Meet the Team





Aleksander Piecyk, Regional Technical Officer (INCB), South Asia

Aleksander is the new Regional Technical Officer for South Asia with the International Narcotics Control Board, based in the regional office in New Delhi, India, with responsibilities covering the wider South Asia region.   His role is to train law enforcement and regulatory agents to better understand, identify and interdict dangerous and non-controlled substances using operational tools and intelligence led targeting. He will also be coordinating INCB’s work with private sector partners in the region across various sectors. Previously he worked for the UN’s Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling section where he was responsible for coordinating activities to combat trafficking and smuggling across 16 countries as well as training counterparts on substantive issues including human rights, gender and a victim-centred approach. Aleks also worked in Bangkok in the UNODC Border Management programme where he helped develop a secure communication platform to collect and share intelligence at border locations across Southeast Asia to combat transnational organized crime. 


Anupama Chouhan, Management and Admin Associate, South Asia

Anupama joined UNODC in April 2007. She assists the Regional Representative in the overall day-to-day management and coordination of office activities and manages her agenda. She also acts as the security focal point for UNODC.



Deepika Naruka, Programme Coordinator for Countering Transnational Organised Crime and Trafficking, South Asia

Deepika is the Programme Coordinator for countering transnational organised crime (TOC) and trafficking.  She has extensive experience on human security, gender and development in various countries, and has worked with UNODC in South Asia, East Asia & Pacific, and at the headquarters, on programmes related to countering trafficking in persons and drug control. Her interest is also in preventing wildlife crime and climate change. She also brings experience of having worked with other UN agencies and organisations, including UNIDIR, UNDP, SARI/Equity etc. Her academic background is in International Relations and Chemistry, with specialisation in Conflict Analysis and UN Peacekeeping. 



Geeta Bhaskar, Admin and Finance Associate, South Asia

Geeta joined UNODC in New Delhi in March 2012. She supports the Office's work on anti-corruption and HIV prevention in prisons.



Jayant Misra, Consultant (Drug Law Enforcement), South Asia

Jayant is associated with UNODC South Asia as an expert consultant on drug law enforcement. A career civil servant, Jayant joined the Indian Revenue Service, Government of India in 1981. Prior to UNODC, he served as the Director General, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence. He last assignment before leaving the Government in 2019 was Chairman, Settlement Commission. He has held several important positions including Member, Customs, Excise and Service Tax Settlement Commission; Director General, GST and Director General, Systems. Misra previously served as the Chief Commissioner, Customs and Central Excise Zone, Vadodara (Gujarat), the Development Commissioner, NEPZ, Ministry of Commerce, and OSD/Joint Secretary/Director, Rajya Sabha. He was also a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) at the Allahabad University. A graduate in Physics, he holds a Masters in History; Masters in Business Administration with specialization in Finance and a degree in Law from Delhi University. His hobbies include Photography, Travel and Reading. 


Poonam Bhambri, Programme Associate (Human Resources), South Asia

Poonam joined UNODC in 1989. She is responsible for the human resource management of the regional office.


Rajesh Kumar, Field Office Support Engineer, South Asia

Rajesh joined UNODC in November 2003. He is responsible for providing support to field offices with their day-to-day information technology needs. 



Samarth Pathak, Communications Officer and Focal Point (Youth and Education), South Asia

Samarth joined UNODC in May 2017 as the Communications Officer for South Asia. In this role, Samarth coordinates strategic advocacy, communications, public affairs and external relations for UNODC in the region. He also leads youth and education-focused initiatives on the SDGs, peace, crime prevention and integrity in the region. During COVID-19, he spearheaded in India the 'Lockdown Learners' series, aimed at strengthening youth action on peace, SDGs and the rule of law through education, with an emphasis on bridging socio-economic and gender-divides. The series was featured in the prestigious UN Innovation Network's 'Best of 2020 Initiatives' for its innovation and impact. Prior to UNODC, Samarth worked as a news producer with Reuters TV and moved to the policy-development space in his stints with reputed international think tanks. His work experience encompasses strategic communication, community engagement on the SDGs, partnerships and external relations, policy analysis and public advocacy, Track II Diplomacy, network building and news reporting and production. Samarth has previously written for The Huffington Post, Medium, The Guardian, Reuters Alertnet, The Dawn, Hardnews and The Asian Age, and has appeared as a panelist in media dialogues and podcasts. 


