UNAMA's senior leadership team consists of Tadamichi Yamamoto, Pernille Dahler Kardel, and Mark Bowden.
Special Representative of the Secretary-General
Tadamichi Yamamoto was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in June 2016.
At the time of his appointment Mr. Yamamoto was serving as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan (Political Affairs), a position he had held since November 2014.
Mr. Yamamoto served as Ambassador of Japan to Hungary from 2012 and was the Special Representative of the Government of Japan for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2010 to 2012.
He is a Japanese diplomat with 40 years of professional experience in political affairs, international cooperation and economic development, spanning several continents.
Mr. Yamamoto has held several positions with Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ranging from Director-General of the Public Diplomacy Department to Ambassador in charge of International Counter-Terrorism and Reconstruction Assistance to Iraq.
He has also served as the Permanent Delegate of Japan to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
Mr. Yamamoto holds a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering from the Tokyo Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oxford, UK.
Born in 1950 he is married and has two children.
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Political)
Pernille Dahler Kardel
Pernille Dahler Kardel was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan in June 2016.
Ms. Kardel brings twenty-five years of experience in diplomacy, political affairs, international cooperation and economic development, spanning several continents.
Most recently Ms. Kardel served as Ambassador of Denmark to the Arab Republic of Egypt.
From 2007 to 2012, she was Denmark’s Ambassador to Ethiopia as well as to Sudan, South Sudan, Djibiouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
She has held several positions with Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ranging from Counselor with the Permanent Mission to the United Nations to Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow, Russia, and Second Secretary in New Delhi, India. She also served as the Head of the Asia Department in Denmark’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, covering Afghanistan among other countries.
Ms. Kardel holds two master degrees, one in International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University (USA), and one in interdisciplinary planning from Roskilde University (Denmark).
Born in 1962, she is married and has two children.
Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator)
Mark Bowden was appointed as the Secretary-General’s Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan in November 2012. He also holds the posts of UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Afghanistan.
Prior to his current appointment, Mr. Bowden was UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative and UN Designated Official for Somalia from April 2008 to November 2012.
Mr. Bowden previously served as Director of Civil Affairs in the United Nations Mission in Sudan and as Chief of the Policy Development and Studies Branch in the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
From 1999 to 2001 Mr. Bowden was Conflict Management Adviser for Africa in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK. Earlier in his career, Mr. Bowden worked for the Save the Children Fund, including as Country Director in Bangladesh, Head of Regional Office for East Africa and Africa Director.
Mr. Bowden holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Economics from Brunel University, UK.
Born in 1951, he has two daughters.