Leadership

Elizabeth Spehar

Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) in Cyprus and Head of UNFICYP 

SRSG Spehar succeeded Lisa. M Buttenheim, who completed her assignment on 10 June 2016.

SRSG Spehar has extensive political experience in several senior positions with the United Nations Department of Political Affairs since 2007, where she has previously served as the Director of the Policy and Mediation Division, Director for the Americas and Europe Division and Director of the Europe Division, engaging extensively on key political issues facing the region.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Spehar was a senior official with the Organization of American States for over 12 years, working on promoting democracy and developing the Organization’s instruments for dialogue and conflict resolution.

She holds a B.A. Honours Degree from Queen’s University, Canada; a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University, Canada, and a Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures from the University of Pau, France.

She was born in Port Arthur, Canada, and has a daughter. 

Major General Ingrid Gjerde

Force Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus
 

Major General Ingrid Gjerde joined the army in 1987. After graduating from the Norwegian Army Military Academy as an infantry officer, she subsequently commanded rifle and mortar platoons in Brigade North, a rifle company in Telemark Battalion, His Majesty the King’s Guard infantry battalion and the Norwegian Army Military Academy. 
 
In 2005 she attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, returning in 2011 to the US Army War College in Pennsylvania. From these institutions, she holds master’s degrees in Military Art and Science, and Military Strategy, in addition to a Master’s in Political Science awarded by the University of Oslo. 
 
On the staff she has held various positions within the Norwegian Ministry of Defense, where she was responsible for strategic planning and strategic communication. In 20162018, she was Chief of Staff and Second in Command of the Norwegian Army, and latterly from 2018-2021 the Chief of Staff/Plans for the Norwegian Armed Forces. 
 
Operationally she has deployed in southern and northern Norway, Lebanon, Bosnia and Afghanistan. This included service as a rifle platoon commander and assistant operations Officer in UNIFIL Lebanon, rifle company commander in Stabilisation Force Bosnia and Herzegovina and the national contingent commander within the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. 
 
In May 2021 she commenced her appointment of Force Commander UNFICYP. 
 
Major General Gjerde is married to an army officer, and they have twins born in 2000. She enjoys a variety of mountain sport and outdoor life, and is passionate about cross-country skiing. Travelling and literature is also of great interest. 

Assistant Police Commissioner Satu Koivu 

Senior Police Adviser

United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP)

Satu Koivu is an Assistant Police Commissioner at the National Police Board of Finland with 33 years of experience as a police officer. With long term experience and wide knowledge and education of policing at strategic and operational levels, her leadership and management skills have been approved in practice. She has held positions such as Senior Police Adviser and Head of Police Component.

In 2014, she was the Assistant Police Commissioner/Chief of Human Recourses Development at the National Police Board of Finland. In 2009 until 2013 she served as a Chief Superintendent at Police Department in Finland. She was First in line supervisor, Sergeant for uniformed police patrols (team leader) at Police Department from 1996 – 2004. She began her career 1988 – 1995 as a Constable and Senior detective constable (crime investigation) at Police Department in Finland.

Her international experience includes being a lecturer as an expert, organizer and chairman in several international meetings and a lecturer as an expert on Human Resources, Gender and Capacity building and development in the context of crises management at the EU Police Services Training Conference and EU CSDP High Level Course.

In 2012, she was Team leader and lecturer for Eastern Africa Standby Force Coordination mechanism (EASFCOM) organised UNPOL civilian police officer course in Rwanda while she was also a lecture and mentor in European Union Police Officer Course, The Crisis Management Centre, Finland (EUPOL). From 2003 until 2011 she was a Project member in training and education project for future Namibian Police Leaders and a Police Training Adviser and Lead Police Adviser in EU Police Co-ordinating Office for Palestinian Police Support in Palestine Occupied territories (EUPOL COPPS).

Assistant Police Commissioner Koivu holds a Master of Police Sciences from the University of Turku and professional teacher education from the University of Helsinki.

She is an active member of the Zonta International Foundation since 1995. She is married and has two daughters.