Savita Bhat, Admin and Finance Associate, South Asia

Savita has been working with UNODC since 1999. She provides financial and administrative support to the regional project on drug law enforcement.



Seema Joshi Arya, Criminal Justice Expert, South Asia

Seema works as the Criminal Justice Officer at the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia. Her work includes providing policy level inputs on matters relating to criminal justice and transnational organized crime. She has extensive experience in the field ofhuman rights, criminal law, justice sector reform, access to justice, drug trafficking, gender and prison reform.She has over fifteen years of experience in working with diversified systems, sectors and organizations, ranging from the civil society, government, international organizations, and other UN organizations. She has attained her degree in Law from the University of Delhi, India and holds a Master's in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford.


Stella Thomas, National Programme Officer (Finance and Operations), South Asia

Stella Thomas joined UNODC in 2004. She holds the overall responsibility of managing UNODC South Asia’s finance, budgeting, programming requirements related to Implementation and Operations. As NPO, Stella leads the Finance team and guides the Regional Office to effectively enhance overall financial and operational delivery. She is part of the core operations team of the Regional Office which is charged with backstopping implementation and administration of all programmes, projects and special initiatives, including planning and reporting. Besides oversight and quality assurance on finance matters, Stella works closely with project teams in the South Asian countries, UNODC HQs, government, UN partners and civil society.



Suruchi Pant, Deputy Representative, South Asia

Dr Suruchi Pant is the Deputy Representative of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia. She is responsible for the overall management and programmatic oversight of all technical cooperation projects/programmes/initiatives at UNODC ROSA. Over the last several years, she has managed various projects and initiatives on drugs and health, organized crime, corruption and criminal justice and her focus is to identify and develop new programmes, raise funds and advocate for the implementation of the Regional Programme for South Asia in close cooperation with UNODC partners in the South Asia region. She works with Governments, funding partners, UN and civil society to explore new partnerships for programming in UNODC mandated areas of drugs, crime, terrorism, criminal justice and corruption.


Devendra, R S Yadav, Diwan Ram, Security Guards, India

The Guards have been with UNODC since April 2004. They ensure proper security checks at the entrance and exit of persons and goods into and out of UNODC premises.



Fahmida Noor, Admin and Finance Associate, Bangladesh

Fahmida joined UNODC in March 2021 as the Admin and Finance Associate in Bangladesh. Fahmida has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Murdoch University Perth Australia, Dubai Campus and a BSc in Applied Accounting from the Oxford Brooks University, United Kingdom. Since 2017 Fahmida is also a member of Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a global body of successful professionals in the finance and accounting field. Prior to joining the UN, Fahmida worked for over 10 years in Dubai, United Arab Emirates in sectors such as Banking, Manufacturing, Engineering and Oil & Gas refinery. 



Mohammad Hasibul Haq, Admin and Finance Associate, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Bangladesh

Hasibul joined UNODC GLO.ACT-Bangladesh project on countering trafficking in persons and the smuggling of migrants in April 2020. He contributes to effective project implementation and operations, with extensive support on all issues related to administrative and financial management, procurement, travel, and ensuring the overall timeliness of delivery. Before joining GLO.ACT-Bangladesh, Hasibul had been working with UNODC Bangladesh since August 2018 providing administrative and financial support under various projects. Hasibul has more than 16 years of experience working with different organizations including UNODC, UNDP, the World Bank and others. During this period, he worked in the areas of finance, accounts, audit, budget, sub-grant management, procurement and other relevant project support activities. Hasibul completed his Master’s degree in Commerce, with a major in Accounting.


