Fouad Kronfol took early retirement from UNICEF in 1995, having served in the Organization from March 1959. His career started in Beirut, Lebanon where, as one of the earliest National Officers he learned programming skills dealing with activities supported by UNICEF in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Saudi Arabia.
His international experience began in 1970 with an assignment to Cairo, Egypt, where he was responsible for the Sudan and Libya.As the activites he developed in Sudan grew in size and complexity, UNICEF decided to open an independent office for that country and Fouad was appointed the first UNICEF Representative in Khartoum. In 1976 he was transferred to New York where he was in charge of the MIddle East, North Africa and Europe section, thus giving him a wider perspective on UNICEF activities in these three regions.
From 1980 to the middle of 1983 Fouad was UNICEF Representative directing the post-war programme of reconstruction and rehabilitation in Hanoi, Viet Nam, and revamping it towards long term development.. When UNICEF was looking to strengthen its work in Africa at the time of serious drought and other emergencies affecting more than 20 countries, Fouad was again transferred to New York and given charge of developing an expanded and more vigorous approach to enabling UNICEF programmes to meet the special challenges of the 45 sub-Saharan countries in Africa. Five years later he was asked to direct a special new programme launched in cooperation with WHO to strengthen primary health care in Africa, the” Bamako Initiative”.
A major change in Fouad’s career came in 1989 when he was appointed Director of Personnel in New York HQ, which opened up a new area of direct involvement in overall management issues of UNICEF.Just before retiring he was put in charge of directing a major Management Review of the organization which was mandated by the Executive Board and was carried out by external consultants (Booz-Allen & Hamilton).He concluded his UNICEF career as Special Adviser in the Executive Director’s Office where he carried out specific studies on global and inter-regional issues .
Fouad Kronfol retired in Montreal, Canada , but has continued to do professional consulting work for, among others, WHO in Geneva, IAEA in Vienna,and UNAIDS. He was member of the Board of the UNICEF National Committee for Canada for 3 years, and carried out a special mission for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade on child labour issues in the rug making industry in India and Nepal. He served with the Canadian Executive Service Office and advised on a development programme for the Cree Indians in the Bay James area of northern Quebac. In 2002-2003 he carried out a seminal study for the UNICEF Regional Office in the CEE/CIS region with a view to restructuring the whole range of offices and sub-offices in the countries assisted by UNICEF. He has just completed his two-year tenure with the World-Wide Alumni Association of the American University of Beirut (his alma mater) as member of its first global Board of Directors.
In addition to international and development affairs Fouad’s passion is stamp collecting and he has been on the Board of Administration of his local stamp club for three years. He has contributed part of his collection of stamps on UNICEF to the Organization on the occasion of its 60th Anniversary celebrations – See collection here
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