SIDDHARTH CHATTERJEE

SIDDHARTH CHATTERJEE

Fighting to End-Violence Against Women & Children, Maternal Deaths & Female Genital Mutilation

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About me

I am a humanitarian and development professional. Having served in some of the war ravaged and fragile parts of the world during my service in the United Nations (UN) and the Red Cross, I am passionate about making a difference in the lives of the most vulnerable. I have seen firsthand many human tragedies and triumphs from which I have learnt important lessons and I strive to uphold human dignity.

I currently head the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the Representative for Kenya. I am leading efforts to reduce the unacceptably high maternal death rates in Kenya and firmly believe that "no woman should die giving life". UNFPA places a spotlight on the challenges faced by adolescent girls in Kenya which includes child marriage, FGM (Female Genital Mutilation), sexual and gender based violence. UNFPA works tirelessly with their partners to ensure that every girl exercises her rights, has access to reproductive health services and is able to achieve her full human potential.

Prior to joining UNFPA, I was the Chief Diplomat and Head of Strategic Partnerships & Resource Mobilization at the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

I have served the UN since 1997 in UN Peace Keeping, UNICEF and UNOPS in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

I started my early career in aSpecial Forces unit of the Indian Army.

I am a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs,Princeton University.

I have written extensively on humanitarian and development issues. You can find a complete list of my OP/EDs and articles which have been featured by CNN, Al Jazeera, Forbes, Huffington Post, Reuters, the Guardian amongst others, in my blog.

I am committed to improving the lives and well being of the most vulnerable. Join me to advance human rights and humanity. Connect with me on LinkedIn.


Experience

2014 - Current

Representative

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

2011 - 2014

Chief Diplomat-Head of Strategic Partnerships & International Relations

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

2010 - 2011

Fellow

Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

2009 - 2010

Regional Director

UNOPS Regional Office, Europe and Middle East

2007 - 2009

Chief of Staff

United Nations

2004 - 2007

Deputy Representative

UNICEF, Somalia

2004 - 2004

Senior Emergency Coordinator

UNICEF

2001 - 2004

Chief, Emergency Section

UNICEF

2000 - 2001

Chief of Field Office

UNICEF South Sudan

1998 - 2000

Field Delegate and UN Coordinator, Suleimaniyah

United Nations

1997 - 1998

Chief of Liaison

United Nations

1997 - 1997

Chief Security Adviser

United Nations

1997 - 1997

Deputy Chief of Security

United Nations

1990 - 1996

Major, Special Forces(Final Position)

Indian Army

Representative

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Representative

1. Provide overall vision, direction and management for the work of UNFPA in Kenya and work with partners to ensure that "no woman dies giving life".
2. Lead the positioning of UNFPA Kenya on strategic and substantive issues in the country on the basis of global and regional policies and strategies.
3. Identify and promote UNFPA’s comparative substantive role and specific contribution in the national development environment and agenda, and in the changing aid environment.
4.Direct the formulation and implementation of a resource mobilization strategy for the country, and mobilize additional financial resources for the country.
5. Through compelling advocacy and thought leadership, position UNFPA to be the visible centre of innovation and excellence on issues of population and development, sexual and reproductive health, and gender, human rights and culture.

Chief Diplomat-Head of Strategic Partnerships & International Relations

International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Chief Diplomat-Head of Strategic Partnerships & International Relations

1. As IFRC's Chief Diplomat and its Head of Strategic Partnerships and Resource mobilization, responsible to ensure that the organization builds new partnerships spanning, governments, multilateral institutions, the private sector and major foundations.
2. Advanced humanitarian diplomacy and worked with policy makers, opinion leaders and donors to ensure that the spotlight on the most vulnerable and marginalized people, and upholding the centrality of the IFRC's Fundamental Principles such as humanity, neutrality, independence, impartiality etc.
3. Ensured IFRC was well represented and heard at the Busan High level forum, Rio + 20 and other high level platforms to advance disaster risk reduction, food security and building resilience.

