UNICEF PACIFIC WELCOMES SHELDON YETT AS NEW REPRESENTATIVE, AND BIDS FAREWELL TO DR KAREN ALLEN

Ambassador Nair said, “On behalf of the Fiji government, we welcome Mr. Yett to Fiji as the newly appointed Representative for UNICEF Pacific multi-country office.  We look forward to working closely with him and look forward to continuing our long standing partnership with UNICEF for the children of Fiji and the Pacific.”

Mr. Yett said of his new appointment, “It is an honor and a privilege to be here, and I look forward to working with governments, communities and partners in the region to advance the rights of children.”  Mr. Yett brings extensive experience to UNICEF Pacific, most recently serving as the UNICEF Representative to Liberia from 2013 – 2016 where he led UNICEF’s response to the deadly Ebola outbreak.

Prior to that, Mr. Yett served as UNICEF Representative to Macedonia from 2008 to 2013, and UNICEF Representative to Armenia from 2005 to 2008.  Mr. Yett has also served with UNICEF in Burundi, Somalia, Kosovo and New York, as well as other duty stations, and has also worked for the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs.  He has been active in the field of international development for the last 20 years.  Before joining the UN, he also worked for international NGOs in Rwanda, Niger, Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Mr. Yett is a former journalist and holds an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a BA in international studies from Reed College.

Outgoing Representative Dr. Karen Allen, joined UNICEF Pacific in July 2013. For ten years prior, Dr. Allen held different portfolios within UNICEF including in Pakistan, Uganda and the East and Southern Africa Regional Office. She is once again returning to South Africa, to take up the position of Sub-Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for UNICEF.

Ambassador Nair said, “I wish to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank Dr. Karen Allen for her tremendous support and commitment in her time here in the Pacific, especially in her then role as head of UNICEF with the recent emergency response following Cyclone Winston that affected so many of our Fijian children. We wish her well in her next appointment.”

Dr. Allen said of her time in the Pacific region, “It has been a privilege to extend my UNICEF career to the Pacific region.  For the past three years I have had the pleasure of working alongside colleagues whose passion for their work and for the children in the Pacific region is awe-inspiring.”

“From our development work around water, sanitation and hygiene, education, nutrition, health and child protection that will collectively lay better foundations for future generations, to rebuilding entire communities after emergencies like Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu and Cyclone Winston in Fiji, my time here has been enriching and rewarding. I very much look forward to seeing the Pacific’s continued progress for children in the coming years.”

For more information, please contact: Vika Waradi on phone (679) 3236 108 or (679) 8933033 or email vwaradi@unicef.org