Secretary General Jagan Chapagain

Mr Jagan Chapagain is the Secretary General of the IFRC. He took up this role on 1 February 2020 and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. Mr Chapagain has extensive experience and a broad knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, having begun his career as a youth volunteer at the Nepal Red Cross, advocating for and representing community voices.

Under Secretaries General

Global Relations, Humanitarian Diplomacy and Digitalization

Nena Stoiljkovic

Ms Nena Stoiljkovic has been working for more than 30 years on global development issues such as climate change, gender, and fragile and conflict-affected situations including through her previous role of Vice President for Asia and Pacific for the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Management Policy, Strategy and Corporate Services

Niamh Lawless

Ms. Niamh Lawless has over 30 years of experience in the international not-for-profit, public and private sectors. Prior to joining IFRC she served as the Secretary General of the New Zealand Red Cross (NZRC), where she launched a new Strategic Plan that outlined the roadmap for the future of the NZRC.

National Society Development and Operations Coordination

Xavier Castellanos

Mr Xavier Castellanos Mosquera has more than three decades experience in National Society development, resilience building and emergency humanitarian operations at the national, regional and global levels.


Regional Directors

Africa: Mohammed Omer Mukhier-Abuzein

Mr Mohammed Omer Mukhier-Abuzein has over 30 years of experience in humanitarian operations management, development work, representation, and strategic leadership. In his previous role as IFRC’s Deputy Regional Director in the Asia Pacific, he led programmes on disaster risk reduction, community resilience, climate change management, agriculture, food security, nutrition, community-driven development, livelihoods, National Society development and capacity building.

Americas: Martha Keays

Ms. Martha Keays has worked with the International Movement of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent over three decades in various capacities, including managing complex emergencies and large-scale operations in Africa, Asia Pacific and Latin America.

Asia Pacific: Alexander Matheou

Mr. Alexander Matheou has worked in the humanitarian sector for 20 years in the fields of disaster response, food security, social exclusion, displacement and migration, HIV/TB prevention, and institutional development, both within and outside the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Europe: Birgitte Bischoff Ebbesen

Ms. Birgitte Bischoff Ebbesen has spent more than 15 years working with the Danish Red Cross heading disaster management programmes in the Asia Pacific region. Prior to joining IFRC, she was the International Director of Danish Red Cross, and Co-chair of the IFRC Reference Centre for Psychosocial Support in Denmark.

Middle East and North Africa: Hossam Elsharkawi

Dr Hossam Elsharkawi has over 30 years of professional experience in the humanitarian world, spanning assignments in more than 35 countries, comprising volunteer and professional work with many National Societies, ICRC and IFRC. He was previously Vice President of Health in Emergencies, Learning and Innovation at the Canadian Red Cross, where he led the preparedness and response for complex humanitarian emergencies.

Christopher Rassi

Director, Office of the Secretary General

Mr Christopher Rassi has worked in different roles with the IFRC including most recently as Head of Country Cluster Delegation, based in Bangkok, Thailand and Representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia Pacific. In this capacity, Mr Rassi worked with National Societies in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as with our Federation leadership throughout Southeast Asia.

Sayed Hashem

Acting Director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations

Mr Sayed Hashem returned to the role of Director of the Office of Internal Audit and Investigations (OIAI) in 2020 after a period as Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. He joined the IFRC in 2003 and was appointed OIAI in 2008. Under his leadership, the IFRC created the Audit Risk Committee (2007), elevated to Commission by the General Assembly (2015).