officer, through Head of Office in several operations. He started his career in Côte d'Ivoire working for a partnership project between CNCAR and UNHCR from 1997 to 1999. Kouame Cyr Modeste is a lawyer holding a Master’s in Legal, Administrative and Political Sciences.
Letty Chiwara

Letty Chiwara

UN Women
Letty Chiwara is the Country Representative of UN Women in Malawi. She started her mission in April 2022. She has extensive leadership, representational and administrative experience. Previously, she was the UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Letty has represented UN Women in several inter-governmental fora, including at the Africa Union, SADC, IGAD and ECOWAS. She has led various UN programmes in Africa, Asia and the Pacific Region, Latin America and the Caribbean and East and Central Europe. She possesses a Master of Science in Urban Development Planning from University of London, UK, and a Bachelor of Science in Rural and Urban Planning from University of Zimbabwe.

Nkomo Mpilo

Chief of Mission
Mpilo Nkomo is the Chief of Mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Mission to Malawi. He started his mission as Project Coordinator / Head of Office in February 2016. Before joining the IOM Team in Malawi, he was the Head of Sub-Office at the IOM Sub-Office in Musina, South Africa. Mpilo holds a Bachelor’s in Public Administration and Communication Facilitation from the University of South Africa (UNISA) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Disaster Management from the University of the Free State (UFS), South Africa.

Nuha Ceesay

Country Director
Nuha Ceesay, a Health Planner by profession is the current UNAIDS Acting Country Director for Malawi. He was deployed to Malawi in 2019. He joined UNAIDS in 2007 as Country Officer for the Gambia and opened the UNAIDS office before taking up international duties as Investment and Efficiency Adviser for Swaziland and currently PEPFAR/Global Fund Implementation Adviser for Zambia. He holds a Master’s in Health Management, Planning and Policy, from the Nuffield Institute, University of Leeds.
Paul Turnbull

Paul Turnbull

Country Director
Paul Turnbull is the Country Director and Representative of the UN World Food Programme in Malawi. He started his mission in Malawi in June 2021. Previously, he served as WFP Ethiopia’s Senior Deputy Country Director since July 2018 and WFP’s Deputy Country Director in Kenya from 2013‐2018 as well as Chief of the Programme Review and Support Unit at WFP’s headquarters in Rome from 2006 to 2013). He has worked for WFP for over 25 years. Paul holds a Master of Agricultural Science in Tropical Agricultural Development from the University of Reading and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science in Agriculture from Wye College, University of London.

Shigeki Komatsubara

Shigeki Komatsubara is the UNDP Resident Representative for Malawi. He started his mission in May 2019. Prior to his current assignment, he was Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD) programme advisor in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa (RBA). He also regularly served as RBA officer-in-charge. Shigeki has also been Deputy Resident Representative in Ghana and Country Programme Advisor in the Regional Bureau for Africa. Shigeki holds a Master’s in International Relations from London School of Economics (LSE) and a Bachelor’s in International Relations from Tokyo University of Foreign Studies.

Won Young Hong

Won Young Hong is the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative for Malawi. She started her mission in August 2018. She has over 16 years of experience in international and local development, as well as policy analysis, youth programming, and capacity development. Previously, she served as UNFPA Deputy Representative in Mozambique and the Assistant Country Director for UNDP in Bangladesh, as well as the Capacity Development Advisor for UNDP in South Africa. Young holds a Master’s in Political Science from Kyung Hee University, an MPA in Public Administration from National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Law from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Zhijun Chen

FAO Representative and UN Resident Coordinator (ad interim)
Zhijun Chen is the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Representative for Malawi. He started his mission as FAO Representative in May 2019. He has worked for FAO for about 15 years, serving in different capacities such as Irrigation and Rural Infrastructure Engineer at FAO Headquarters in Rome, Senior Irrigation and Rural Infrastructure Engineer and Investment Support Officer in Thailand. He joined the UN as the Irrigation and Water Management Officer at the UN Peace-Keeping Department in Timor-Leste in 2000. Zhijun holds a PhD in Farmland Water Conservancy, a Master in Fluid Machinery and Fluid Power Engineering, as well as a Bachelor in Irrigation and Drainage, from Wuhan University, China.