As a skilled international humanitarian leader, Irena brings a wealth of knowledge and operational field experience. She has more than three decades of global expertise in migration management, migration and development and refugee issues as well as in emergency response and change management.
Irena’s career with the United Nations System spans a decade serving in multiple roles. She was tripled-hatted in Iraq as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General (DSRSG), Resident Coordinator (RC), and Humanitarian Coordinator (HC); she also served as the Development Coordination Office (DCO) Regional Director in Istanbul; and previously as RC in Türkiye and Serbia. Irena was a member of the RC system restructuring team during the creation of the DCO within the UN Secretariat.
She began her journey in humanitarian aid in the Philippines as a Development Officer/Associated Expert and the Operations Officer. Throughout her distinguished tenure of 23 years with IOM, Irena has held key leadership positions including the Director for Migration Management in Geneva; Regional Director for Southeast Asia in Bangkok and for Central Europe in Vienna. She has opened seven IOM national offices, participated in two IOM reform processes and served on several migration research boards.
She holds a Diploma in International Economic Relations from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, an MA in History, Geography and International Law from the University of Vienna, and a BA in History and Political Science from the University of Heidelberg in Germany. Irena is proficient in English, German and Czech.
Download here IOM Deputy Director General for Management and Reform ad interim's biography.