Senior leadership


Ertharin Cousin

Ertharin Cousin began her tenure as the twelfth Executive Director of the United Nations World Food Programme on 5 April 2012. Ms Cousin brings more than twenty-five years of national and international non-profit, government, and corporate leadership experience focusing on hunger, food, and resilience strategies. Cousin guides the World Food Programme in meeting urgent food needs while championing longer-term solutions to food insecurity and hunger.

As the leader of the world’s largest humanitarian organization with approximately 13,500 staff serving more than 90 million beneficiaries in 80 countries across the world, she works to improve the lives of hungry people worldwide, and travels extensively to raise awareness of food insecurity and chronic malnutrition.

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Amir Mahmoud Abdulla

Amir Mahmoud Abdulla became the Deputy Executive Director of the World Food Programme in March 2009.

Since February 2015, Mr Abdulla has been based in New York, in order to coordinate and enhance WFP’s engagement with the United Nations system, Member States and key stakeholders. In addition to his WFP responsibilities, he was appointed Vice-Chair of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in January 2016.

Before moving to New York, Mr Abdulla was the Chief Operating Officer (COO), overseeing the WFP Regional Directors and Directors of Emergency and Field Security, and was responsible for leading WFP’s extensive field operations. Mr Abdulla’s career at WFP began as a logistics officer in 1991.

He then went on to serve in a variety of field and headquarters posts including Director of Budget; Regional Director for Southern Africa; Regional Director for the Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe; and Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

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Ramiro Armando De Oliveira Lopes Da Silva

 Mr. Ramiro Armando de Oliveira Lopes da Silva is Assistant Executive Director of the World Food Programme.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Lopes da Silva served as WFP’s Director of Emergencies and Deputy Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Lopes da Silva began his career with the World Food Programme in 1985 as Food Aid Logistics Coordinator during the Great Horn of Africa and Sahel drought emergency. Since then, he has held senior management roles in operations in many countries, including Ethiopia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Angola and Sudan.

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Manoj Juneja

Manoj Juneja became Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Executive Director for Resource Management at the World Food Programme in January 2013.

Prior to joining WFP, from July 2011, he served as Deputy Director-General for Operations at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Mr Juneja joined FAO in 1987, where he held senior management roles as Director of Programme, Budget and Evaluation (2005-07) and Assistant Director-General of Corporate Services, Human Resources and Finance Department (2008-11). In 2003-04, he was at the International Labour Organization, where he held the position of Executive Director, Support Services and Treasurer and Financial Comptroller. He began his career in 1981 as an auditor at Arthur Andersen in London.

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Elisabeth Rasmusson

Elisabeth Rasmusson became the World Food Programme’s Assistant Executive Director for the Partnership, Governance and Advocacy Department in April 2013.

In this role, Ms Rasmusson oversees the organization’s partnership activities with governments, NGOs, the Rome-based UN agencies and the private sector, as well as our offices in Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, Madrid, Paris, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington.

Before joining WFP, Ms Rasmusson was Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Norway’s largest humanitarian NGO, with 3,000 staff who protect and assist displaced people in some of the world’s most challenging conflicts. She was responsible for the organisation’s activities in more than 20 countries.

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James Harvey

James Harvey was appointed Chief of Staff of the World Food Programme in June 2012. The post was upgraded to Assistant Secretary General in June 2015.  He has nearly four decades of experience as an agricultural scientist, programme manager, senior manager and senior adviser.  Prior to joining WFP Jim was the United Kingdom Ambassador to the UN food and agriculture agencies in Rome (June 2007 to June 2012).  In this role he was UK Governor of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and WFP Executive Board member.  He was President of the WFP Executive Board in 2011.

Before moving to Rome Jim was Deputy Director and Head of Profession at the UK Department for International Development (DFID), leading DFID’s cadres of livelihoods and environment advisers. He joined DFID in 1990 as natural resources adviser, then senior natural resources adviser, advising on and managing DFID’s programmes in Africa and Latin America. From 1993 to 1998 he was based in DFID’s regional office in Nairobi.

In his earlier career he worked in long-term rural development and agricultural research for small-scale farmer livelihoods in Botswana (1972-74), Sudan (Darfur 1975-77 and 1981-84), Syria (ICARDA, Aleppo, 1977 -81) and Yemen (Central Highlands 1988-90). He has undertaken many shorter assignments in Africa, Asia and Latin America. As well as DFID, Jim has worked for major consulting firms and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

Jim is a British citizen and holds an honours degree in Agriculture.

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