Joshua Arteta Gonzalez, Associate Programme Officer, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Bangladesh

Joshua works under UNODC's Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP), Indian Ocean East Team as an Associate Programme Officer, covering project implementation and operations to strengthen maritime and riverine security in Bangladesh. He first joined UNODC in 2018 when GMCP's office was established in Colombo, Sri Lanka. In 2020, he was deployed to Male, Maldives, where he was in charge of consolidating and expanding GMCP's portfolio, leading to projects aimed at enhancing the capabilities of criminal justice actors and law enforcement members in a variety of topics, including security preparedness and response in local/hybrid islands, maritime domain awareness (MDA), law enforcement, criminal intelligence, maritime governance, blue enforcement, prosecution of maritime offences, and research in the maritime space. He also supported the implementation of capacity-building initiatives to contribute the government's efforts on prison reform, particularly prison security, incident management, rehabilitation and COVID-19 prevention and response in prison settings. Thanks to this experience, he has gained knowledge on various types of mairitme crimes, including drug trafficking at sea, trafficking in persons (including organ removal), maritime terrorism, crimes affecting the fisheries sector, and crimes impacting the marine space. Joshua's background is in International Relations with a specialization in State/Public Management, and he holds a Master's degree in International Development and Management from Lund University, Sweden. 



Muhammad Mahdy Hassan, National Programme Officer (Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants) and Country Lead (GLO.ACT), Bangladesh 

Mahdy is the National Programme Officer (Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants) and country lead for the GLO.ACT-Bangladesh programme. He has over seven years of progressive working experience on the prevention and fight against trafficking in persons and policy advocacy on the rights of the refugees, migrant workers, Dalit (untouchable), persons with disability, indigenous women and minority people. Mahdy is trained on human rights, protection mainstreaming, protection and assistance to the victims and the human rights programme management and implementation. Prior to working with UNODC, Mahdy worked with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and played his role as counter-trafficking and protection focal point, supporting in conducting and designing a training programme for the law enforcement agencies. He had also worked with UNDP, BRAC, Relief International, ARTICLE 19 and the National Human Rights Commission Bangladesh. Mahdy holds a Bachelor of Laws degree and a Master of Laws degree from University of Dhaka. In addition, he participated in a specialized course on Economic, Social and Development Rights at the Kathmandu School of Law, Nepal.


Md Mohaimenul Islam, Project Support Associate, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Bangladesh

Mohaimenul is currently working as a Project Support Associate at UNODC, supporting Global Maritime Crime Programme in Bangladesh. Previously he also supported UNODC's project activities under Global Action against Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants and the Global Programme to Strengthen the Legal Regime against Terrorism. Before joining UNODC's Global Maritime Crime Programme, he worked with the United Nations Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials, Cambodia, and gained expertise in international law. Mohaimenul holds a background in law and is a published author. He has special interests in law reform and international criminal justice.



S.M. Naheeaan, National Programme Coordinator, Bangladesh

Naheeaan started his work with UNODC Bangladesh in June 2020 as National Programme Coordinator. His responsibilities with UNODC mainly comprise coordination and effective implementation of the UNHCR-funded project on building knowledge, capacities and resilience to counter threats of drugs and crime in Cox's Bazar, as well as advocacy and coordination with the Government of Bangladesh and other relevant stakeholders with regard to project activities in the field of countering organized crime and drugs, with a focus on human rights and gender. He will also support ongoing initiatives and help develop new projects for Bangladesh under the Regional Programme for South Asia; provide substantive inputs to the Government of Bangladesh and other relevant stakeholders in the field of countering drugs and crime, human rights and gender, and support fundraising efforts. Naheeaan has been working in the UN system for over ten years and has worked with four UN agencies. In his last position before joining UNODC, he had worked with UN Women on Ending Violence Against Women (EVAW), Gender-Responsive Budgeting and Planning (GRB&P) and Gender & HIV areas. He had also worked with UNDP on Business and Human Rights and GRB&P areas. Before that he had worked in various capacities with UNAIDS, UNFPA, Cairn Energy Bangladesh Limited, and SHURID-Bangladesh. Naheeaan holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science. Currently he is pursuing another Master’s in Governance Studies.


