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 Fund Secretariat

The Fund Secretariat was established in 1991 in Montreal, Canada. It assists the Executive Committee in the discharge of its functions. Its activities include: development of the three-year plan and budget and a system for fund disbursement; management of the business planning cycle of the Multilateral Fund; monitoring the expenditures and activities of the implementing agencies; preparation of policy papers and other documents; review and assessment of investment projects, country programmes and the business plans and work programmes of the implementing agencies; liaison between the Committee, governments and implementing agencies; and servicing meetings of the Executive Committee. The Secretariat also includes the monitoring and evaluation Function which was established by the Executive Committee in May 1997.

The Fund Secretariat is not mandated to implement projects and programmes but to ensure that the objectives of the Multilateral Fund are adhered to and to provide liaison between the Executive Committee, governments and implementing agencies.

The separation of the management of the Multilateral Fund from its implementation activities has proven to be effective in maintaining the credibility and independence of the Multilateral Fund by fostering the development of the operational policies needed to achieve cost efficiency in a largely grant-based programme. It has enabled the Fund Secretariat to apply a rigorous project review procedure applicable to all funding requests submitted to the Executive Committee. This is reinforced by an open, transparent and dynamic policy development process undertaken by the Fund Secretariat in cooperation with the implementing agencies. The project review process enables support of all funding requests that meet the Executive Committee’s approval criteria but often at a lower level than originally requested, leading to significant savings.

 Staff list

The Fund Secretariat is headed by the Chief Officer who reports directly to the Executive Committee and is comprised of thirteen professional and ten general service staff members.

Professional Staff

Ms. Tina Birmpili
Chief Officer

Ms. Rossana Silva Repetto
Deputy Chief Officer

Ms. Nuria Castells Cabre
Senior Monitoring and Evaluation Officer

Ms. Laura Duong
Programme Management Officer

Ms. Kata Koppel
Information Management Officer

Mr. Jack Lee
Associate Administrative Officer

Ms. Cecilia Concepcion T. Mercado
Senior Project Management Officer

Mr. Balaji Natarajan
Senior Programme Management Officer

Mr. Alejandro Ramirez-Pabon
Senior Programme Management Officer

Mr. Federico San Martini
Senior Programme Management Officer

Ms. Mirian Vega
Programme Management Officer

Ms. Xiaojuan Wang
Programme Management Officer

Ms. Elina Yuen
Programme Management Officer


 Omar El Arini, Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund Secretariat (1991-2003)

Omar El-Arini was the first Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund. He personally pioneered the interpretation and application of eligible incremental costs, and oversaw the development of a framework that led to the approval of over 4,500 projects for 140 Article 5 countries. He played a key role in shifting the Multilateral Fund from a project-by-project approach to the sectoral and national phase-out approach with performance based funding. Omar El-Arini was named by the Executive Committee of the Multilateral Fund as the Honorary Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund.

 Maria Nolan, Chief Officer of the Fund Secretariat (2004-2013)

Ms. Nolan, a British national educated at the University of London, has a wealth of experience on the protection of the ozone layer both at the national level, in her capacity as the Head of Stratospheric Ozone Policy in the United Kingdom, and internationally as policy adviser to UNEP's Methyl Bromide Technical Options Committee as President of the Montreal Protocol's Implementation Committee and as the co-chair of the Protocol's Open Ended Working Group in 2003. She was instrumental in developing the U.K. policy on the reduction of emissions of Hydro Fluoro Carbons (HFC's) which was used as a basis for developing EU-wide measures. She served as Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund from February 2004 to September 2013 and was instrumental in leading the Fund Secretariat towards the 2010 CFC target and re-orienting the work of Secretariat to deal with the accelerated phase-out of HCFCs.

 Eduardo Ganem, Chief Officer of the Fund Secretariat (2013-2022)

Mr. Ganem became Chief Officer of the Multilateral Fund Secretariat on 1 October 2013. He has served the Multilateral Fund Secretariat in different capacities since 1991 including a period as Deputy Chief Officer. He began his professional life over 30 years ago developing environmental impact studies in various regions of Mexico. Since then, he has worked with UNEP’s Latin America and Caribbean regional office as well as its Industry and Environment office. Mr. Ganem’s academic qualifications include a degree in Environmental Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana in Mexico City, and a Master of Science in Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in environmental protection and control, and water and waste treatment.