UN Secretary-General appoints Mr. Amir Mahmoud Abdulla of Sudan as UN Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative

Secretary-General appoints Mr. Amir Mahmoud Abdulla of Sudan as United Nations Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative 

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced today the appointment of Amir Mahmoud Abdulla of Sudan as United Nations Coordinator for the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

The Initiative was launched by Ukraine, Türkiye, the Russian Federation and the United Nations on 22 July 2022 to enable the resumption of exports from Ukraine of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizer, including ammonia, through a safe maritime humanitarian corridor.

Mr. Abdulla succeeds Frederick Kenney of the United States who was on loan by the International Maritime Organization as interim Coordinator for the United Nations at the Joint Coordination Centre.  The Secretary-General is grateful for Mr. Kenney’s dedication, expertise, commitment and excellent leadership in implementing the Initiative.

Mr. Abdulla brings over 30 years of experience in the areas of humanitarian response and management with the World Food Programme (WFP) as well as specialized expertise in emergency operations, supply chain and security.  From 2009 until June 2022, he served as the Deputy Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer of WFP, overseeing its humanitarian operations around the world. 

Prior to that, and starting from 1991, Mr. Abdulla served in various capacities in WFP both in the field and headquarters.  From 2008 to 2009, he was the WFP’s Chief Financial Officer and Director of Legal Division, managing WFP’s budget in response to fluctuating food and fuel prices and implementing accountability standards.  Prior appointments with WFP included Regional Director for Southern Africa (2006-2007), Regional Director for Middle East, Central Asia and Eastern Europe (2004-2006), Director of Budget (2001-2004) and Project Manager for WPF’s corporate information management system (2000-2001). 

Prior to joining WFP, Mr. Abdulla was a Branch Manager in Juba and Port Sudan for the shipping and forwarding company Transintra and Assistant Area Manager for the Burmeister and Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) engineering company in the Sudan.  He also taught at the American School and Comboni College in Khartoum.

Mr. Abdulla holds a Bachelor of Science Honours degree from Imperial College, London University.  He speaks English and Arabic.

  New York, 12 August 2022