José  Samaniego

José Samaniego

Regional Director for the Americas - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Mr. Samaniego was appointed Regional Director for the Americas Bureau in August 2020. He has been working for more than 30 years with UNHCR and has considerable expertise and knowledge of the Americas.

Prior to assuming his current position, he served UNHCR as Regional Coordinator for Refugees and migrants from Venezuela since September 2018, and in other assignments as Regional Representative for Central America, Cuba and Mexico based in Panama (2016 – 2018), and as Regional Representative for Southern America, based in Buenos Aires (2014 – 2016). He also performed as Deputy Regional Representative for Central America, Cuba and Mexico based in Panama; Senior Regional Operations Manager (Colombia Situation) at the Americas Bureau at Headquarters (Geneva); Senior Operations Officer in Angola and Senior Regional Programme Officer in Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico.

During his career Mr. Samaniego has participated in various emergency missions in the Great Lakes, the Syrian refugee operation and the IDP crisis in the Central African Republic. He has also organized and coordinated several conferences on humanitarian issues, international protection and emergency preparedness. Before joining the UN, Mr. Samaniego worked in the Ecuadorean Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Quito and with Doctors without Borders (MSF) in France, Guatemala, Ecuador and Belgium.

Ecuadorian, Mr. Samaniego Egas is graduated of Political Science (IEP, Paris) and has a Master degree of the University Paris I (Panthéon - Sorbonne), in International and Development Economics.