After nine fulfilling years in leadership positions with UNV, Ad de Raad, Executive Coordinator, bid farewell to staff, volunteers, and partners to embark on new projects. Ad de Raad joined the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme as Deputy Executive Coordinator in 1998 and was appointed UNV ‘s Executive Coordinator in August 2004.
Mr. De Raad started his UN career as a Junior Professional Officer (JPO) and steadily grew through the ranks in progressively responsible leadership positions. His career included field postings in Bangladesh and Tanzania with United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and UNDP.
Prior to joining UNV, Mr. de Raad was Director of Budget at UNDP’s New York headquarters; a position he held from 1993 until 1998. As Director of Budget, he was responsible for all aspects relating to planning and management of biennial support budgets for UNDP and the Funds and Programmes administered by UNDP.
Reflecting on his career, Ad de Raad commented “Working first as Deputy and then Executive Coordinator of UNV was one of the most rewarding periods of my professional life as I strongly believe that volunteerism is an immense and transformative force which, if properly channelled, could revolutionize the pace and nature of development. This conviction defines UNV and the organization is fully committed to harness the full potential of volunteerism for development.”
Ad de Raad laid the structural groundwork that enabled UNV to become recognized as a significant global champion for volunteerism for development (V4D).
With UNV’s designation as the UN’s focal point for the International Year of Volunteers (IYV) 2001 came a time of inspiration for the UNV leadership and its staff. During IYV, de Raad led an innovative public relations and media partnership with Benetton that broadened the depth of understanding of volunteerism and the diversity and universality of the face of volunteerism.
Ad de Raad went on to help UNV define its business model of advocacy for volunteerism; integration of volunteerism into development planning and mobilization of volunteers. He shaped the UNV results framework holding that through the application of volunteerism for development and by implementing the UNV business model UNV pursues distinctive contributions to development effectiveness.
During the nine years Ad de Raad served with UNV the organization experienced a period of dynamic growth, which saw an evolution of the culture of partnership and networking, and a strategic decision to reinforce the added value of volunteerism in all UNV operations. The number of serving UNV volunteers doubled during this period from some 3,000 in 1998 to over 7,500 in 2007.
Ad de Raad was a leader who was constantly inspired by the distinctive contributions made by all volunteers in the field and the professionalism and dedication of the UNV staff. In saying goodbye to colleagues Ad de Raad noted “As I move forward, I will always be guided by the spirit of V4D and will continue to be inspired by the idea of the difference made though the power of millions of people engaged in voluntary activities, including UNV volunteers. I will also take with me treasured memories of the extended UNV family including its many partners. I am confident that with my successor Flavia Pansieri coming to the helm of the UNV and with the continued support of the UNV staff, the thousands of UNV volunteers and UNV’s many partners, that both UNV and volunteerism for development (V4D) will continue to flourish.”