Hon. Pia Philip Michael

Undersecretary, Ministry of Peacebuilding, Government of the Republic of South Sudan

Honorable Pia Phillip Michael is Undersecretary, Ministry of Peace Building for the Republic of South Sudan. Ho. Pia is an expert in the global education sector with over 18 years of experience. Ho. Pia has worked in high profile positions and interfaced with different bilateral donors to the government of South Sudan.In addition to various international certifications and education development courses, Ho. Pia holds a dual Masters Degree in Education and Business Administration from University of Bristol- UK and The Open University Business School – UK, respectively.

Antoinette Sullivan

Acting Deputy Director

Antoinette joined USAID in 2010 after many years of working in public health and working for a time as a labor doula to support women and their partners in having safe and satisfying birth experiences. Antoinette’s career in public health began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Madagascar and continued as a Crisis Corps volunteer in Ghana. Since joining USAID, she has served in Senegal, Uganda, Afghanistan, and Guatemala as both Health Officer and Gender Advisor and overseen technical areas that include integrated health programming, adolescent health, family planning, nutrition, and women’s empowerment.

Mr. Alain Noudéhou

Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator DSRSG/RC/HC

Alain Noudéhou was appointed Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG), UN Resident Coordinator (RC) and Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) in South Sudan in August 2017. Mr. Noudéhou brings to the position extensive experience in international development and humanitarian affairs. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Noudéhou served as Chief of Staff and Director of the Executive Office of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in New York.

He previously served as the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in the People’s Republic of China (2014-2016) and UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator, and UNDP Resident Representative in Zimbabwe (2010-2014). He was appointed UNDP Country Director in Tanzania in 2007 and served as UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Rwanda in 2004.

Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Noudéhou worked in senior positions from 1996-2002 for then CHF International Inc. (now Global Communities) including as Country Director for CHF International in South Africa (1996 to 2000) and Deputy Director of Program Initiatives (2000–2002) in MD, USA. Mr. Noudéhou holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He completed his undergraduate degree at Tsinghua University in China in 1990. He speaks English, French, and Chinese.

Christopher Murenga

Head of Field Office, Western Equatoria, UN Mission in South Sudan, [city], South Sudan

Since transitioning out of the Kenyan private sector in 2000, Christopher Murenga has spent more than 20 years working in international peacekeeping. Mr. Murenga’s experience includes assignments in Kosovo and Liberia. In Liberia, he was promoted to Senior Advisor to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General. Mr. Murenga has worked in South Sudan since 2018, when he became Head of Field Office for Western Equatoria for the UN Mission in South Sudan; he has also served as the Area Coordinator for the Western Equatoria Partnership Area since the launch of the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience in Yambio. Mr. Murenga has a wealth of experience working closely and collaboratively with UN Mission components, as well as government officials at all levels bi- and multi-lateral donors, and international and local civil society organizations, among others. He holds a [Master or Bachelor] of International Business Administration from [which university] in [country].

Larry Cooley

Founder and President Emeritus, Management Systems International, Arlington, Virginia, U.S.

Larry Cooley, the founder and President Emeritus of Management Systems International (MSI), has more than 40 years of experience in the fields of strategic management, public sector reform, and international development. Currently serving as the President of the Society for International Development and Board Chair of World Learning, Mr. Cooley is the author or co-author of widely used methodologies for managing policy change, scaling innovation, developing entrepreneurship, and using results-based management. He has served as the Project Director or Principal Investigator for numerous high-visibility domestic and international public management initiatives, as the facilitator for three Cabinet-level working groups in the United States, and as an advisor to the leaders of more than a dozen governments and international agencies. Mr. Cooley served as the facilitator for the first and second Annual Learning Forums of South Sudan’s Partnership for Recovery and Resilience. He holds advanced degrees from Columbia University (Economics), Princeton University (Public Policy), and the Cranfield Institute of Technology in the UK (Management).