Fellow

Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs

Fellow

Regional Director

UNOPS Regional Office, Europe and Middle East

Regional Director

1. Provided oversight, support, guidance and supervision to UNOPS Country offices in the Middle East, Europe and Central Asian Republic regions.
2. Advised, supported, guided and provided input to assure quality control in the formulation of relevant, high quality, results-based and rights-based country programs and projects.
3. Provided strategic and specialized technical advice to the Executive Director on the development of systems, processes and mechanisms to support effective programme planning, implementation, monitoring and timely progress reporting;
4. Planned and implemented the support provided to the Country Offices to ensure timely and appropriate services are provided as required. Identify areas of competencies and/or weakness to ensure focused and targeted services are provided.
5. Monitored the progress on mutually agreed results frameworks and performance indicators and timely action/decision and/or provide timely support.
6. Led the process of gathering information and prepare reports for HQ on progress of programme implementation under the responsibility of the Regional Office, assessing results and identifying areas for the Executive Director's action and/or decision to ensure achievement of results as planned and in accordance with UNOPS's goals and objectives and accountability framework.
7. Identified areas that may require improvement and capture best practices/lessons learned, using corporate monitoring tools, as such as the Balance Score Card, Atlas Snapshot and Dashboard, Staff Surveys, Audits and other corporate reports. Take action to improve areas of weakness.
8. Managed the timely allocation of funds to field offices under the responsibility of the Regional Office. Monitored and ensured the appropriate utilization of resources approved and allocated to regional programmes and projects.

Chief of Staff

United Nations

Chief of Staff

1. The Chief of Staff Office to the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) supports the operations and service of all UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) initiatives and activities through the provision of effective intellectual and professional leadership for overall strategy, quality, delivery and results.
2. Provided authoritative strategic advice and guidance to the SRSG and the Senior Management Team on the vision, mission, mandate and operations including security of UNAMI's mission.
3. Participated in the development of UNAMI's objectives and related policy formulation, development and implementation overall strategic planning and development of resource mobilization and business developments to achieve UNAMI's objectives.
4. Served as focal point for inter agency relationships and issues on the political implications in UNAMI opportunities for interventions, partnerships, diplomacy, etc., which would require the active and direct intervention of the SRSG.
5. Undertook coordination across the three pillars of UNAMI on operations, strategic planning and UN Inter agency coordination and programmes.
6. Provided managerial leadership and oversight to ensure the effective and efficient delivery of the UNAMI's mandate.
7. Promoted a healthy working environment where staff members were provided with clear objectives, goals, direction, guidance and appropriate tools to enable them to meet their responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

Deputy Representative

UNICEF, Somalia

Deputy Representative

Senior Emergency Coordinator

UNICEF

Senior Emergency Coordinator

Chief, Emergency Section

UNICEF

Chief, Emergency Section

Chief of Field Office

UNICEF South Sudan

Chief of Field Office

Field Delegate and UN Coordinator, Suleimaniyah

United Nations

Field Delegate and UN Coordinator, Suleimaniyah

Chief of Liaison

United Nations

Chief of Liaison

Chief Security Adviser

United Nations

Chief Security Adviser

Deputy Chief of Security

United Nations

Deputy Chief of Security

Major, Special Forces(Final Position)

Indian Army

Major, Special Forces(Final Position)

Education

Indian Military Academy Military Strategic Studies, General

Indian Military Academy

Military Strategic Studies, General

Current None
National Defence Academy Sciences

National Defence Academy

Sciences

Current None
Princeton University Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs

Princeton University

Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs

Current Masters in Public Policy
Universiteit Maastricht Social Policy

Universiteit Maastricht

Social Policy

Current Describe your experience at this college during your studies. Say what you accomplished, what you're proud of and what you've been known for there. You can even replace an icon with a logo of the university.

Skills

International Development

Capacity Building

NGOs

Public Policy

Policy Analysis

International Relations

Non-profits

Politics

Humanitarian Assistance

Africa

Diplomacy

Fundraising

Strategic Communications

Conflict

Public Speaking

Strategic Planning

International Organizations

Food Security

Strategy

Leadership

Management

Program Management

Global Health

Humanitarian

Government

Nonprofits

Governance

Public Health

Community Development

Foreign Policy

Civil Society

Human Rights

Community Outreach

Testimonials

From my supervisors and colleagues during my career.

Gary Jones

Security & Humanitarian Response Advisor at UNAIDS

“Sid had not long been in the post as deputy representative with UNICEF, Somalia, when I was recruited to launch the first Global Fund HIV grant. Building on a very vibrant past, the Country Programme, with Sid, was in a strong position and going places. From the outset, Sid, provided exactly the right sort of leadership for the team – high powered, technically sound and driven.

Sid created the perfect working environment by allowing space to largely make our own work plan, gain by that experience and learn without fear of judgement. Always, Sid made himself accessible (24/7) and in a manner that was never rushed and respectful to all staff and partners he could be counted on to offer sensible advice both on a professional and personal level.


