Filippo Grandi, born in Italy in 1957, has been engaged in international cooperation for over 30 years, 26 of which as a United Nations official. His focus has been prevalently refugee and humanitarian work, addressing the human consequences of several major conflicts of the last three decades, from several countries in Africa (especially Sudan and the Great Lakes region) to South-East Asia and the broader Middle East.
From 1997 to 2001 he worked as Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; from 2001 to 2005 he worked in Afghanistan, first with UNHCR and then with the UN political mission as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General; his latest assignments, from 2005 till earlier this year, were with UNRWA, the UN Agency for Palestine refugees – first as Deputy Commissioner-General and then Commissioner-General of the organization for four years.
Filippo graduated in modern history from the State University in Milan in 1981. He has an honorary doctorate from the University of Coventry and is currently an IFI Senior Research Fellow in UN and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut, and an Honorary Associate of the Department of International Development of the University of Oxford.