Luca Scarpa

Resilience Programming Technical Advisor, AVSI Foundation, Juba, South Sudan and Remote

Luca Scarpa has nine years of experience working on development and emergency programming in fragile environments. For the past seven years, Mr. Scarpa has supported and managed resilience programming, in both development and emergency contexts, in South Sudan. He currently serves as a Resilience Programming Technical Advisor for the AVSI Foundation in the East Africa region, with a focus on South Sudan. In this role, Mr. Scarpa brings his unique perspective and approach to designing and coordinating resilience projects. He previously held a number of other roles in South Sudan, including Area Team Leader (AVSI) in Ikotos and Project Manager for the Community-Based Rehabilitation Program (OVCI La Nostra Famiglia) in Juba. Through these assignments, Mr. Scarpa has developed strong working relationships with local authorities, public institutions, NGOs, and donors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the Università di Pisa in Italy.

Michiel Smet

First Secretary and Coordinator (Water, Food Security and Nutrition, and Private Sector Development), the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Juba, South Sudan

Michiel Smet has more than 15 years of experience in international development in West Africa and the Caribbean. This experience has given Mr. Smet insights into a range of development policies and strategies, as well as decentralization and the development of public and non-governmental institutions. He also has expertise in water, hygiene, sanitation, and food security, as well as natural resource management. Mr. Smet began working for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2015 as a thematic expert for water and sanitation at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Benin. Since September 2020, he has served as the First Secretary and Coordinator of Development Activities at the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to South Sudan. He holds a Master of Science in Conservation Ecology from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and a Bachelor of Science in Tropical Forestry from the Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.

Russom Habtegabriel

Head of Field Office, World Food Programme (WFP), Yambio, South Sudan

Russom Habtegabriel is an international development professional with more than 21 years of experience in complex emergency, conflict, post-conflict, transition, and development settings, including in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. Mr. Habtegabriel has worked in South Sudan off and on since the country’s founding in 2011 and in Sudan since 1998. In his current role as Head of Field Office for the WFP, he provides leadership in establishing the area’s resilience platform, serves as a member of the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience’s Area Reference Group, and manages relationships with 15 partner UN agencies, NGOs, cooperatives, and government institutions. Mr. Habtegabriel previously supported food security and livelihoods programs in Abyei, the Greater Upper Nile Region, and Juba, among other assignments. He holds a Master of Arts in International Development Administration from St. Andrews University in the U.S., as well as a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from the University of Eastern Africa in Kenya.

Boiketho Francisca Rugare Murima

Chief of Field Offices in Greater Equatoria, UNICEF South Sudan, [city], South Sudan

Boiketho Murima has more than 20 years of management and coordination experience in programs at the intersection of humanitarian and development aid. Ms. Murima has worked with the UN and international non-governmental organizations on programs related to humanitarian response, WASH, and public health, among other areas, in countries that include Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Since 2019, she has worked in South Sudan, where she serves as UNICEF’s Chief of Field Offices in Greater Equatoria. In this role, she manages UNICEF’s presence in the area, working closely with external partners to implement programming that keeps children alive, thriving, safe, and learning. Ms. Murima holds a Master’s in Public Health (Behavioral, Social, and Health Education Sciences) from Emory University in the U.S. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from the University of Zimbabwe. In 2015, she received a Graduate Certificate in Humanitarian Leadership from Deakin University in Australia.

Ros Cooper

Deputy Head of Office, South Sudan, for the UK’s Department for International Development.

Ros Cooper has worked in Development for the last 30 years, in administrative, advisory and senior management roles. She has a Masters degree in Sociology of Development and other qualifications in international development. Her work experience includes government and civil society sectors, both in the UK and in Africa. She has worked for ODA/DFID since 1995, largely in Africa. Her roles have included Health Adviser and Senior Health Adviser (Uganda), Social Sector and Humanitarian lead and Human Development team leader (DRC) and Deputy Head of DFID’s Innovation and Digital department, EPIC based in the UK. She was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her support to the health sector in Uganda. She has been Deputy Head of Mission in DRC, Tanzania and South Sudan, her current posting.

