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Ms. Argentina Szabados took over the position of Regional Director for South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia in May 2016.
Ms. Szabados oversees the work of IOM Offices in South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia manages the activities of the Regional Office in Vienna. She leads the formulation of regional strategies, processes and programmes, ensuring that these are in line with overall IOM policy and priorities, and facilitates communication and coordination within the region.
She provides advice to IOM Headquarters on regional migration, migration trends and policy matters as well as migration policies of governments within the region. She is responsible for developing and maintaining external relations and high-level liaison with governmental authorities and diplomatic missions in the region, international organizations, non-governmental organizations and voluntary agencies, regional consultative processes, and other relevant stakeholders, providing support to the IOM country offices for their work with their counterparts.
Ms. Szabados represents IOM at the United Nations Office in Vienna and is responsible for global liaison with the Vienna-based organizations, such as the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Prior to assuming her post in Vienna, she headed the IOM Mission in Germany from 2010 to 2016. In that capacity, Ms. Szabados was responsible for promotion and strengthening of IOM relations with key governmental counterparts at Federal and State level, international organizations, civil society representatives and the private sector. Other duties included fundraising for the organization, advancing the understanding of migration issues, and assisting in meeting the operational challenges of migration management in Germany.
Ms. Szabados joined IOM in 1998 as Chief of Mission in Hungary. She continued as the Regional Director of the IOM Regional Office in Budapest until 2010, where she was responsible for the coordination of 14 IOM missions in Central and South Eastern Europe.
Ms. Szabados came to IOM from a career with the World Council of Churches where between 1989 and 1998 she led Emergency Programmes covering the conflicts in former Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Ingushetia and Dagestan. She has received numerous national and international awards, and has written and contributed to many publications and studies on migration and humanitarian aid topics. Since 2007 she has been a senior lecturer at Fordham University’s Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs in New York City. Additionally, she has chaired many committees and boards for the Institute, and has sat on the Board of Directors of the Center for International Humanitarian Cooperation, also in New York.