UNICEF Representative in Sudan
Ms. Mandeep O'Brien
A short biography
Over the past twenty-three years, Mandeep O’Brien has served in the United Nations, across three agencies, both in the field (South Asia, East Asia, Middle East & North Africa) and headquarters.
Since August 2021, Mandeep is serving as UNICEF Country Representative for the Republic of Sudan, overseeing twelve field offices and Khartoum amidst multifaceted crises and emergencies following a triple nexus – humanitarian, development, peace – approach to delivering results for children.
Before Sudan, Mandeep served as UNICEF Country Representative for the Islamic Republic of Iran since 2019 responsible for the country programme of assistance for vulnerable children in an evolving context of crises including sanctions and COVID-19 with Iran being the hardest hit in Middle East region.
Prior to her country postings in Middle East and North Africa, Mandeep served as Deputy Director for the Public Partnerships Division in UNICEF Headquarters, New York, since 2016 responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight of UNICEF’s global engagement in UN inter-agency and intergovernmental affairs, resource mobilization and multilateral partnerships with International Financial Institutions, including with the World Bank. From 2013 to 2015 she worked as UNICEF Senior Adviser and Team Leader for UN Partnerships and UN Development System Reform, UNICEF Headquarters.
Before joining UNICEF, Mandeep was UNFPA Deputy Representative for Viet Nam from 2011 to 2013. During this period, she also served as UNFPA Country Representative a.i. for a year. From 2006 to 2010, Mandeep was Strategic Planning Adviser in UNFPA working on the corporate strategic plan, corporate evaluation policy, and the global and regional programmes. During this period, Mandeep worked with the Harvard University on improving social policy implementation in countries across Africa (Ghana, Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia) and Asia (Nepal, Bangladesh and Indonesia).
Having qualified as a university lecturer in India, Mandeep started her career with United Nations in 2000 as UNDP National UNV Coordinator. From 2001 to 2005, she served as a National Programme Officer in India responsible for programmes of cooperation with ministries of Health, Education and Youth, and micro-credit programme with the State Government of Haryana.
Mandeep is an Indian national holding a Master’s degree in International Affairs, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Boston, USA; a Master’s degree in Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi, India and a Diploma in Health Research Methods, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK. She is a recipient of the President of India’s Kunda Datar gold medal for academic excellence. Mandeep is married and has a daughter.