Md. Abu Taher, National Programme Coordinator (HIV/AIDS), Bangladesh

Taher started his job with UNODC Bangladesh in March 2020 as National Programme Coordinator (HIV/AIDS). His responsibilities with UNODC include leading the HIV/AIDS Programme in Bangladesh, programme management and development, contributing to resource mobilization for the HIV/AIDS programme in Bangladesh, contributing to developing and maintaining strategic partnerships, as well as assistance in fundraising efforts of UNODC. Before joining UNODC, Taher worked with CARE Bangladesh for over 19 years. Throughout his career, he has worked in different capacities on development issues including HIV/AIDS & Drugs; Migration & Development; Labour Empowerment and Promotion of Labour Rights; Women & Child trafficking; Child Marriage, as well as Governance and System Strengthening. He has good working experience both with public and private donors including EC, DFID, USAID, World Bank and others. Academically, Taher obtained a Master’s in Sociology and has also completed a professional Master’s degree in Governance Studies.



A.B.M Ziaul Kabir, National Programme Officer (Prisons), Bangladesh

Ziaul joined UNODC in Bangladesh in March 2021. His responsibilities at UNODC include managing the programmatic and financial implementation of prison reform projects, developing and facilitating regional and national level training activities, facilitating establishment of technical working groups on prisons, contributing to technical consultations with donors and other actors on criminal justice and prison related matters and exploring new fund-raising opportunities. He has more than 20 years of professional experience on programme development, management and policy advocacy in different countries in Asia (Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Thailand) and Africa (Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar and Burkina Faso) on issues related to poverty reduction, violence against women, girls and children, human and child rights, trafficking in persons and safe migration, and strengthening parliamentary institutions and practices. He obtained both his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Social Anthropology from Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka and a LLB degree from National University. Prior to working with UNODC, he worked with UNDP Bangladesh, Plan International Bangladesh, the Asia Foundation, Danish International Development Assistance–Government of Bangladesh (DANIDA-GOB), ICDDR,B and WaterAid Bangladesh.





Pema Namgyel, Administrative and Finance Assistant, Bhutan

Pema joined UNODC in Bhutan in July 2017. He is responsible for the administration and finance of UNODC's anti-human trafficking project.



Tandin Wangmo, Programme Coordinator, Bhutan

Tandin Wangmo was previously the CEO/Executive Director of RENEW. Founded by Her Majesty the Queen Mother Sangay Choden Wangchuck (2004), RENEW is the only organization dedicated to the empowerment of women and children, with specific attention to the survivors of domestic/gender-based violence. Ms. Wangmo holds a Masters' degree in Educational Studies from the University of Newcastle, Australia. She has also worked with the Media and Knowledge Centre, People's Democratic Party, Institute of Management Studies, Gross National Happiness Centre and the Ministry of Education in Bhutan. She has proven resource mobilisation skills and experience of developing strategic plans and policies. She has been a Master Trainer in Life Skills Education, Public Health Issues, Leadership and Communication Skills. She holds a Masters in Educational Studies from the University of Newcastle, Australia and a Bachelor's in Education from Samtse College of Education, Bhutan.


Tshering Na, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Bhutan

Tshering joined the UNODC Bhutan project office in November 2019 as a Monitoring and Evaluation Officer. He holds a master’s degree in forestry from the University of Natural Resources and Life Science Vienna, Austria. During his eleven years of experience, he had been working as a planner, project coordinator, researcher and Deputy Chief Forestry Officer under the Department of Forest and Park Services in Bhutan.




