Ms Anitta Underlin has served as Under Secretary General for Management at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies since June 2015. Prior to this, she was director of IFRC’s Europe office, located in Budapest, where she was responsible for managing humanitarian activities covering 53 countries throughout the region.
She holds a Master of Science degree in regional development studies from Copenhagen University and a Master of Science degree in sociology from Makerere University, Uganda (1999). Prior to her first mission to Africa in 1992, she was graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in social sciences, attained a diploma in tropical medicine Copenhagen University, and a degree in operational economics from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark.
Ms Underlin started her humanitarian work in 1982 heading a European Union-funded project for socially excluded youth in Denmark. She then established her own company in trade and design.
She went on her first international mission to Albania in 1991 shortly after the revolution. She then worked in Sudan before moving in 1993 to Geneva to work as a senior finance training officer at IFRC. She worked for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a financial management advisor to the Ministry of Health in Uganda (1996–2000). She returned in 2001 to the IFRC as a financial development delegate for the regional delegation in Kenya and subsequently became head of sub-regional office for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. Later she became head of the regional delegation in East Africa until 2006 and then moved to be head of the South Asia regional delegation in South Asia.
During her 19 years of work with the Danish Red Cross and IFRC, she has worked on missions in Albania, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, India, and Nepal.
Born in Aalborg, Denmark, she speaks English, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and has basic knowledge of German.
Anitta Underlin is the Under Secretary General for Management at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies since June 2015.