Ms. Ilene Cohn, Director of UNMAS
Ms. Ilene Cohn is the Director of UNMAS in the Department of Peace Operations. In her 25 years of service with the United Nations, Ms. Cohn has served at Headquarters in the Department of Peace Operations and the Office of the SRSG for Children and Armed Conflict and in seven peace operations in Africa and Latin America. She served previously with UNMAS from 2003-2007.
Ms. Rita Gunaryati Lubis, Deputy Director
Ms. Lubis joined UNMAS in December 2022. She has extensive experience in Financial Management and Policy, having started as an Associate Budget Officer in the United Nations Office at Nairobi in 2001. Since then she has worked in the Finance Division of the Office of Programme Planning, Finance and Budget (OPPFB) in the Department of Management Strategy, Policy and Compliance (DMSPC) holding various positions, including as the UN International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) Implementation Project Team Lead responsible for the implementation of IPSAS, as the Chief of Central Accounts Section responsible for the preparation of the UN financial statements, and most recently as the Chief of Financial Policy Section. She also briefly served as the Executive Officer of the (then) Department of Political Affairs. Prior to joining the UN, she worked as an Auditor in PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Ms. Lubis is a Chartered Accountant and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University of Indonesia, Post Graduate Diploma in Financial Management from the University of London and Master of Science from the Zicklin School of Business, Baruch College, CUNY.
Mr. Takuto Kubo, Chief of the Programme Management and Support Section
Mr. Takuto Kubo is appointed as Chief of the Programme Management and Support Section (PMSS) in April 2022. Prior to returning to UNMAS in June 2021 as Team Lead in PMSS, he was Senior External Relations and Projects Officer at the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) HQ in Jerusalem for two years. Before joining UNRWA, he was Planning Officer at PPMS/UNMAS in New York. He worked for UNMAS in Sudan as Senior Programme Officer, and in Afghanistan as External Relations Officer. He also worked for the UN Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) as Assistant Civil Affairs Officer, and for a Japanese NGO in Tokyo and covered several confidence building projects in Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Palestine. He holds a BA in Social Sciences from Waseda University, Japan, and a MA in Conflict Resolutions from the University of Bradford, UK.
Mr. Richard Boulter, Chief, Design, Operational Support and Oversight
Mr. Richard Boulter was appointed Chief of Design, Operational Support and Oversight in October 2021. Under Mr. Boulter's leadership the section focuses on the design of new programmes and the validation of existing structures. The UNMAS Threat Mitigation Advisory Section, which is the UN Secretariats' principal Counter-IED advisory resource, also reports to Mr. Boulter, who Chairs the UN's Whole of System Counter-IED Task Force. For ten years he was an active member of the IMAS Review Board and now advises the Chair of the IMAS Steering Group.
Mr. Boulter has almost 30 years management experience in the mine action sector, including twenty years of field experience. Prior to joining the headquarters, he spent four and a half years managing the UNMAS programme in South Sudan and a further four years as the UNMAS Global Weapons and Ammunition Management Advisor. Prior to joining UNMAS he spent more than twenty years managing mine clearance and Weapons and Ammunition Management programmes for The HALO Trust. He has implemented programme activities in sixteen countries and consulted in a further ten.
Mr. Boulter holds a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering and a Master's in Business Administration.
Ms. Christelle Loupforest, OIC, Geneva office
Ms. Christelle Loupforest is the Officer-in-Charge of the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) Office in Geneva. In her 25 years of service with the United Nations, she served in the Department of Peace Operations, in the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and in the UN/OAS Human Rights Mission in Haiti. She holds a Master’s in Political Science and speaks English, French, and Spanish.
Ms. Maria Vardis, OIC, Policy, Advocacy, Donor Relations
Ms. Maria Vardis is Officer-in-Charge for the Policy, Advocacy, Donor Relations and Outreach Section of UNMAS. Her UN experience spans over 20 years since joining the UN mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Maria has spent over 15 years on disarmament, small arms, and mine action-related issues supporting the development of international standards, mobilizing resources for critical funding needs and emergency responses, coordinating UN system-wide strategies, and facilitating inter-governmental negotiations in the General Assembly and the UN Security Council. While covering mine action and small arms issues with UNMAS and UNDP, she has undertaken technical assessment missions to Albania, CAR, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan and supported the Independent Strategic Review requested by the Security Council on peacekeeping responses to IEDs. Maria holds a Bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a Masters in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School.
Ms. Sonia Mrabet, Chief, Budget Financial Management & Reporting Section
Ms. Sonia Mrabet, was appointed as UNMAS Chief Budget and Finance Section in March 2014. With twenty five years of experience in progressively responsible management positions in international organizations and the private sector, Ms. Mrabet oversees the Financial and Budget matters of UNMAS, she has a rich international experience in Programme planning, budgeting and financial management and was instrumental in various UNMAS improvements and change initiatives while ensuring compliance with UN Financial Rules and regulations as well complex donor requirements.
Her professional financial and budget experience also includes strategic planning, programming and budgeting and strong Leadership and people management skills, including ability to motivate diverse groups in multicultural environments. The UNMAS Budget and Finance Section’s primary objective is to provide budgetary and financial services to staff, partners, vendors, suppliers, auditors and other clients.
Prior to joining UNMAS, Ms. Mrabet has served in various positions: UNDRR in Geneva/Switzerland, UNMIK in Prishtina/Kosovo and in ICMPD Vienna/Austria. A national of Tunisia, Ms. Mrabet holds a Master of Business Administration degree in finance and business administration from Webster University in Vienna Austria and a Maitrise d’Hautes Etudes Commerciales from IHEC Carthage Tunisia. Ms. Mrabet is fluent in Arabic, French, English and German and she has a working knowledge of Spanish and Italian.