Arujun Mohamed, National Programme Officer, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Maldives

Arujun has long served as a police officer in the Maldives prior to joining UNODC. His 17-year career in law enforcement has contributed to the improvement of law enforcement services and stakeholder agencies such as the Maldives Anti-Corruption Commission, Immigration, the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF), and other cooperative institutions in the Maldives. His primary contributions were related to criminal investigations and law enforcement communication, as well as training and educating the police force and its stakeholder agencies. Arujun holds a Bachelor's degree in Security and Law Enforcement Studies and a Master's degree in Communication from Malaysia's Taylors University.



Enrico Boninsegna, Head of Office a.i., Maldives

Mr. Enrico Boninsegna started his assignment with UNODC in May 2020, supporting activities carried out in the field of preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. Prior to his current position, Mr. Boninsegna worked for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe as a Monitoring Officer in Donetsk (Non-Government-Controlled Areas of Ukraine) for one year, and as a Human Rights Officer on Countering Terrorism in Warsaw (Poland) for six years. Additional professional experiences include working as an Associate Expert for UNODC’s Regional Office for Central Asia (2010-2012) in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and as a defence Case Manager at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (2009-2010) in The Hague, The Netherlands. Mr. Boninsegna holds a master’s degree in law from the University of Bologna (Italy) and a LL.M. from the University of Turin (Italy) jointly organized with the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute. 



Abhishek Bista, Project Assistant, Nepal

Abhishek joined UNODC Nepal from April 2020 and is responsible for providing general administrative support to the Office. His past experiences include: Program Coordinator, Survivors Nepal; Program Officer, European Economic Chamber. He holds a Post graduate degree in International Relations.




Reena Pathak , Project Officer, Nepal

Reena Pathak joined UNODC in October 2018. She has over 11 years of professional experience working on gender, human rights, labor migration and human trafficking issues. She has worked with The Asia Foundation, Forum for Women, Law and Development (FWLD), Peoples Law Firm and Research Center, Kathmandu School of Law. Her responsibilities with UNODC will include substantive and financial implementation of project activities; support of law reform initiatives on gender-based violence issues, human trafficking, human smuggling, drug trafficking and assistance to the Programme Coordinator in a number of areas, including exploration of new funding opportunities, providing legal and policy implications on those areas. Her good rapport with the human rights agencies and stakeholders of the justice system and experience of working in with the government and non-government agencies will prove to be highly helpful in delivering required results, developing work plans and building collaboration with other national and international stakeholders. She holds bachelor's degree in Law and Master's Degree (LL.M) in Human Rights and Gender Justice.  



Nabaraj Giri, Driver, Nepal

Nabraj joined UNODC in Nepal in July 2008. He works for the Nepal office and drives staff and official guests safely to their destinations.


Anusha Munasinghe, National Programme Coordinator, Sri Lanka 

Anusha is the National Program Officer in Sri Lanka. Her work includes a wide range of areas, including criminal justice reform, drugs and health, prison reform, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, legal aid and access to justice. Prior to her current role with the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime, Anusha was the Additional Secretary at the Ministry of Justice, Sri Lanka. She also served as UNHCR’s Bali Process Project Coordinator based in the Regional Support Office (RSO) in Bangkok. Anusha has extensive experience on rule of law, administration of justice, access to justice, child rights, legal aid, alternative dispute resolution, migration and human trafficking, policy planning, development and analysis. Anusha studied Law at the University of Colombo and holds a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the Monash University in Australia.


Badra Duflot, National Project Officer, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Sri Lanka

Badra joined the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) in January 2021 in the Colombo office for the Indian Ocean East (IOE) team as a National Project Officer and has the MLE portfolio in Sri Lanka with activities including trainings of prosecutors, inter-agency and regional cooperation for VBSS, Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) and Crimes that Affect the Environment. Badra moved to Sri Lanka in 2017, as an entrepreneur for creating an eco-responsible hotel project. Before coming to Sri Lanka, Badra worked in various private sectors in metallurgy at Alstom France and Renewable Energies at GE France. Badra has a Bachelor Degree in Business Management from Southampton Solent University in UK, and is currently enrolled in an online Master Degree in Maritime Law at the Law Faculty and Political Science of Nantes in France.



