Red Cross appoints Robert Mardini as next director-general

The Lebanese-born ICRC veteran has served as permanent observer to the UN since last year

Robert Mardini, head of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) Middle East and North Africa operations, speaks at a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on July 27, 2017. (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS / AFP)
Powered by automated translation

The International Committee of the Red Cross has chosen Robert Mardini, currently its head of delegation and permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, as the next ICRC director-general.

Mr Mardini, who was born and raised in Lebanon, will assume the post on March 30 next year, the Red Cross said on Friday.

“Robert brings excellent operational leadership and management abilities and an inspiring vision to deliver on the priorities of the ICRC's Institutional Strategy, ensuring we are well-placed to respond to the needs of communities facing armed conflict and violence – both today and in the years ahead," said Red Cross President Peter Maurer.

Mr Mardini said he was honoured to receive the appointment.

“As lives and livelihoods continue to be disrupted by unending wars, it is with a deep sense of responsibility that I will work with remarkable teams to make a difference for civilians trapped in conflict,” he wrote on Twitter.

Mr Mardini will take over from Yves Daccord, who has held the director-general’s post since 2010.

Over more than 22 years with the global humanitarian aid organisation, Mr Mardini has served as regional director for the Near and Middle East, ICRC deputy director-general, head of the Water and Habitat Unit as well as several other field and headquarter positions.

Born in 1972, he is a civil engineer by training with a Master of Science degree and a Bachelor’s degree from the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, as well as a Baccalaureate in mathematics and science from the Lycée Français in Tripoli, Lebanon.