Rosemary A. DiCarlo
Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs
Rosemary A. DiCarlo of the United States assumed the post of Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs on 1 May 2018. She was appointed by Secretary-General António Guterres and succeeded Mr. Jeffrey Feltman.
As Under-Secretary-General and head of the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA), Ms. DiCarlo advises the Secretary-General on peace and security issues globally, while overseeing "good offices" initiatives and field-based political missions carrying out peacemaking, preventive diplomacy and peace-building activities in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Central and Southeast Asia and the Americas. She also oversees the United Nations electoral assistance provided to dozens of its member states each year.
Ms. DiCarlo brings more than 35 years of experience in public service and academia. During her distinguished career with the United States Department of State, she served, among other functions, as Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations with the rank and status of Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary. In that capacity, she represented the United States at the Security Council, General Assembly and other United Nations bodies. Prior assignments included Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, and Director for United Nations Affairs at the National Security Council in Washington, D.C. Her overseas tours took her to the United States Embassies in Moscow and Oslo.
She also served as President of the National Committee on American Foreign Policy from August 2015 to May 2018 and was concurrently appointed a Senior Fellow and Lecturer at Yale University’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
Ms. DiCarlo graduated from Brown University with a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in comparative literature, as well as Slavic languages and literature. She speaks French and Russian.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island, Ms. DiCarlo is married.
Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee
Assistant Secretary-General for Africa
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 21 May 2021 the appointment of Martha Ama Akyaa Pobee of Ghana as Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations (DPPA-DPO).
Ms. Pobee succeeds Bintou Keita of Guinea, who took up a new assignment as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Head of the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO). The Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her service and contributions as the first Assistant Secretary-General for Africa in DPPA-DPO.
A career diplomat, Ms. Pobee brings more than 30 years of experience in international affairs and diplomacy with her Foreign Ministry. Currently Chief Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, she was previously Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations from 2015 until 2020. In that position, she performed various special assignments, including as the Chair of the African Group of Ambassadors in New York, Vice-President of the 71st Session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chair of the New York Group of Friends of the African - Women Leaders Network, Co-Facilitator of the High-level meeting on Financing for Development 2019, and Co-Chair of the Group of Friends on Gender Parity at the United Nations, among others.
Ms. Pobee previously served as Deputy Head of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the Ghana High Commission in Pretoria (2012 to 2015), Director of the Information and Public Affairs Bureau at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs (2010 to 2012) and Head of Chancery at the Ghanaian Embassy in Washington, D.C. (2006 to 2010). She was Acting Director of the Bureaux for Human Resources and Administration (2006) and for Information, Culture and Linguistics (2004 to 2006). Posted to the Ghanaian Embassy in Tel Aviv in 2000, she served as Minister-Counsellor and Deputy Head of Mission (2002 to 2004), and as Chargé d’affaires (2000 to 2002). Ms. Pobee also served as Acting Director of the Personnel and Training Bureau (1998 to 2000), having been posted to Ghana’s Permanent Mission to the Office of the United Nations in Geneva (1995 to 1998) and to the Embassy in Moscow, where she was First Secretary (1994 to 1995).
A graduate of the University of Ghana, Ms. Pobee also holds a master’s degree in Development Studies with a specialization in Women and Development from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague. She also has diplomas in Public Administration and Multilateral Diplomacy from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and the Geneva Institute of International Studies.
Assistant Secretary-General for Europe, Central Asia and the Americas
On 12 March 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Miroslav Jenča of Slovakia as Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs.
Mr. Jenča succeeds Jens Toyberg-Frandzen of Denmark who was appointed Assistant Secretary-General ad interim for Political Affairs in November 2014. The Secretary-General is grateful to Mr. Toyberg-Frandzen for his leadership and acumen in the position.
As Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Mr. Jenča will be responsible, inter alia, for overseeing the divisions in the Department of Political Affairs dealing with the Americas, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and the Middle East and West Asia, as well as the Decolonization Unit and the Division for Palestinian Rights.
Mr. Jenča has served as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, since 2008. He was previously Director of the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Slovakia, as well as Ambassador and Head of Mission to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Centre in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. He served as Ambassador and Representative of Slovakia to the Political and Security Committee of the European Union and Ambassador of Slovakia to Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia, including positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovakia and diplomatic missions in Ireland and Mexico.
Mr. Jenča holds a Doctor of Law degree from Comenius University in Bratislava. He studied foreign trade at the University of Economics in Bratislava, diplomacy and international relations at Moscow State Institute of International Relations, and diplomacy at Stanford University.
Born in 1965, he is married and has two children.
Mohamed Khaled Khiari
Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 28 May 2019 the appointment of Khaled Mohamed Khiari of Tunisia, as Assistant Secretary-General for Middle East, Asia and the Pacific in the Departments of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations.
Currently Director General of Americas, Asia and Oceania in the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Khiari brings over 35 years of experience in diplomacy and foreign affairs alternating between his Foreign Ministry headquarters and overseas postings. He served inter alia as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Tunisia to the United Nations in New York (2012-2018), Director of Human Rights within the Department of International Organizations and Conferences at the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2011-2012), Chargé de Mission in the Ministry of Youth and Sports (2009-2010), Deputy Director, Euromed, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Europe Directorate (2007-2009), Deputy Head of Mission (2003–2006) and Secretary of Foreign Affairs with the Permanent Mission of Tunisia to the United Nations Office in Geneva (1987-1993) and the Ministry’s Department of Maghreb Countries (1984).
Mr. Khiari participated in numerous multilateral and regional activities during his career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, notably as Co-Chair of the Intergovernmental Negotiations on Security Council Reform, President of the Executive Board of UN-WOMEN, Vice-President of the United Nations General Assembly, Non-Aligned Movement Coordinator of the Peacebuilding Commission in New York, President of the African Group of experts to the World Summit on Information Society in Geneva and Coordinator of the Arab group on European Parliament issues in Brussels.
He is a graduate of the Higher Institute of Management of Tunis, where he earned a master’s degree in Management, specializing in marketing.
Born in 1960, Mr. Khiari is married and has two children.
Elizabeth Mary Spehar
Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 18 January 2022 the appointment of Elizabeth Spehar of Canada as Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support in the Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA). Ms. Spehar succeeds Oscar Fernandez-Taranco of Argentina to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedication and contribution.
With 35 years of experience in international and political affairs, Ms. Spehar has worked in United Nations headquarters and in the field, leading political, development, peacebuilding and conflict prevention initiatives. Most recently, since 2016, she was the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), also serving as Deputy to the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus.
Previously, Ms. Spehar was Director of the Policy and Mediation Division in the former Department of Political Affairs (DPA), where she worked on policy and operational matters related to conflict prevention, mediation, peacebuilding and gender mainstreaming. Prior to this, she was the Director for the Americas and Europe Division and Director of the Europe Division in DPA, engaging extensively on key political issues facing the region. She also served briefly as Interim Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNFICYP in 2008.
Before joining the United Nations, Ms. Spehar was a senior official with the Organization of American States for more than 12 years, working to promote democracy and develop the Organization’s dialogue and conflict resolution instruments.
Ms. Spehar holds a Bachelor of Arts with honours from Queen’s University in Canada, a master’s degree in international affairs from Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, also in Canada, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures from the University of Pau in France. She speaks English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Croatian.