Dushanthi Fernando, National Project Coordinator, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Sri Lanka

Dushanthi joined the UNODC in 2020 as a National Programme Officer and supported all UNODC activities on preventing and countering terrorism and violent extremism. In 2022, she joined the Global Maritime Crime Programme, to support its projects focused on detention, imprisonment, prevention of violent extremism and management of High-risk Prisoners. She has over ten years of experience under different capacities in both humanitarian and development sectors, working on peacebuilding, human rights, forced migration, gender and advocacy. Prior to joining UNODC, she provided technical assistance, programme management and external relations support to the Office of the Resident Coordinator and UNHCR in Sri Lanka. She holds a Master’s degree in International Development Studies from Uppsala University in Sweden and a Master’s degree in International Relations from University of Colombo in Sri Lanka.


Pernille Rasmussen, Programme Coordinator, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Sri Lanka

Pernille Rasmussen is the Programme Coordinator for the UNODC Global Maritime Crime Programme’s (GMCP) regional team in South Asia – Indian Ocean East (IOE) Team – and based in Sri Lanka. The team holds a large portfolio of activities in Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka, providing support to the entire criminal justice chain with the aim to strengthen maritime security in the region. Activities include inter-agency and regional VBSS and Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA) training for Maritime Law Enforcement (MLE), training of prosecutors to ensure legal finish and not least support to the Correctional Services. Mrs. Rasmussen first joined GMCP in Nairobi where she covered the portfolio of prison training and activities in Kenya and Somalia. Before joining UNODC, Mrs. Rasmussen served the Danish Army as linguist and cultural advisor with a mission to Afghanistan. She holds a master’s degree in International Relations from Copenhagen Business School.


Supunika Subasinghe, Programme Assistant, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Sri Lanka

Supunika joined UNODC Global Maritime Programme (GMCP) Sri Lanka in July 2019. Being the first Programme Support staff joined for GMCP Sri Lanka team, she contributed extensively in building up the operational and financial base to carry out the programme implementation activities. She currently provides financial and administrative support to the GMCP Indian Ocean East team in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bangladesh. Prior to joining UNODC, she has worked in UNDP and also has 9 years of work experience serving in private sector organizations in management and advisory roles. Supunika is an Associate member of Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)-UK, and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems and Management from University of London.



Thaminda Perera, Admin and Finance Associate, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Sri Lanka 

Thaminda joined UNODC in 2020 as the Admin and Finance Associate at the Project Office in Sri Lanka. Thaminda has a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Cardiff Metropolitan University, United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sustainable Performance Management from the Manchester Metropolitan University. He further studied management accounts from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, London, United Kingdom. Thaminda’s first appointment with the UN was with UNICEF Regional Office in Denmark. He joined UNHCR Colombo Office as Admin and Finance Associate in 2016. Prior to the UN, Thaminda worked for KPMG and Ernst & Young for nearly seven years. During his tenures with the UN and Mercantile sector, he has worked as an Auditor, Audit Supervisor, Finance Controller, Finance Assistant and Admin and Finance Associate. 


Thowfeek Ismail, Programme Assistant, Indian Ocean East Team, Global Maritime Crime Programme, Sri Lanka

Thowfeek joined UNODC in Sri Lanka Project Office in November 2018 and moved to Global Maritime Crime Programme (GMCP) in April 2020. His responsibilities would be providing administrative and financial support to GMCP in Sri Lanka. He has extensive experience with UN in Admin and Finance and Procurement over 16 years. He pursued a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and an Executive MSc in Finance also, reading an MBA at the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.