Pierre Bessuges

Senior Advisor at United Nations OCHA

Most recently, mid-2014, my functions have evolved. My current position consists in being the Senior Advisor directly to the Deputy Director of OCHA Geneva, also Chief of the Emergency Services Branch. My areas of responsibility include humanitarian cooperation and multi-partner operational networks, with a focus on good practices and guidance on inter-operability, risk and opportunities management, especially emergency preparedness financing solutions, capacity building, humanitarian and development joint policies and strategies (resilience, disaster risk reduction, risk management and preparedness).

In mid-2012, I was appointment Chief of the Emergency Preparedness Section in OCHA Geneva. I led and managed the team within the Office of the OCHA Director in Geneva. I led an internal ground to re-design and implement a renewed risk management policy and emergency field operations preparedness at corporate level. I participated in and influenced inter-agency coordination to foster multilateral and inter-governmental cooperation on effective policy, financial and operational solutions to enhance emergency preparedness in a broader DRR context.

After the field, I completed three years with UNDP’s Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery in Geneva between 2009 and 2012. My responsibilities as Senior Advisor on Early Recovery included the provision of policy and operational guidance to HC/RCs in the field, humanitarian country teams and national counterparts on humanitarian coordination linking emergency relief to crisis recovery efforts.

Up to February 2009, I was the Head of the OCHA Office in Timor-Leste, leading the Integrated Humanitarian Coordination Team in UNMIT, directly dealing with humanitarian and recovery coordination issues, transition and integration challenges. From 2003 to 2007, I was the deputy Head of Office for OCHA in the occupied Palestinian territory, based in Jerusalem, providing strategic advice and field coordination related to humanitarian operations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. During this period, I was also deployed to Sri Lanka as Field Coordinator to open the OCHA field offices for the Tsunami response and to Timor-Leste to cover the OCHA office and support the DSRSG/RC/HC and the Humanitarian Country Team.

Prior to these postings, I was the Deputy Head of OCHA in Damascus, Syria, during the 2003 Iraq war. I then was seconded by OCHA to the UN Office for the Humanitarian Coordination in Iraq (UNOCHI), posted in Baghdad, as Deputy Area Coordinator until August 2003. I worked before as a consultant on emergency preparedness and natural disaster, including for OCHA in Indonesia in 2002, and on development programming, gender issues and emergency contingency planning for WFP and FAO between 1997 and 2001, realising numerous field missions in Asian and African countries.

I was project manager for private consulting firms, working on development projects in the Mediterranean region. He worked for two years in India for the French Cooperation in 1992-1993. I continues to regularly deliver lectures to post graduate students in International Relations, Political and Humanitarian Affairs at the Universities of Montpellier, Grenoble and Aix-en-Provence in the South of France.

I combine over 20 years of experience in development and humanitarian fields with the United Nations and the French Government as well as in academia and the private sector. I hold two master degrees, one in Development Economics and Intellectual Property (Paris V) and one in Political Science and International Relations (Montpellier I), where I conducted post-doctorate research in the development field. I have two children.