Wafaa ElFadil Saeed

Member Title: Deputy Director
Organization: UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Sectors: , , , , ,

Region ,

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I have around 20 years of professional experience in management & coordination of international humanitarian action, including 15 years at senior level where I managed large multidisciplinary teams in diverse geographical contexts.  I am an effective communicator, skilled in representation, relationship building & problem solving. I have proven track record in maintaining resilience & focus during challenging times & I am committed to continuous learning.

My purpose in life is to raise awareness & mobilize support to relieve the suffering of people affected by crises & to contribute towards restoring their dignity & resilience”.


Katholieke Univeriteit Leuven – Belgium – Oct 1998 – Sep 1999 -Advanced Studies Master of Architecture in Human Settlements (on scholarship)

University of Khartoum- Sudan- Sep 1996- May 1998 – Master of Science in Physical Planning

University of Khartoum- Sudan – Sep 1988- Dec 1993 – Bachelor of Science in Architecture

Work Experience:

UNOCHA Deputy Director for Eastern & Southern Africa – New York

Oct 2018–Present

Built an effective & inclusive network among partners, succeeded in leveraging effective demand-driven support for our field operations including response to Cyclone Idai in Southern Africa and the worsening droughts & displacements in the Horn of Africa, convened predictable, periodic coordination forums to leverage common understanding & collective action, facilitated problem solving and provided oversight to put in place a footprint that is fit for purpose.

UNOCHA Senior Humanitarian Affairs Officer- Chief -Eastern & Southern Africa – New York

July 2015– Sep 2018

Effectively contributed to mobilization of political action & resources with famine averted in Somalia and halted in South Sudan in addition to mitigation of impacts of 2016/2017 ElNino’s in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa (worst drought in 50 years). I leveraged support of stakeholders resulting in facilitation of humanitarian access in South Sudan, Sudan & Somalia. I contributed to the development & kick-off of implementation of an engagement strategy for Eritrea.

UNICEF Chief of Field Operations – Damascus- Syria

Oct 2013- June 2015

Expanded response in Hard to Reach Areas through partnerships with local NGOs & negotiation with national authorities. Spearheaded the setup & functioning of field operations, with hubs established in 5 field locations, developed accountability framework and supervised the draft of the organization strategy that guided our work & mitigated programmatic and security risks. Lead effective preparedness through community engagement and pre-positioning of supplies

UNOCHA Deputy Head of Office -Damascus- Syria- Jan-Sep 2013

Supported the establishment & functioning of the Humanitarian Country Team.  Lead the Inter-sectoral Coordination (ISC) Working Group, focusing on operational response & reaching inaccessible areas.  Played a key role in preparation of the Syria Humanitarian Action Plan for 2013, for the first time INGOs were included as partners and protection was articulated among the strategic objectives. Supported deployment and orientation of staff.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) – Pakistan- Sep 2011–Dec 2012

Effectively managed the implementation of the flagship programmes of Polio Eradication, Community based Management of Malnutrition and Birth Registration. Lead the implementation of the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT).  Rolled out the enactment of Enterprise Risk Management. Secured additional resources and provided oversight for budget management ($30million). Facilitated team building activities, counseling and stress management.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office – Papua & West Papua- Indonesia – Sep 2009- Aug 2011

Conducted advocacy based on evidence from good practices and global lessons learnt to address disparities and gender gaps in service delivery, as a result matching funds were secured from government to scale up Education, Health, Water, Hygiene & Sanitation programmes. Managed the draft of advocacy guiding notes on Teachers Absenteeism, Malaria Control & Child Friendly Budgeting. Facilitated the establishment & functioning of a Youth Forum in Tanah Papua.

UNICEF Chief of Field Office Somaliland & Central & Southern Somalia- March 2007- Aug 2009

Successfully implemented an advocacy strategy on humanitarian access, key topics addressed included refusal for immunization, child recruitment, teachers training and gender related issues. Lead effective response to outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) in Middle and Lower Shabelle & Lower Juba, and to displacements in Hiran and Galgaduud. Introduced accelerated procedures for emergency response.

UNOCHA- Humanitarian Affairs Officer – Somalia- Jan 2005- Feb 2007

Mobilized effective response to internally displaced people (IDPs). Established IDP working Group and facilitated the development of a joint Work Plan that was more than 85% funded. Facilitated the delivery of capacity strengthening to government partners. Coordinated the development of the annual appeal for Somaliland. Acted as focal point for Mogadishu and provided regular analytical briefing to the Humanitarian Country Team on situation and gaps to be addressed.

WFP National Programme Staff – Sudan- July 2000- Dec 2004

Drafted checklist to guide senior management on implementation of WFP Enhanced Commitments to Women. Participated in annual needs assessment ensuring the use of gender disaggregated data in analysis and reporting. Drafted monthly progress reports on implementation of the gender action plan. Lead the organization of the annual International Women Day as an advocacy event on key issues impacting on women and girls in Sudan. Key issues addressed include FGM, Girls’ education and Vulnerability of Women & Girls to HIV & AIDS. Drafted Gender Profile for Sudan based on a desk review.

Lecturer- University of Khartoum- Sudan- Oct 1999- June 2000

Taught the Urban Planning course at the Faculty of Architecture (4th year students), including teaching time with students and research work. Encouraged the personal development of my students through field work

Architect- Private Sector- Sudan- Jan 1994- Dec 1996

Worked as an architect in the private sector. During this period, I also volunteered with the Sudanese Environment Conservation Society (SECS), serving as a member in the Executive Committee where I contributed to management & resource mobilization for the society