Leadership

James Swan, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia and Head of UNSOM

On 30 May 2019, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of James Swan of the United States as his Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). Mr. Swan succeeds Nicholas Haysom of South Africa to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedicated service in UNSOM and Somalia at a challenging time.

Mr. Swan is an experienced diplomat with a long international career in the United States Government. He spent most of his career in African countries facing complex political transitions. He served as Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 2013 to 2016, US Special Representative for Somalia from 2011 to 2013, and Ambassador to Djibouti from 2008 to 2011.

In his earlier career, Mr. Swan served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs from 2006 to 2008, and Director of African Analysis in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 2005 to 2006. Prior to these, Mr. Swan held various assignments in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Congo, Somalia, Cameroon, Nicaragua and Haiti.

Mr. Swan holds a B.Sc. degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a Master’s degree in Security Studies from the National War College

 
     

Raisedon Zenenga, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia

On 5 December 2014, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of Mr. Raisedon Zenenga of Zimbabwe as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia. Mr. Zenenga succeeds Ms. Fatiha Serour of Algeria. 

Mr. Zenenga possesses a diverse and substantial background in political processes and mediation, proven skills in managing peacekeeping operations, and significant experience in working with Government and other key stakeholders in conflict and post-conflict settings.  He has over 30 years of United Nations, Government and diplomatic service experience, 21 of which he served with the Organization in the field including in Liberia, Iraq-Kuwait, Sierra Leone and Somalia.

Educated at the University of Zimbabwe, Mr. Zenenga graduated in public administration and political science. He also received diplomatic training from the Australian Development Assistance Bureau.

 
     

Adam Abdelmoula, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia

On 28 August 2019, UN Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Adam Abdelmoula of Sudan (as well as a national of the United States) as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia, where he will also serve as the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).    Mr. Abdelmoula succeeds George Conway of Canada.

Previously Director of the United Nations Human Rights Council and Treaty Mechanisms Divisions at the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Mr. Abdelmoula brings over thirty years of experience in development, rule of law, human rights and security.  From 2013 to 2016, he served as Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq, and from 2010 to 2013 as Resident Coordinator in Kuwait and Syria.

In his earlier career, Mr. Abdelmoula served as the Chief of Middle East and North Africa Section in OHCHR and held various assignments with the United Nations in Liberia, Iraq and Somalia.

Mr Abdelmoula holds an LL.B. in Common Law and Islamic Law from the University of Khartoum, an LL.M. in International Law from Harvard Law School, and a PhD in Public International Law from Georgetown University.