Our Team – Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS

Zanofer Ismalebbe

Regional Chief, Division for Arab States, Europe and the CIS, UNOSSC


He assumed this role in October 2020. Prior to joining UNOSSC, he was the Team Leader of the Intergovernmental Engagement Team in the Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy (BERA) of UNDP New York from 2015-2020. During this period, and from 2019-2020, he also served concurrently as the Team Leader ad interim of the UN System Affairs Group. In both capacities, he led on strategic positioning, representation, advocacy and partnerships; policy and political outreach to Member States and groupings of States on a number corporate matters and thematic areas; intergovernmental negotiation processes; UN development system reform outreach and engagement; served in the drafting committee of the UN System-wide Strategy on South-South and Triangular cooperation; and was the Bureau’s lead in UNDP’s engagement in the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board and the Joint Meeting of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN-Women and WFP.

From 2013-2014, he worked as the Senior Policy Specialist in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General in New York and provided policy support to Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General, including on Post-2015 development agenda, G20, UN reform, South-South Cooperation, and UN Development Group matters. From 2000-2013, he worked in UNDP (Geneva), Office of the UN Resident Coordinator (Tashkent), UNDP (Tashkent), UNICEF (Colombo), UNHCR (Colombo) and UNHCR (London). From 1998-1999, he also worked as a Researcher for the Law and Society Trust (Colombo) on legal and constitutional reform.

Zanofer is a lawyer by training with a Master of Law (LL.M.) from the University of Essex, UK, where he was a Chevening Scholar of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Massachusetts, USA.

Roula Sylla

Specialist for Arab States


She assumed this role in September 2021. From 2014 to 2021, she worked at the OECD as a Senior Policy Adviser and a Coordinator of different portfolios in the field of Public Governance. She collaborated with Governments, Political Institutions, Authorities at the local level and CSOs of the MENA region as well as OECD member countries and International Organisations and Donors. She has extensive working experience at the regional and national levels, on policy design and implementation, in the fields of public administration, the relevance of international support to the South on regional public administration reforms, public services, change management, well-being at work in the public sector, integrity, fighting corruption and gender equality in public life.

Before joining the OECD, she served as Head of the Administrative Department at the General Directorate of Finance in the Lebanese Ministry of Finance from 2003 to 2010; in parallel, she collaborated with the Institute of Finance Basil Fuleihan as a trainer between 2004 and 2010.

After graduating as a journalist from the Lebanese University, she graduated from the Lebanese National School of Administration (ENA) in 2003, and from ENA France in 2012. In addition, she followed a Master degree in Human Resources Management at Université Saint Jospeh , Lebanon, and holds a Master degree in Public Administration from ENA France.

Roula is French and Lebanese and is fluent in English, French and Arabic.

Artemy Izmestiev

Specialist for Europe and the CIS


He has worked with UNDP for over fifteen years. Until recently, he worked as a Policy Specialist at the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre for Global Development Partnerships. For several years at the Centre, he worked on sharing Korea’s development experience in various fields with countries around the world as well as the Centre’s policy work with the Government of Korea. Prior to that, he has served as an Advisor on issues on development effectiveness and accountability in Tajikistan, Ghana and Malawi. He also has extensive experience in South-South and Triangular Cooperation, having worked with Governments (on design and implementation of South-South Cooperation strategies and institutional capacity), think tanks (on related policy research) and civil society organizations (on inclusion and accountability). He has also collaborated with UNOSSC on numerous occasions.

Artemy has a Master’s degree in Economics from the Moscow University and another Master’s degree in European Studies from the Institute “Alcide de Gasperi” in Rome, Italy.

Naylya Berezovskaya

Operations Specialist


She joined the Division in 2018 as the International Consultant on Operations. Prior to UNOSSC assignment, she worked for different UN agencies: UNDP Uzbekistan (2002-2008) as Head of Administrative and Refugee Support Unit, UNDP Russia (2009-2013) as Administrative Specialist, MONUSCO Peacekeeping mission in Uganda (2013-2017) as UNV Administrative Officer. She specializes in UNDP/UN general administration including finance, procurement, logistics and travel. Naylya holds the University degree on Philology and UN specialized training courses.

Tingwei Yin

Programme Analyst


She joined the Division in January 2020 as a Programme Analyst based in Istanbul, Turkey. Prior to the UN assignment, she worked with the Investment Promotion Agency, Ministry of Commerce, China, from 2016 to 2020. Tingwei holds a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from the University of Southern California, USA, and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Jilin University, China.