Guest of Honor of the Pro day

Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross

Robert Mardini is Director-General of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a position he assumed in March 2020. As head of the ICRC’s directorate, he is responsible for leading global humanitarian operations with 20,000 staff in more than 90 countries, and a budget of approximately USD 2 billion.

Prior to this, he was the Permanent Observer and Head of Delegation of the ICRC to the United Nations in New York. In this role, he steered the ICRC’s diplomatic engagement with the UN Security Council, the UN General Assembly, Member States and UN entities to influence decisions around humanitarian issues across policy themes and geographic contexts.

From mid-2012 to mid-2018, Mardini was the ICRC’s Regional Director for the Near & Middle East and led large-scale humanitarian operations across nine delegations. He provided strategic guidance to the organization’s operations, humanitarian diplomacy and public positioning in a conflict-ridden region that accounted for 30 percent of the overall budget and 20 percent of its human capital in 2018.

From 2010 to 2012, as ICRC Deputy Director-General, he contributed to organizational development - prioritizing institution-wide projects; supervising the Institutional Performance Management Unit; and overseeing implementation of Results-Based Management across the organization. He designed the ICRC’s risk management framework and established the Project Management Office.


Civil engineer by training, he began his career as a research assistant at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, before holding field positions as water engineer and programme coordinator in Rwanda and Iraq. He led the ICRC Water & Habitat Unit from 2007 to 2010, with 400 engineers and technicians running projects in over 40 countries and improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene services to an average of 14 million people per year.

He holds a master's degree in civil engineering and hydraulics from the EPFL.

Mardini is a dual Lebanese-Swiss citizen. He is married and has two daughters.

About ICRC...

The International Committee of the Red Cross, founded in 1863, is an independent and neutral institution. Its aim is to protect and assist the victims of armed conflicts and situations of violence.

The ICRC also aims to promote respect for international humanitarian law and its incorporation into national legislation.

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