Joern Soerensen joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Country Director in August 2014. Prior to his appointment in Sri Lanka, Joern served as the Country Director in India from 2013 to 2014 and as the Deputy Country Director in Nepal from 2009 to 2013.
Prior to the tenures in South Asia, Joern has been attached to the UNDP Iraq programme since 2001. First as Assistant Programme Director in Kurdistan and later as Programme Advisor attached to the Regional Bureau for Arab States in New York. In 2004, Joern moved to the Middle East to take up a position in the Iraq Country Office in Amman, Jordan, concluding his assignment with UNDP Iraq as Head of Strategic Planning & Partnering in 2009
Joern began his career at UNDP in 1994 when he joined UNDP Mongolia as a Programme Officer (JPO). In 1995, he was appointed Head of the Mongolian Environment Programme. From 1997 to 1998, he served as Regional Programme Manager for the Asia-Pacific Region at UNDP Headquarters in New York. Joern also served as the Assistant Resident Representative in North Korea from 1998 to 1999 and has held advisor positions in China for both UNDP and WFP from 1999-2000.
Joern Soerensen holds degrees in Management and Social Studies and a Master degree in International Development Studies from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.
Lovita Ramguttee joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Deputy Country Director (Programmes and Operations) in October 2013.
A citizen from Mauritius, Lovita started her professional career in the private sector where she worked for over 5 years at a regional consulting firm on a wide range of sectors and development issues both in her home country Mauritius and in the African region. With a passion to contribute to development and transforming lives of the less privileged, she joined the world of development with UNDP where she has been working for over 12 years both in least developing and middle income development contexts.
During her tenure at UNDP, Lovita has served in several capacities, starting with UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Europe and the CIS (RBEC) as Business Partnership Coordinator in New York. She was thereafter appointed as UNDP liaison officer in Istanbul within the regional bloc Black Sea Economic Cooperation where she also held the position of Business Partnership Advisor for the UNDP implemented Black Sea Trade and Investment Promotion Programme. In October 2008, Lovita was appointed as Assistant Resident Representative with the UNDP Moldova Country Office where she also managed UNDP’s poverty reduction portfolio for 3 years. In October 2011, Lovita joined the UNDP Montenegro Country Office as the Deputy Resident Representative. After 8 years of working in the Europe and CIS region, she joined the UNDP Asia and Pacific Bureau in October 2013 and is currently the Deputy Country Director for UNDP Sri Lanka.
Lovita holds a Masters degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSC) as well as Bachelors and Masters degree in Economics at the University of Cambridge, UK (BA, MSc). She is fluent in English, French, Creole (mother tongue) and has a fair knowledge of Hindi.