Since August 2020, Xavier Castellanos Mosquera is the Under Secretary General, National Society Development and Operations Coordination of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network.
Xavier Castellanos Mosquera has more than three decades experience in National Society development, resilience building and emergency humanitarian operations at the national, regional and global levels. Xavier has served the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in various capacities since 1981, when he started as a volunteer with the National Society of Ecuador. He joined the IFRC in 1998 after Hurricane Mitch in Central America.
In his previous role as Regional Director for Asia Pacific, Xavier provided strategic and operational leadership on disaster preparedness and responses to COVID-19, tsunamis and earthquakes and other health and disaster-related emergencies. Xavier also served as Regional Director of the Americas and in various leadership positions dealing with humanitarian response operations, disaster preparedness, and communications within the Red Cross Red Crescent
Movement, in national NGOs and with the Ecuadorian Red Cross.
Xavier is from Ecuador and has three children. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Health from the Andina Simón Bolívar University in Ecuador. He also holds several professional diplomas in humanitarian affairs and corporate social responsibility and is fluent in Spanish and English.
United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres appointed Martin Griffiths of the United Kingdom as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator in May 2021. Mr. Griffiths brings extensive experience in humanitarian affairs. Since 2018 he served as the Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Yemen. Between 2014 and 2018, he served as the first Executive Director of the European Institute of Peace. Between 2012 and 2014, he served as an adviser to all three Special Envoys of the Secretary-General for Syria, and Deputy Head of the United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS). From 1999 to 2010, Mr. Griffiths was the founding Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. He also worked in the British diplomatic service and for various international humanitarian organizations, including UNICEF, Save the Children and Action Aid. In 1994 he became the Director of the Department of Humanitarian Affairs in Geneva and, from 1998 to 1999, served as Deputy to the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York. He has also served as United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Great Lakes and in the Balkans. Mr. Griffiths holds a master's degree in Southeast Asian studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, and is a qualified barrister.
Martin Griffiths will speak within a video message for the session on Addressing access impediments through humanitarian diplomacy