Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of UNOAU
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Parfait Onanga-Anyanga of Gabon as his Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU). He will succeed Hanna Serwaa Tetteh of Ghana, to whom the Secretary-General expresses his deep gratitude and appreciation for her dedicated service.
Mr. Onanga-Anyanga brings more than 25 years of progressively responsible experience at the national, regional and international levels, with extensive experience at the United Nations, both in conflict-affected areas and at Headquarters. He brings to the position well-honed skills in building consensus among stakeholders and his knowledge of the Organization to strengthen the partnership between the United Nations and the African Union in the area of peace and security.
Since 2019, he served as Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Horn of Africa. Before that, he was Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA). In his previous capacities, he was the Coordinator of United Nations Headquarters Response to the Boko Haram crisis, as well as Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Burundi and Head of the United Nations Office in Burundi.
From 2007 to 2012, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga was the Director of the Office of the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General. Previously, he served as Chef de Cabinet to the President of the fifty-ninth session of the General Assembly and as Special Adviser to the President of the sixtieth and sixty-first sessions of the General Assembly.
Before joining the United Nations, Mr. Onanga-Anyanga was a career diplomat in Gabon’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, completing his service at the rank of Ambassador.
He holds a post-graduate degree in political science from the University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne and a master’s degree in sociology from Omar Bongo University in Libreville, Gabon. He is fluent in English and French.
Deputy Head of Office and Director of Political Affairs
Gerald Mitchell has an extensive inter-governmental experience in political affairs and peacebuilding issues. Prior to his appointment to UNOAU as Deputy Head of Office / Director of Political Affairs, he served with United Nations Special Political Missions and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Somalia, Afghanistan, Georgia and Ethiopia. He also previously served for several years as Head of Elections for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). His career focus has been on issues of inclusive governance and democratic elections in transitional and post-conflict countries in Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe/CIS. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Washington D.C., and a Master’s Degree in Comparative Government from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Chief of Staff
Ms Felicia Gordon arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in March 2023 to assume her role as the Chief of Staff in the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU). Ms Gordon brings to the role over 25 years of professional experience, including 19 years in international organizations. She has held various political, peacebuilding, programme management, and legal advisory roles across the globe, including in East & Central Africa, Southeast & East Asia, Eastern, Central & Western Europe, and North America.
Her extensive peace operations and management experience includes assignments in UNMISS, MINUSCA, UNMISET, and UNOTIL, as well as in peacekeeping planning at UN Headquarters in New York. Prior to joining UNOAU, she was the Chief of Staff for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)’s Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine. Previously, Ms. Gordon was a member of the UN Peacebuilding Support Office team that planned and supported the implementation of the 2015 Peacebuilding Architecture Review, as well as the intergovernmental negotiations which resulted in twin ‘Sustaining Peace’ resolutions adopted by the General Assembly and the Security Council, respectively in 2016.
Her development experience includes assignments with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, where she was involved in the programme management of the UN Development Account as well as of technical cooperation activities. She recently led the implementation of a special project to update the internal regulatory framework for the UN Climate Change Secretariat in Bonn, Germany. Ms Gordon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social & behavioral sciences and a Juris Doctor degree in law, as well as a DELF certificate in French. She is licensed to practice law in the US (New York and the District of Columbia).