 

 

Heads of Mission /Special Representatives

22 Ms. Lisa Buttenheim (USA)  June 2010 - June 2016
21 Mr. Taye-Brook Zerihoun (Ethiopia) May 2008 - April 2010
20 Ms. Elizabeth Spehar (Canada) 30 March 2008 – 07 May 2008
19 Mr. Michael Moller (Denmark) January 2006 - March 2008
18 Mr. Zbiniew Wlosowicz (Poland) 2005 - 2006
17 Mr. Alvaro de Soto (Special Adviser, Peru) 2000 - 2004
16 Mr. James Holger (Acting, Chile) 1999 - 2000
15 Dame Ann Hercus (New Zealand)  1999 - 1999
14 Mr. Diego Cordovez (on a non resident basis) 1997 - 1999
13 Mr. Han Sung - Joo (Republic of Korea) 1996 - 1997
12 * Mr. Joe Clark (on a non-resident basis)  1993 - 1996
11 Mr. Oscar Camilion (Argentina) 1988 - 1993
10 Mr. James Holger (Acting, Chile) 1984 - 1988
9 Mr. Hugo J. Gobbi (Argentina)  1980 – 1984
8 Mr. Reynaldo Galindo Pohl (El Salvador)  1978 - 1980
7 Mr. Remy Gorge (Acting)  1977 - 1978
6 Mr. Javier Perez de Cuellar (Peru)  1975 - 1977
5 Mr. Luis Weckmann-Muñoz (Mexico)  1974 - 1975
4 Mr. Bibiano Fernandez Osorio - Tafall  1967 - 1974
3 Mr. P.P. Spinelli (Acting)  1967 - 1967
2 Mr. Carlos A. Bernardes (Brazil)  1964 - 1967
1 Mr. Galo Plaza Lasso (appointed as Mediator in September, Ecuador)  1964 - 1964

* In August 1994, in connection with the change of command from Major-General Minehane to Brigadier-General Vartiainen, Mr. Clark became Chief of Mission. The function of Chief of Mission reflects a unified arrangement for the United Nations operation in Cyprus and includes UNFICYP. In the absence of the Special Representative, the Deputy Special Representative assumed this function.

 

UNFICYP Force Commander history

20

Major General Cheryl Pearce 
(Australia )                                                    

Jan 2019 – Dec
2021

19

Major General Mohammad Humayun Kabir (Bangladesh)

Aug 2016-July 2018

18

Major General Kristin Lund (Norway)

Aug 2014-July 2016

17

Major General Chao Liu (China)

Jan 2011 - Aug 2014

16

Rear Admiral Mario Sánchez Debernardi (Peru)

Apr 2008 - Dec 2010

15

Major-General Rafael Jose Barni (Argentina)

Mar 2006 - Mar 2008

14

Major-General Hebert Figoli (Uruguay)

Jan 2004 - Jan 2006

13

Lieutenant-General Jin Ha Hwang (Republic of Korea)

Jan 2002 - Dec 2003

12

Major-General Victory Rana (Nepal)

Dec 1999 - Dec 2001

10

Brigadier-General Ahti Toimi Vartiainen

Aug 1994 - Feb1997

9

Major-General Michael F. Minehane (Ireland)

Apr 1992 - Aug 1994

8

Major-General Clive Milner (Canada)

Apr 1988 - Apr 1992

7

Major-General Gunther G. Greindl (Austria)

Mar 1981 - Apr 1988

6

Major-General J. J. Quinn (Ireland)

Dec 1976 - Mar 1981

5

Lieutenant-General Dewan Prem Chand (India)

Dec 1969 - Dec 1976

4

Lieutenant-General I A E Martola (Finland

May 1966 - Dec 1969

3

Brigadier A. J. Wilson (Acting, United Kingdom)

Dec 1965 - May 1966

2

General K. S. Thimayya (India - died in Cyprus)

Jun 1964 - Dec 1965

1

General Gyani (India)

Mar 1964 - Jun 1964