It is with great sorrow that the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) family has learnt of the passing of our beloved former Executive Coordinator, Mr Ad de Raad (the Netherlands).
Ad de Raad served as Deputy Executive Coordinator of UNV to the late Executive Coordinator Sharon Capeling-Alakija from 1998-2003, then succeeded her as Executive Coordinator after being a tremendous support to the organization during her illness.
Ad de Raad served as Executive Coordinator of UNV until his early retirement in January 2008. He introduced profound changes within the UN system enhancing the relevance of volunteerism to peace and development worldwide. Ad promoted the recognition of the impact of volunteerism for development and was a tireless advocate for volunteers at international fora, with the UN system and funding partners and expanding the outreach of UNV to the private sector and civil society.
As Executive Coordinator of UNV, Ad de Raad’s vision and leadership were instrumental in achieving broader outreach and increasing the constituency of our organization. He redefined the UNV business model, focusing the organization’s work around advocacy for volunteerism, integration of volunteerism in development programming, and mobilization of UN Volunteers and other volunteers. Under his leadership, the number of UN Volunteers more than doubled to peak at 8,100 in 2005, serving in more than 160 countries. An excellent manager he effectively managed the organization’s budget and achieved a balance between stability and prosperity.
Ad de Raad played a fundamental role in coordinating the United Nations presence in Bonn, Germany, managing a rapidly expanding presence of UN organizations in Bonn and Germany to some 18 organizations and UN convention secretariats. He was Chair of the UN Heads of Agencies group in Germany, Representative of the UN Secretary General and UNDP Administrator for management and coordination of UN Common Premises and Services. He lead negotiations that resulted in the move of the UN bodies to the new UN Campus in Bonn.
Ad was a modest, charismatic and caring colleague and leader, and will be missed by the UNV family. He will be remembered for his sense of humour, genuine dedication to volunteerism and effecting change through volunteers.
Please join us and the entire UNV family, present and former, in our sincere condolences and thoughts to Ad’s family - his wife, Babeth, and two daughters Manon and Aysha, and two grandchildren – during this sad time.
Ad will forever be remembered as an integral part of the fabric of this organization, and one who upheld respect and recognition for all volunteers and staff.