Kuach Pech

Resilience Policy Advisor, Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office, British Embassy, Juba, South Sudan

Kuach Pech has more than 10 years of experience in the humanitarian and development sectors in South Sudan, having worked at a policy level with non-governmental organizations, the UN, and the Government of South Sudan’s Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Ministry of General Education and Instruction. Mr. Pech currently serves as a Resilience Policy Advisor for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office in Juba, South Sudan. He has researched widely on cooperatives and agriculture value chains in South Sudan and Kenya and has made significant contributions to South Sudan’s technical and vocational education and training curriculum. Mr. Pech holds a Bachelor of Commerce from Africa Nazarene University in Kenya and a Master in Gender and Development Studies from Kenyatta University, also in Kenya.

Julie Kiwanuka

Team Leader, United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), Wau, South Sudan

Julie Kiwanuka has 17 years of experience working with the UN to bridge gaps between humanitarian, peacebuilding, and development programming in fragile and conflict-affected countries. A strategic leader and partnership builder, Ms. Kiwanuka has worked with interdisciplinary teams in Liberia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. She currently serves as a Team Leader for UNMISS in Wau, where she leads the Recovery, Reintegration, and Protection Team. In this role, she engages local authorities, international organizations, and civil society groups on developing durable solutions for displaced persons, returnees, and marginalized communities. Among many other roles, she also serves as the Lead State Focal Resource Person for the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience. Ms. Kiwanuka holds of Master of Social Sciences, Health Economics, from the University of Cape Town, South Africa; a Master of Arts in Economic Policy and Planning from Makerere University, Uganda; and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences (Economics and Social Administration), also from Makerere University.

Sarah Cleto Rial

Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal

Sarah Cleto Rial is an expert in gender equity and women and girls’ empowerment with 25 years of experience working in non-governmental, academic, and government settings. Ms. Rial currently serves as the Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal, where she draws on her skills in public policy, social justice advocacy, and peacebuilding. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of the Global Partnership for Peace in South Sudan, which aims to foster unity in diversity throughout the country. In 2010, Ms. Rial received the Eleanor Roosevelt Award for Human Rights for her work as Program Director for My Sister’s Keeper, a woman-led humanitarian initiative based in Boston, Massachusetts. She holds a Master of Arts in Political Science – Professional Development from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a Bachelor of Science in Statistics and Demography from the University of Juba.

John Kanisio

Undersecretary for Food Security, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Republic of South Sudan, Juba, South Sudan

Hon. Dr. John Kanisio is a senior civil servant with extensive experience in post-conflict development management and humanitarian work. An expert in food security and agricultural project planning, Hon. Dr. Kanisio currently serves as the Undersecretary for Food Security at the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, where he works to increase agricultural production and productivity. He also serves as Secretary-General for the General Secretariat of the Republic of South Sudan Food Security Council in the Office of the President. In this role, he coordinates stakeholders and supports the Council’s efforts to eliminate hunger and malnutrition. Hon. Dr. Kanisio holds a Master of Science in Agricultural Development and Rural Finance from the University of Bradford, UK; a Master of Science in Tropical Animal Health from the University of Khartoum, Sudan; and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Zagazig, Egypt.

John Ulimwengu

Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

John Ulimwengu is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). Dr. Ulimwengu holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics and Master in Economics from Ohio State University (USA), and Master in Development Economics from Williams College (USA). His research interests include poverty dynamics, agricultural productivity and rural development. Since 2007, Dr. Ulimwengu is involved in strategic research on the transformation of agricultural sector in Africa under the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (CAADP) agenda. He is currently the Africa-wide coordinator of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS). He has published in journals such as Environmental and Resource Economics, Journal of Agricultural Economics, Oxford Economic Papers and American Journal of Agricultural Economics.

Community Voices

Agau Kun Kuol

Executive Director, St. George Charity Organization in Aweil County

Agau Kun Kuol is Executive Director at St. George Charity Organization in Aweil County.  Mrs. Kuol holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Resource Management from St. Laurance University, Kampala, Uganda.

Santino Deng Ngong

Executive Director, Aweil Community Based Organizations Forum

Santino Deng Ngong is Executive Director at Aweil Community Based Organizations Forum in Aweil County.  Mr. Ngong holds a Diploma in Bible Studies and English from World English Institute, USA.