Former Chief of Staff, Office of the Special Envoy for Syria
Elpida Rouka has most recently served as Chief of Staff a.i. to the UN Special Envoy on Syria whom she joined in September 2014. She remains part of his core good offices team to date. Previously, she was in Jerusalem where she led the political team for the United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, an office which was set up after the Oslo Accords. She has worked for the United Nations for over 15 years and has most recently served as Principal Political Adviser for the UN’s Special Political Missions both in Iraq (2007-2009) and in Afghanistan (2010-2012) where she has dealt with aspects of facilitating peace and political processes, advancing regional dialogue, promoting human rights and assisting with the framework of electoral preparations. Previously she has held various positions in the United Nations Headquarters in New York, including in the Office of the Iraq Program, which oversaw the sale of Iraqi oil and the delivery of aid to that country, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations during the surge in multidimensional operations and the Office of the Secretary-General of the United Nations under the administrations of both Kofi Annan and then Ban Ki-moon. During that time she took part in various good office and mediation initiatives. A Greek national, Elpida is a graduate of the American High School of Thessaloniki, Columbia College (Political Science and East Asian/Chinese studies) and SIPA/Harriman Institute in New York (Economic and political development program and Russian/Central Asian Studies).