Speaker's Profile 

Joern Kristensen


Kristensen is a socio-economist with extensive experience in managing multi-sector development, research, humanitarian, and disaster response programmes.

He possess in-depth knowledge of political, economic, social, and cultural conditions in Indo-China and Myanmar, and has held senior positions at the United Nations and other international non-governmental organizations in the region for 25 years. He was Resident Representative of UNODC in Myanmar and Vietnam (1991–1997), and Director at UNODC Headquarters, responsible for Southeast Asia, (1997–1999).

From 1999 through 2003, Kristensen served as Director General of Mekong River Commission, established by Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Vietnam, with China and Myanmar as observers. 

The following five years (2004–2009) he was Director of the Norwegian Refugee Council in Sri Lanka and then in Myanmar, engaged in conflict resolution and disaster response. He re-joined the United Nations in charge of coordination of the international response to the disaster caused by Cyclone Nargis that struck Myanmar in 2008.

In 2011, Kristensen founded the Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development (MIID), specializing in Myanmar’s upland regions with a high proportion of ethnic minorities and a history of armed conflicts.