Atle Solberg, Head of the Coordination Unit

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Atle is a political scientist from Norway and he was the Head of the Nansen Initiative Secretariat, the predecessor of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, from 2012 to 2015. His background is primarily from international humanitarian action and from working in the context of displacement (both in conflict and natural hazard situations). He has worked for the UNHCR and UN OCHA in Switzerland, the Balkans and in Central America, and for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in the Balkans, Indonesia and Colombia. He has research and teaching experience from the University of Bergen on humanitarian issues as well as on the protection of unaccompanied minors. Atle has also undertaken evaluation of humanitarian aid and worked as a consultant both with a focus on Norway as well as on the post-conflict recovery situation in the Balkans and Central America.

Atle is the Head of the Coordination Unit of the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

Sarah Koeltzow, Policy Officer

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Sarah has a Bachelor Degree in Public Management and Governance from Zeppelin University, Germany, and a Master Degree in Development Studies from the Graduate Institute, Geneva. Prior to joining PDD, she has worked as Humanitarian Affairs Officer at the German Mission to the UN in Geneva, also covering DRR, Internet Governance, Climate Change/Environment and Human Rights portfolios. Sarah speaks German, English, French and Spanish. She is passionate about local public administration and thrives on good food, good reads and good friends. Each year, as winter approaches, she considers the possibility of ‘climate-induced migration’ to warmer places.

Sarah is the Policy Officer of the Coordination Unit of the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

Juan Carlos Méndez, PDD Regional Adviser in Costa Rica

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Juan Carlos holds a BA in International Relations, a postgraduate degree in Project Management and a MA in Human Rights from the National University of Costa Rica, where he has taught courses on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, among others. Before joining the Platform on Disaster Displacement, Juan Carlos worked for the Government of Costa Rica for several years. He has also been a Consultant for organizations such as the Inter American Institute of Human Rights.

Since 2014 Juan Carlos has been seconded by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) to the Government of Costa Rica in the National Agency for Disaster Risk Reduction and Emergency Response (CNE) as a Regional Adviser to both, the former Nansen Initiative and the Platform on Disaster Displacement.

Daria Mokhnacheva, PDD Programme Officer in IOM

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Daria (Dasha) did her undergraduate studies in Oriental Studies and Social and Political Studies at the University of Cambridge, and her Masters studies focusing on environment, sustainable development and risks at Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University. She joined the International Organization for Migration in 2012 to work as thematic specialist on migration, environment and climate change, focusing in particular on the development of the “Atlas of Environmental Migration”, which she co-authored. Prior to that, she worked at UNDP in Russia on climate change and biodiversity projects. Her past experience also included nature conservation in Argentina, banking in Japan and Russia, and support to the DEVAST-Fukushima research project at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris. She speaks Russian, French, English, Spanish and learned German and Japanese. She loves being close to nature and discovering new countries, new food, new books and new cultures – she is convinced that migration is key to personal and societal enrichment.

She is the PDD Programme Officer at the International Organization for Migration, in which capacity she supports the mainstreaming of PDD priorities into IOM activities and the development of related IOM programmes and projects worldwide.

Marine Franck, PDD Programme Officer in UNHCR

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With a background in international law and political science, Marine Franck has been working for 8 years in the field of climate change including at UNESCO and the French Ministry for Environment. Notably, she promoted women’s rights in the UNFCCC process as a climate and energy officer for the NGO WECF where she had the opportunity to be the focal point for the Gender Constituency. During her work in a consultant firm in Canada (Ecoressources), she assisted Congo Basin countries for the UNFCCC process and was the lead author of the UNFCCC guide for negotiators. Since she joined UNHCR in 2013, her focus is on protection of people displaced in the context of disasters and climate change. She also ensures mainstreaming of this issue within UNHCR’s policy and operations. She embraces her role at UNHCR as a way to address the human face of climate change and disasters. She’s a nature lover. She spends most of her free time on the back of her horse whom she trains for international equestrian endurance competition.

She is the PDD Programme Officer on Climate Change and Disaster Displacement at United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Ileana Sinziana Puscas, Intern

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Ileana Sinziana obtained a BA Politics from University of Essex, UK and University of Konstanz, Germany, and recently graduated from SciencesPo Paris with a Master in Human Rights and Humanitarian Action. Prior to joining the Platform, Ileana Sinziana worked with several NGOs, research institutes and private actors in the UK, Romania and France, focusing on human rights and community action. She also completed an Internship with OCHA in New York, supporting Inter-Agency Humanitarian Evaluations (IAHEs). Ileana Sinziana speaks Romanian, English, French and learned German and Spanish. She enjoys living in different countries and sees the positive side of matters at hand believing that human nature is more than a ‘perpetual and restless desire of power after power’.

She is the PDD Intern, supporting the team with event management and research as well as admin and comms.

Contact us:

International Environment House 2
7-9 Chemin de Balexert 1219 Châtelaine,
Geneva Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 917 8488