Welcome to Ms. Priya Gajraj, UNDP DRC Country Director!

Aug 9, 2014

WITH HUMOR AND WARMNESS, MICHEL BALIMA (right), welcomes MS. PRIYA GAJRAJ

Appointment of Ms. Priya GAJRAJ
UNDP Country Director in the Democratic Republic of Congo


It is my pleasure to announce the appointment of Ms. Priya Gajraj as UNDP Country Director, based in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo. Ms. Priya Gajraj comes from the Africa Bureau at UNDP Headquarters in New York where she occupied several senior positions at the Regional Bureau for Africa, as Head of the West and Central Africa Team and Country Adviser among others.

She has a proven record of over 15 years of experience in strategic leadership, programme management and advisory support in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. During her career with UNDP, she has occupied various senior and advisory positions, at both programmatic and operational levels. She has provided advisory support and strategic guidance to a large number of Country Offices in West and Central Africa. She has supported and been involved in policy initiatives for sub-regional development and regional integration, especially in the Sahel and the Great Lakes. She provided oversight to strategic planning and programming of interventions in complex and post-conflict countries including the Ivory Coast, Mali, Nigeria, South Sudan, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Senegal and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She provided support to UNDP country offices in Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Mali and the Democratic Republic of Congo during the elaboration of their social and economic recovery plans, in partnership with the host governments. She has authored analytical papers on issues relating to youth employment in Africa and South/South cooperation. She has also contributed to the development and implementation of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel, which was approved by the Security Council, and to the design and implementation of projects amounting to $ 22 million in support of the Sahel, with funding from Japan. In addition to UNDP Headquarters in New York, Ms. Priya Gajraj has previously worked at the UNDP Country Offices in Jakarta (Indonesia), Kigali (Rwanda) and Niamey (Niger) and where she occupied senior positions.

She has substantive work experience with the World Bank in Kenya, from 2002 to 2005, where she developed and managed a country programme for Somalia, leading to the re-engagement of the World Bank after a decade of absence. She has drafted and implemented the joint World Bank/UNDP strategy for Somalia, which was the first such initiative to be approved by the World Bank Board. She planned and managed the joint strategy activities, particularly in the areas of macro-economic analysis, health and HIV/AIDS, animal production and capacity building, in partnership with UN agencies and the civil society. She played a lead role in resource mobilization–resulting in a $ 10 million grant– and in the dialogue with partners. She also represented the World Bank in the Somalia peace process and aid coordination mechanism.

Ms. Gajraj is an American citizen and holds a Master in European Studies from the University of Cambridge in the UK and a BA in History from Yale University, Connecticut, USA. She is currently completing a doctoral thesis in International Studies at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

Ms. Priya Gajraj will take office in Kinshasa on Monday, 8 September 2014.

Please join me in welcoming her to the UNDP office in Kinshasa and to the big UN the family in the DRC.

Moustapha Soumare

Resident Representative
 

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