Saving Syria's Civilians:  Overview | Panel 1 | Panel 2 | Keynote
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Saving Syria's Civilians: Urgent Priorities and Policies

Panel I: Mapping the Crisis

Amin Awad, UNHCR
Abdallah Al-Dardari, UN-ESCWA, Beirut
Uma Kandalayeva, International Relief and Development
Jomana Qaddour, Syria Relief and Development, Inc.


Panelist Biographies


Amin Awad's distinguished service with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees spans more than 25 years, serving in countries at the peak of crises. He worked for four years as UNHCR representative in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (1999-2003) while simultaneously acting as the United Nations humanitarian coordinator and designated official for security during the Macedonian crisis. In 2003, Mr. Awad went on to become the coordinator of Iraq operations for the Bureau for Central Asia, South-West Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. From 2005 to 2009 he served as representative in Sri Lanka, followed by assuming directorship of the Division of Emergency, Security, and Supply. Since July, Mr. Awad has served as the director of the Middle East and North Africa Bureau at UNHCR headquarters.

Abdallah al-Dardari was appointed the chief economist of UN-ESCWA in 2012, a position he holds in addition to his title as director of the Economic Development and Globalization Division (EDGD) since 2011. He has a wealth of expertise on poverty reduction strategies, governance, and macroeconomics. From 2005-2011 Mr. al-Dardari served as deputy prime minister for economic affairs and minister of planning in the Syrian Arab Republic. He also held the offices of chairman of the State Planning Commission and UNDP's assistant resident representative in Syria. 

Dr. Uma Kandalayeva is a veteran international relief and development program manager and chief of party and country director with over 15 years of experience. She currently leads the IRD Jordan and IRD Lebanon country offices, where she designed IRD’s ongoing programs in support of Iraqi and Syrian refugees residing in Jordan and Lebanon, including camp management and psychosocial and public health services in the Za‘atari refugee camp. During the ongoing Syrian crisis, she has developed special interventions that strengthen refugees’ access to basic social services, as well as helped the Jordanian government to manage the refugee influx. Previously, Dr. Kandalaeva oversaw projects for UNHCR, USAID, ECHO, the Department of State, and the Dutch, British, and Japanese governments.
Jomana Qaddour is the co-founder and legal counsel for Syria Relief & Development Inc., an organization that seeks to provide direct emergency and ongoing humanitarian relief for Syrians who have been affected by violence, poverty, hunger, or homelessness since 2011. She has participated frequently in roundtables and meetings on Syria's humanitarian and political situation, appeared in a number of media and public speaking engagements regarding Syria, and spent time in Jordan with Syrian refugees. She is also a research assistant at the Brookings Institution's Saban Center for Middle East Policy, with a specific focus on Syria, Egypt, and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.