Mr. Huang Xia

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes region

(1 April 2019 to --)

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today [22 January 2019] the appointment of Huang Xia of the People’s Republic of China as his Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region.  He succeeds Said Djinnit of Algeria, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for his dedicated service and distinguished United Nations career.

Mr. Xia brings over 30 years of diplomatic experience across the world, with experience in Africa, having served in several high-level positions.  He was the Ambassador of China to Niger (2009-2012), Senegal (2012-2015) and the Republic of Congo (2015-2018).  Most recently, he has served as the Ambassador at large of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China.  In earlier postings, he served in the Embassy of China to Gabon, in the Embassy of China to France, and as Deputy Mayor of the People’s Government of Jiamusi, Helongjiang Province in China.

Born in 1962, Mr. Xia is married and has a son.

Donata Garrasi

Director for political Affairs in the Office of the UN Special Envoy for the Great lakes

Donata has more than 20 years of experience working with leading multi-lateral and bi-lateral agencies in the field of peace and security.  She started her career with the United Nations covering crisis affected countries in West and Central Africa, Rwanda, and Afghanistan. She then served as Peace and Conflict Adviser and Senior Stabilisation Adviser with the UK government, leading on various aspects of peace and political processes in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia (Aceh, Molukkus), and on stabilisation operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

Donata held senior positions with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) where she led the conflict and fragility portfolio, and with the World Bank for which she has recently been leading Recovery and Peacebuilding reviews and processes.  In addition to her close involvement with peace processes and political transitions, Donata has, in the last few years, been working on innovative approaches to attract business and investment in crisis affected situations, in the context of broader peace consolidation efforts. Donata is an Italian national.

Mr. Aniefiok Johnson    

The Chief of Staff

Aniefiok Johnson is Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary‐General for the Great Lakes region, located in the United Nations Complex in Nairobi, Kenya. He has acquired over 27 years of experience from progressively responsible positions in diplomacy and international relations, including: Foreign Service postings to the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the United Nations in New York; the High Commission of Nigeria to Trinidad and Tobago, with concurrent accreditation to Barbados, Guyana and Suriname; the Nigerian Embassy in Bonn and Berlin, Germany as well as senior positions in the United Nations. He has provided strategic advice and mediation support to high‐ level UN and African Union Mediators, including Special Envoys of the Secretary‐General, African Union Co‐Facilitator and African Union‐United Nations Joint Special Representatives, in conflict resolution initiatives between the Government of Uganda and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the Darfur peace process, and peace processes in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Prior to joining the Great Lakes office, he was the Head of Office of the Joint Special Representative, African Union‐United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur and Chief of Staff, African Union‐United Nations Joint Mediation Support Team, Doha, State