Mr Youssouf Abdel-Jelil has served as UNICEF’s Representative in Viet Nam since August 2014 where he heads an integrated programme that focuses on equity, social protection, basic services and expanded partnerships for Viet Nam’s most disadvantaged children.
Prior to his posting to Viet Nam, Mr Abdel-Jelil was the UNICEF Representative to Syria from 2012-2014, where he led a complex, emergency response for child survival, protection and development during the humanitarian crisis. Under his stewardship, the UNICEF Syria country office staff were awarded the 2013 Staff Award by UNICEF’s Executive Board for their performance and dedication to Syria’s children during the humanitarian emergency.
Mr Abdel-Jelil also worked in global public health where he managed the Middle East and North African Regional team at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Geneva, Switzerland from 2009 to 2012.
Since joining UNICEF in 1998, Mr Abdel-Jelil has worked in various senior programme and management positions across West Africa, in New York and the Middle East, including Burundi, Gabon, Jordan and Nigeria.
A Mauritanian national, Mr Abdel-Jelil has also held several managerial positions in his home country’s Government and in the private sector, including as CEO of the Société Nationale Industrielle et Minière, Mauritania’s largest mining company.
Mr Abdel-Jelil has a Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) in Economics and Development from King’s College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and a Masters Degree in Government Administration from the FELS Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania in the United States. He is fluent in Arabic, English, French, and Spanish and is currently learning Vietnamese.
Mr Abdel-Jelil is married with three children.
Since Mr Abdel-Jelil arrived Viet Nam, he has adopted a favourite Vietnamese saying "Children today, the world tomorrow"