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avatar for Andrew Harper

Andrew Harper

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Head – UNHCR Innovation
Prior to becoming the Head of the Innovation Service in UNHCR in September last year, Andrew was responsible for leading and coordinating the international response to the Syrian Crisis in Jordan. Some of the main achievements included responding to, at the time, the largest refugee crisis in the world, the establishment of the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, introducing biometric registration and the world’s largest biometric based refugee cash assistance programme. Prior to coming to Jordan, Andrew was Head of Desk for UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva, covering the Iraq Situation for six years as well as being the Emergency Focal Point for the Middle East and North Africa region for the Libyan Crisis in 2011. He has served with the UN Office for the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs as Head of Office in Sumatra following the 2004 Tsunami and as the Chief of Staff for the UN Recovery Coordinator for Aceh. Prior deployments with the UN Refugee Agency include West Timor, Ukraine, Albania/Kosovo, Central Asia and Iran. He started his career overseas with the Australian Embassy in Turkey following the 1990 Iraq war. In 2014 Andrew was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia; he has also been the recipient of the 2013 ANZAC Peace Prize and the 2013 Sir Ron Wilson Human Rights Award. In 2016 he was awarded the Order of Istiqlal (Independence) by HM King Abudllah II. He is married with three young daughters.