UN World Food Programme

WFP's Emergency Veteran Tapped For Deputy Executive Director Slot

Ramiro Lopes da Silva, WFP's new Deputy Executive Director

Copyright : WFP/Rein Skullerud

Ramiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, a veteran of key WFP emergency operations around the world, is to take over as the organization's Deputy Executive Director of External Relations, WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran announced to the agency's executive board on Monday.

ROME -- WFP Executive Director Josette Sheeran today announced the appointment of Ramiro Lopes da Silva of Portugal, a veteran of key WFP emergency operations around the world, as the agency's new Deputy Executive Director of External Relations. Lopes da Silva was recently deployed to Haiti to lead the emergency response there.

"Ramiro is the ultimate paradigm of loyalty and devotion, not only to WFP but to the United Nations and the world’s vulnerable people,” Sheeran said.  “He inspires a similar loyalty and devotion from his troops, wherever he serves.  His word is gold and this is known inside WFP and throughout the world.”

Lopes da Silva is currently WFP’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Director of Emergencies, and has been concurrently acting as WFP's Special Envoy to the Greater Horn of Africa.  He replaces Staffan de Mistura, who is stepping down following his appointment as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Afghanistan.

Starts March 1

The announcement of Lopes da Silva, a Portuguese national, as Deputy Executive Director came on Monday at the opening of WFP's Executive Board meeting in Rome. He will take up his new duties on March 1.

De Mistura, who joined WFP in July 2009, will take up his new position on 1 March.

“WFP wishes him safety and success in his new posting,” Sheeran said, adding that De Mistura has been a tireless worker and leader for the United Nations since joining as a young man, including in many difficult posts.

Since Lopes da Silva joined WFP in 1985 as a food aid logistics coordinator in Cameroon, he has served as WFP Country Director in Angola, Head of Logistics, Special Envoy to Afghanistan and UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq.

Prior to joining WFP, Lopes da Silva worked for the Mozambique Port and Railways (CFM) from 1975 to 1983.  While he started as a Port Equipment Maintenance Engineer, by 1978 he was the Director-General of the CFM-South, with 17,000 workers reporting to him and managing a budget in excess of US$100,000,000.

Lopes Da Silva has a Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Mozambique.