The UN Resident Coordinator Office

The United Nations Resident Coordinator Office supports the work of the UN Resident Coordinator. The UN Resident Coordinator leads the UN country team in consultations with the government to define and agree on the UN strategic response to the Government’s priorities. This response is captured in the UN Strategic Framework (UNSF).


The UN Resident Coordinator in DPRK

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Mr. Joe Colombano of Italy as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He assumes his role on 1 March 2024 with the host Government’s approval. 

Mr. Colombano has over 25 years of experience in international relations and negotiations on political and development issues with the multilateral system, including at Headquarters and in the field. Within the Organization, he served most recently as Head of the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator to China in Beijing. He was previously with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General in New York, where he served for almost a decade, including as Director for Sustainable Development. In that role, he coordinated the office’s political strategy to facilitate the international agreement on the Sustainable Development Goals. He also served as Senior Advisor to the WHO Special Envoy for COVID-19 in Geneva.

An economist by training, Mr. Colombano built a career in development finance, first at the World Bank in Washington DC, and later in London, at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, including as Advisor to its Board of Directors. His field experience includes roles in the private sector in Bangkok, Thailand; with the Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo in Kinshasa; in addition to many official missions to the countries of the Former Soviet Union.

Mr. Colombano is a member of the Advisory Council of the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School in Cambridge, MA. He is the author of “Learning from the World: New Ideas to Redevelop America” published by Palgrave McMillan, in addition to numerous academic papers on economic development and international affairs. 

Mr. Colombano holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University in the US, a Master’s in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick in the UK, and a Master of Laws in Chinese Law from the University of Hong Kong in China. He is married with three daughters.

Joe Colombano

Joe Colombano

Resident Coordinator