Filippo Grandi is an Italian diplomat mainly active with the United Nations’ humanitarian operations. Between 2010 and 2014, he served as Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). He had earlier (since 2005) served as its Deputy Commissioner-General. On November 11, 2015, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his intention to appoint Grandi as the next United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to take office in 2016.
Grandi started his career in the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1988, and has served in a variety of countries, including Sudan, Syria, Turkey, and Iraq after the first Gulf War. He also headed a number of emergency operations including in Kenya, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa, Yemen and Afghanistan. Between 1996 and 1997, he was Field Coordinator for UNHCR and United Nations humanitarian activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo during the civil war. From 1997 to 2001, he worked in the Executive Office of the UNHCR in Geneva, as Special Assistant and then Chief of Staff. From 2001 to 2004, he served as the UNHCR’s Chief of Mission.
Grandi then moved to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in 2004, where he served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General responsible for political affairs from 2004–2005. In 2005 he moved to UNRWA, first as Deputy Commissioner-General and then from 2010 as Commissioner-General until March 29, 2014.
Grandi has a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the State Universities of Venice and Milan, and from the Gregorian University in Rome.