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New UNV Executive Coordinator, Mr. Richard Dictus

UN Volunteers in Malawi with Richard Dictus at his farewell barbecue. Every December Richard organized barbecues as a means of interacting and socializing with all of the UN Volunteers in Malawi. (Photo: Dr. Stephen Chu/UNV Malawi, 2012)UN Volunteers in Malawi with Richard Dictus at his farewell barbecue. Every December Richard organized barbecues as a means of interacting and socializing with all of the UN Volunteers in Malawi. (Photo: Dr. Stephen Chu/UNV Malawi, 2012)
02 January 2013

Bonn, Germany: On 2 January 2013, the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme welcomes incoming Executive Coordinator Mr. Richard Dictus, appointed by the UNDP Administrator Ms. Helen Clark on 16 October 2012.  He succeeds the former UNV Executive Coordinator, Ms. Flavia Pansieri.

Richard is joining UNV from Malawi, where he has served as UN Resident Coordinator / UNDP Resident Representative since 2009.  He is bringing over 25 years of experience, in increasingly responsible positions, with various agencies in the United Nations system.

His own achievements notwithstanding, UNV’s incoming Executive Coordinator seems impressed by the organization he will now head, stating recently, “I am a bit in awe of the organization that I am joining. UNV has 7,300 UN Volunteers at the forefront of peace and development in some of the most difficult working environments in the world. More than 150 top professionals support them from the UNV headquarters in Bonn, offices in Tokyo and New York and Field Units in 86 countries across the globe.”

In Malawi, Richard gained plenty of firsthand experience with UN Volunteers, their services and their various areas of expertise.  There, the largest contingent of UN Volunteers consists of more than 50 UNV Doctors placed in district and central hospitals to help improve the health care of Malawians and transfer knowledge and skills to Malawian doctors. 

In his editorial in UNV Malawi’s August newsletter, he wrote about how UNV Doctors “…are saving lives… across the country and transmitting the volunteer spirit for the sustainable development of the country.”

In May, Richard presided over the handover of medical equipment, donated by a hospital in Germany through the initiative of one of the UNV Doctors, to the Intensive Care Unit of Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi.  “The doctor appealed to her friends and well-wishers in Germany for the equipment, having noticed acute lack of basic medical equipment especially in the Intensive Care Unit,” he said. “During the handover ceremony, it was touching to see a young boy… being treated using one of the donated ventilators.”

In his editorial, Richard also commended the role UN Volunteers in Malawi are playing to combat climate change.  “UN Volunteers mobilized communities in seven disaster prone districts to plant… over 70,000 trees. Additionally, rainwater harvesting dams were constructed and river gauge stations were established to prevent flooding.”

Before Malawi, Richard worked with the United Nations in Yemen, Sudan, Lesotho, Bangladesh, Pakistan, UNDP Headquarters in New York, and Fiji.

He graduated from the Technical University of Twente in the Netherlands with a Master’s degree in Public Administration and Development Studies.

Other languages: en français  en español  


UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)