UNCDF’s Management Team | UNCDF


UNCDF’s Management Team

UNCDF’s Management Team

The Management Team assists the Executive Secretary in decision-making and strategic planning

Judith KARLExecutive Secretary
Xavier MICHONDeputy Executive Secretary
Javier BARRANTESChief Management Support Unit
Samuel CHORITZPolicy Advisor
Henri DOMMELDirector Inclusive Finance Practice Area
Andrew FYFEEvaluation Specialist
David JACKSONDirector Local Development Practice Area
Chiara PACECommunications Specialist


Judith KARL

On 1 August 2014, Ms. Judith Karl joined UNCDF as Executive Secretary. Ms. Karl, a US national, brings to UNCDF over 25 years of multilateral experience in international cooperation, development and poverty reduction.

Ms. Karl has served as Director of the Operations Support Group in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Executive Office since 2009. Prior to this, she served as Chief, Central Strategy and Policy Cluster for UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery from 2006 to 2008. She was a Senior Policy Advisor with the Crisis and Post-Conflict Unit in UN Development Group Office (2005-2006). From 2003 to 2005, Ms. Karl served as Senior Advisor for UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery in Geneva and as Deputy Director for UNDP Washington Liaison Office (2000-2002).

Ms. Karl started her career with UNDP in 1988 as a Training Officer with the UNDP Training Section. She served as Assistant Resident Representative with UNDP in Mali (1992-1994) and in Cambodia (1994-1997) and subsequently became a Policy Advisor for the Directorate in the Operations Support Group (1997-1999) and UNDP Latin America and Caribbean (1999-2000).

Before joining UNDP, Ms. Karl spent seven years as a Management Consultant with a focus on redesigning business processes in the US private banking and real estate sectors.

Ms. Karl holds a Master's degree in International Development Administration from New York University and a Bachelor degree from Columbia University.

As Executive Secretary of UNCDF, Ms. Karl provides organizational leadership and management and sets UNCDF's strategic direction and goals. She directs and leads UNCDF in implementing decisions and resolutions adopted by the Executive Board, ECOSOC, and the General Assembly as they relate to UNCDF.



With over two decades of experience in the United Nations, he brings in-depth knowledge of UN programme and operations both at Headquarters and in the field.

Before his present appointment, he served as UNDP Country Director in Burundi (2012-2014) and Guatemala (2007-2011), Deputy UNDP Resident Representative in Peru (2004-2006), Programme Advisor in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (2000-2003), Regional Programme Officer in the UNDP Regional Bureau for Eastern Europe and the CIS (1997-1999), and Project Management Officer for the Africa Section of UNOPS (1994-1995). He also previously served in the investment-banking sector in Spain and the French Chamber of Commerce in the Dominican Republic.

He holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and a Maîtrise in Business Management from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (ISG). He is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian.



Javier Barrantes, a Costa Rica national, joined UNCDF as Chief, Management Support Unit in May 2012.

As Chief of Management Support Unit, Mr. Barrantes is responsible for ensuring the highest efficiency and client service in the Management Support Unit (MSU) fostering collaboration and close cooperation with, and a strong service oriented approach to, other UNCDF units at HQs, Region and Filed offices. He is in charge of providing strategic guidance, analyses and operational oversight over the management of all UNCDF resources, and is responsible for safeguarding the financial accountability of the Executive Secretary. As Chief of MSU, he leads strategic planning for, and coordinates and manages the activities of the Headquarters Management Support Unit, advices the Deputy Executive Secretary on the overall strategic direction and activities of the UNCDF Programme Finance function and staff, and is accountable for ensuring UNCDF consistency with UNCDF/UNDP Regulations, Rules and procedures and good management practices.

Mr. Barrantes joined UNCDF following his assignment as Deputy Resident Representative with UNDP Laos (2008-2012) prior to which he served as Deputy Programme Manager with UNDP Cyprus (2005-2008).  Before starting his international assignments, Mr. Barrantes served at his home country with UNDP as Operations Manager (2001-2005). Prior to joining the UN System, Mr. Barrantes served in various positions within the Banking and Credit services in Costa Rica (1993-2001).

Mr. Barrantes holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from the University of Costa Rica.