With Sid at the helm, the HIV grant was able to achieve all it set out to do and more. Together as a team we overcame the bottlenecks and challenges and succeeded. With the vision of UNICEF acting as the guiding light, Sid would never shy away from difficult programme and policy decisions and help create a better practical knowledge of the meaning of short term gains and long term sustainable development.”

carol bellamy

Chair, International Baccalaureate

“Sid gets the job done.....and he cares. He also takes on the tough ones.
When I asked him to focus on Darfur in Sudan in 2004 I knew he'd deliver....and despite opportunities outside, he stayed and made a difference.”

Rolf C. Carriere

Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping

“I have known Siddharth Chatterjee since September 2001 when he came on a promotion from UNICEF South Sudan as UNICEF Indonesia's Chief of the newly formed Emergency Section, a section he built from scratch.

He was tasked with finding effective approaches to the protection of children in conflicts and natural disasters and provide services to the nearly 1.2 million displaced in Aceh and the Malukus as a result of the conflict. He immediately took charge, authoritatively and cooperatively, came up with many creative new approaches for government, civil society and donors to deal with the many 'loud emergencies' Indonesian children during that period.

Siddharth possesses an unusual mix of competencies and characteristics. He was quick in developing partnerships, building consensus around important child protection initiatives in emergencies within the large UNICEF Indonesia office, as well as with other UN agencies and NGOs. He built up a formidable team within the emergency section, staff with a range of important skills in order to take the various initiative forward.

Despite initial hesitation within the office he was able to convince me and my senior team that opening of a UNICEF office in the fragile and conflict ridden Governorate of Aceh was important to provide protection and services to the children there. This proved to be a important strategic decision as this office not only was able to extend UNICEF's outreach to the more remote parts of Aceh and more importantly UNICEF was able to launch critical life-saving services as well as education when the conflict escalated in May 2003.

Siddharth is a thorough professional and a leader, innovative and full of initiative, his presence in my team in Indonesia added to UNICEF’s ability to enhance and expand its services in Indonesia. He can be always counted on and will always follow through in time. He is a excellent team player, a team builder and sensitive to staff morale and welfare. Respectful and disciplined with a fine sense of humour, he is a great negotiator and was successful in persuading some senior policy makers in Government (who were very reluctant) and opinion leaders as well as donors in Indonesia on the importance of providing education during conflicts and natural disasters. UNICEF school tents and ‘Schools in a Box’ were an important source of providing normalcy to children and were ubiquitous in many parts of Indonesia and widely appreciated by the communities. This happened , thanks to Siddharth.

I fully support his former supervisor, Dr. Sharad Sapra’s recommendation about his performance in South Sudan, which he carried forward to Indonesia. I was very pleased to have him on my team.

Rolf C. Carriere
Former UNICEF Country Representative Indonesia; Senior Adviser, Nonviolent Peaceforce”

Bekele Geleta

Former Secretary General at International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

“Siddharth Chatterjee joined my team in June 2011 and served as my Chief Diplomat and Head of Resource Mobilization when I was the Secretary General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Working in the IFRC can be a challenge, especially for newcomers and those new to the system. Not only did he quickly adapt, but he also won over many of those that were skeptical of outsiders. He has shown that he is a man of integrity, drive, commitment and can be counted on to deliver results.

His capacity for strategic thinking and action generated many new initiatives which the IFRC needed for its own growth. For example, he presented a strong case for greater focus and advocacy on the fight against polio, and for an expansion of IFRC programs around maternal and child health. He helped the IFRC to become a Principle Recipient for the Global Funds to fight HIV & AIDS, TB and Malaria.

He is very well networked and something that he has carefully nurtured over the years. He led the growth of partnerships with multilateral and bilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the African Development Bank, and with Governments and the private sector to expand the resources base of the organization. He was also instrumental in advancing the global positioning of the IFRC as both humanitarian and development organization. For example his advocacy got the IFRC noticed in various arenas, such as the OECD, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Brookings and GAVI.

Siddharth is an articulate public speaker and a thought leader with strong skills in humanitarian diplomacy. And combined with his excellent interpersonal skills and loyalty makes him a formidable leader in any organization and a critical ally to any CEO.

In no uncertain terms, he has been a great asset to the IFRC.

Bekele Geleta”

Irene Vagg

Barrister. Consultant /Advisor: International Law, Humanitarian Aid, Human Rights, Education Policy, Project Management.

“Siddarth was one of the most professional and effective representatives of the United Nations programme in Northern Iraq. He led the humanitarian aid team of NGOs and U.N. agencies in Suleimania with intergrity and great understanding of the needs of the then beleaguered Kurdish region.

His professionlism and unrelenting hard work helped to ensure the safety and security of thousands of families and vulnerable groups, in very difficult and challenging situations. His ability to engage with groups with diverse needs and interests was outstanding.

