The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) is pleased to announce that, following official communication by the office of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and consultations with the Agency and with the Department of Operational Support, Christian Saunders has been appointed as acting Deputy Commissioner-General (DCG), pending the recruitment of a full replacement to the outgoing DCG Sandra Mitchell.
This rapid appointment is the result of active liaison in the last few days between UNRWA and the United Nations Secretariat and a strong sign of the commitment of the Secretary-General’s support to the Agency and, to ensure uninterrupted services for Palestine Refugees, in particular opening the schools on time, mobilization of funding and the renewal of UNRWA’s mandate.
Mr Saunders is currently Assistant Secretary-General for Supply-Chain Management at the Department of Operational Support in New York. As part of a distinguished 30-year career, Mr Saunders also held positions such as Director of the Office of the USG for Management. He has significant humanitarian and field experience, having begun his UN career in 1989 with UNRWA in Gaza. He also served in other UNRWA postings, as well as with UNFPA and UNHCR.
UNRWA takes this opportunity to reiterate its appreciation and respect for the service and dedication shown by outgoing DCG Sandra Mitchell.