Prior to this appointment, Sam was the Senior Policy Adviser to the UN Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator in Ethiopia and Head of the Resident Coordinator’s Office. Previously, he worked for nearly four years as a speechwriter and policy specialist in the Executive Office of the UNDP Administrator, and before that as an adviser in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. He started working with UNDP in the Evaluation Office, and has also served with the UNDP Yemen Country Office and in the Crisis and Post-Crisis Cluster in what is now DOCO.

Sam is from South Africa. He holds a Master’s degree in international relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor’s degree (honours) in politics, philosophy, and economics from Oxford University.



Henri Dommel, a French national, joined UNCDF as the Director of the Financial Inclusion Practice Area in 2007.

He is responsible for leading the Unit's strategy in promoting access to financial services and the development of inclusive financial sectors in least developed countries. In his position, Mr. Dommel helps develop UNCDF's strategy within Inclusive Finance, as well as support UNCDF's agenda on product innovation and diversification which includes microinsurance, remittances, financial services for youth, among others.

Mr. Dommel started his career at Banque Paribas in New Delhi as well as in Paris at the bank's department for Africa and the Middle East.

He joined the UN system in 1992, working as Programme Manager at UNCDF until 2001.

Prior to joining UNCDF again, Mr. Dommel worked from 2001 to 2007 as Senior Technical Advisor for the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

Mr. Dommel holds a Master's degree in International Affairs from the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, and a degree from the "Institut d'Études Politiques" of Paris, France.



Andrew FYFE

Andrew Fyfe joined the Evaluation Unit in UNCDF in early 2010, after a career working primarily for the external relations departments of the European Commission at both Headquarters and in a Delegation in Central Asia, and then as an external consultant applying results-oriented monitoring and evaluation methodologies to a wide range of donor-funded programmes and projects throughout the developing world. Originally from Scotland, Andrew has an academic background in liberal arts from Edinburgh University, and in economics and development management from Birkbeck College and the London School of Economics. As Head of Evaluation in UNCDF, Andrew is responsible for managing external evaluation exercises as well as supporting UNCDF embed evaluation approaches throughout its planning and management cycles.



David JacksonDavid Jackson, a British national, joined UNCDF as Regional Local Development Advisor in 2009.

In May 2013 he was appointed Director of the Local Development Finance Practice Area at headquarters in New York. In this position he leads the Unit's strategy to strengthen public finance for local development. Before coming to New York, he was leading and representing UNCDF in Asia and the Pacific as Head of the Regional Office.

He started his career in the 1980s in London local government in the United Kingdom. In the 1990s he worked in Mozambique as planning advisor to the Ministry of Planning and Finance and then as Senior Technical Advisor to the UNCDF district planning and financing project. Mr. Jackson ran a company providing technical consultancy services to local development programmes in African and Asian countries for national governments, the World Bank and UN Agencies.

Prior to joining UNCDF, Mr. Jackson worked as Decentralization Advisor for UNDP Indonesia and was responsible for leading UNDP's work in strengthening local governance in post conflict situations.

Mr. Jackson holds a BSc degree from the London School of Economics and an MA in development planning from the University of East Anglia. He has taught at London University (SOAS) and published in local development.



Chiara PACE

Chiara Pace, an Italian national, joined UNCDF in 2005 as Programme Officer in Mozambique, where she managed  3 local governance projects for total amount of 25 million. She then moved to UNCDF Headquarters in New York as Business Development and Communications Officer and in September 2008 she has been appointed Communications Specialist.

In her position she is responsible for overall management and oversight of UNCDF Communications function, including branding and positioning; external and internal communications; media production and management; and outreach products and tools.

Prior to joining UNCDF, she worked within UNDP Albania where she managed the UNV Programme and 30 local and international UNVs in the country. Prior to that, Chiara served Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador as Representative of the NGO CESTAS, managing a regional project in partnership with WHO; and in Senegal as Project Manager for a capacity building and microcredit project funded by the EU and the NGO COOPI.

Her first career steps started in 2000 with the Local Economic and Employment Development Programme of the Organization for the Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), followed by the UNDP Human Development Report Office (HDRO).

Before joining the development sector Chiara worked in private sector (Media sector), which gave her a strong knowledge in establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with leading international media.

Chiara holds an Advanced University's Degree in Sciences of Communication cum laude, an International Master's Degree in Co-operation and Development and a Postgraduate Degree in Emergency and Humanitarian issues.