Siddarth was a credit to the ideals of the United Nations and a fine example of what honour, diligence and compassion can achieve in his sphere of work. I recommend Siddarth's work unreservedly.”

Michael O'Hanlon

senior fellow at brookings

“Sid was an outstanding, honorable, collegial, respectful and altogether excellent student of mine at Princeton a couple years ago. I think the world of him.

Sincerely, Mike O'Hanlon”

Jesper Mørch

Student of Life

“Sid joined the UNICEF team in Somalia at a time of great need for leadership, vision and solid programme management skills. He came directly recommended by the then UNICEF Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, who was impressed with his stellar performance as Emergency Specialist in Indonesia followed by an equally impressive performance in Darfur.

He hit the ground running, assumed his functions as Deputy Representative and overall Programme Coordinator with ease and competence and was a delight to work with.

A fundamental characteristic of Sid Chatterjee is his personable nature. He seems to establish a direct and personal link with almost everybody in his surroundings and builds relationships of trust, confidence, respect and comfort. This unique human and professional quality helps make his work relationships excellent, his leadership strong and appreciated and his interpersonal communications superb. In addition, Sid demonstrates very high standards of professional quality and has a wide variety of talents that he applies extremely well in everything he does.

Somalia always is and certainly was then a challenging programming environment. UNICEF Somalia is among UNICEF's biggest country programmes. Under the most difficult of circumstances, Sid's performance was impeccable. He is a man of great integrity and commitment. His capacity for strategic thinking and leading vision and change generated many new and important programme initiatives. He is a loyal and dedicated team member and an equally impressive team leader. Because of his ability to build teams, establish trust and delegate work, his teams become formidable agents of excellence and change.

I am enormously proud of UNICEF's work and achievements in Somalia while I was Representative from 2002 to 2005. During the time I was privileged to work with Sid, he was certainly a fundamental factor in our success. His personal and professional talents are exceptional.”

Linda Kelly Bifani

Manager, Strategic Partnerships and International Relations Department, IFRC

“I have had the absolute pleasure to work with Siddharth Chatterjee in two capacities. Since 2012 as my direct supervisor at the IFRC and as collaborators from 2004 to 2007 within our respective UNICEF offices in Brussels and Somalia, when he was UNICEF Somalia's Deputy Country Representative.

Sid is known as someone who builds and sells a vision, plans strategically, grows and nurtures allies and advocates, solving problems along the way to generate new and valued programme partnerships and initiatives. I have seen how his efforts in both organizations have helped colleagues to step out of rigid mindsets and explore new ideas outside of previous comfort zones and increasing overall organizational relevance, visibility and resources available for programmes.

Sid is a gentleman who is highly articulate, respectful, persuasive, lively and warm. He encourages his staff to push themselves, ensuring everyone is challenged and supporting everyone to be successful. He is someone who is loyal to his team, transparent, places trust in his staff, does not micromanage. He stands firmly behind them when taking risks or for that matter learning from mistakes. He always gives credit where credit is due. It has been a wonderful experience professionally and personally to work with him.”

Goli Ameri

President & CEO at The Center for Global Engagement

“Siddharth Chatterjee joined the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies(IFRC) , the world’s largest humanitarian organization, following a highly competitive selection and screening process as its Chief Diplomat and Head of Strategic Partnerships and International Relations. He is a natural leader with very strong networking, influencing and public speaking skills. He excels in fast-paced high-pressure environments and in executing complex operations in challenging settings around the world. He possesses strong skills in diplomacy and political acumen, combined with finely honed interpersonal skills. In his role as the Chief Diplomat he proved to be versatile, convincing and highly persuasive in calling attention to the plight of the most vulnerable when dealing with the highest levels of policy makers, opinion leaders and donors. He has an innate ability to get the big picture, takes the long term view, formulates strategies and decides on a course of action. He has diverse and significant background in international development and humanitarian action, including work with multilateral institutions, bilateral donors, relief agencies, academia, and the private sector as well as detailed knowledge of sector specialties common in field-based operations has proved to be a great asset to the IFRC. A man of cool allurement he is a true professional in managing complexities, dealing with setbacks, able to adapt and respond to changes and deliver results. A particular strength he demonstrated in a very short time at the IFRC was building strategic alliances and partnerships and as a result he was given the responsibility to also lead IFRC’s Resource mobilization department and has already successfully raised resources from national governments and other development partners. He has been an outstanding member of my team. In my view he is ready for senior leadership roles within and outside the organization.”

Contact me

Kenya

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