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Regional Director

Argentina Matavel Piccin

UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem appointed Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin as Regional Director for UNFPA West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) in 2021. Ms. Argentina Matavel Piccin, took over her new role in Dakar, Senegal in September 2021. 

Ms. Matavel moved from Asia, where she headed the UNFPA India office. She was the Resident Representative for UNFPA Côte d’Ivoire from 2017 to 2019. In her own words, “Coming to Dakar is returning home... I am an African girl ready to contribute to accelerate the achievement of the three UNFPA transformational results and the Sustainable Development Goals. ” she remarked upon her arrival.

A national of Mozambique and Italy, Ms. Matavel has over 25 years of experience in driving and delivering country programme results, high-level policy advocacy and resource mobilization and partnerships in complex development and humanitarian contexts. Since joining UNFPA in 2006, Ms. Matavel has served as Representative in Botswana, Mongolia, and Bangladesh. She successfully repositioned the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda in national priorities, led strategy, vision and business planning and forged and nurtured strategic alliances and partnerships. 

Before joining UNFPA, she held leadership positions in Mozambique and in the USA with World Vision International, a lead development and humanitarian NGO.

Throughout her career, Ms. Matavel has been a strong and vocal advocate of rights, access and choices for all, especially women and girls. Focusing on those furthest left behind, she spearheaded programmes to improve healthcare quality by strengthening midwifery professions, improving emergency obstetric and newborn care, and preventing and responding to gender-based violence. 

For her contributions, Ms. Matavel was honoured with the Polar Star Award by the Mongolian government, and was conferred the Medal of Officer of the National Order of Merit by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire.

Ms. Matavel holds a Master’s degree in International Development from the American University, Washington DC, as well as a Certificate towards an Executive Master’s Programme in Public Policy Management from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute (GPPI), Washington, DC.

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