Kilian Kleinschmidt

International Networker, Humanitarian, and Refugee Expert

Kilian Kleinschmidt

International Networker, Humanitarian, and Refugee Expert

Biography

Kilian Kleinschmidt is an international networker, humanitarian, and refugee expert with over 25 years of experience as a United Nations official, aid worker, and diplomat. He is the founder and chairman of the Startup Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) which aims to connect the millions of poor and dispossessed with the idle and under-utilised resources and modern technologies of the 21st century through its project SWITxBOARD. He advises the Austrian Ministry of Interior on Refugee issues and has become known as the “Mayor of Za’atari” for the management of the Za’atari refugee camp in Northern Jordan from 2013–2014. Kleinschmidt is now challenging the humanitarian aid sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies, and financing. Previous senior roles include deputy humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, deputy special envoy for assistance to Pakistan, acting director for communities and minorities in the UN administration in Kosovo, executive secretary for the Migration and Refugee Initiative (MARRI) in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, and many field based functions with UNHCR, UNDP, and WFP. He worked extensively in Africa, South Eastern Europe, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

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