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Resident Representative 

Robert Juhkam 

Robert Juhkam joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Resident Representative in August 2019.

Prior to his appointment in Sri Lanka, Mr. Juhkam served as the Strategic Planning Advisor at the UNDP Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy in New York, U.S.A for 5 years, where he was leading a global team of partnerships advisors across five Regional Hubs to diversify UNDP’s strategic partnerships.

Before his tenure at the UNDP Headquarters in New York, Mr. Juhkam served in the Asia-Pacific region for over 10 years as the Deputy Country Director for UNDP Bangladesh (2008 - 2014), the Team Leader of Knowledge and Policy Services at the Regional Centre in Bangkok serving UNDP Asia-Pacific’s 25 Country Offices (2004-2008) and previously as the Deputy Chief of the UNDP Bangkok Sub-Regional Resource Facility – SURF (2003 to 2004).

Robert’s career in UNDP began in Estonia as the Deputy Representative and Programme Advisor (1997-2000) following three years in Government service as the Foreign Aid Management Advisor for the Estonian Ministry of Culture and Education (1993-97). Robert also served as the District Electoral Supervisor and Civic Education specialist for the 1992-93 U.N. peace-keeping mission in Cambodia.

With close to 30 years of experience in international development, Mr. Juhkam has been instrumental in shaping policy and programming for advocacy and strategic partnerships, particularly in Asia and Europe.

A national of Estonia, Mr. Juhkam, who is married and a father of three, holds an Interdisciplinary Diploma in Social Sciences (Development Studies) from Stockholm University, and a Bachelor of Arts, Political Science (International Relations) from the University of California, Santa Barbara, U.S.A. 

Deputy Resident Representative 

Faiza Effendi joined UNDP Sri Lanka as the Deputy Resident Representative in August 2019. She comes with 25 years of international development experience both at CO and at HQ. Most recently she served as the DRR a.i. at the Maldives CO (July 2018 to October 2018) and before that as the Strategic Planning Advisor (from 2017) for UNDP’s Asia Pacific region in UNDP New York. She managed region wide planning, monitoring and reporting processes and was the principal drafter and coordinator of sector strategies, policy papers, and economic and political updates for senior management.

Prior to this, Faiza served as the Country Programme Manager (2011-2014) for UNDP’s South East Asia and Pacific Division as well as the Results Specialist (2014-2017) for the Asia and Pacific region. Previously Faiza was the Assistant Resident Representative, Chief of the Poverty and Gender division of UNDP Pakistan Country Office (2004-2011) where she designed and delivered a $72million portfolio of projects with the government and the private sector. Faiza has also worked as the Executive Officer with the UN Resident Coordinators Office (2002-2004).

Before joining UN/UNDP, Faiza was the Private Sector Development Specialist with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (1996-2002) and Programme Officer for Save the Children USA (1995-1996).

Faiza holds a Master of Development Studies from the University of Sussex, England and a Master of Business Administration from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. She speaks English, Hindi and Urdu and is a Pakistani national.

Immediate Management Team

Focal Point for Environment & Climate Change Programmes:

Tharuka Dissanaike 
tharuka.dissanaike@undp.org  

Partnerships and Engagement & Youth and Innovation Focal Point:

Fadhil Bakeer Markar 
fadhil.bakeermarkar@undp.org

Economist:

Kirthisri Rajatha Wijeweera
kirthisri.wijeweera@undp.org

Operations Focal Point:

Sonali Thahir 
sonali.thahir@undp.org

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