Our initiative had the chance to meet and work with Kilian back in 2014 when he was managing Zaatari Refugee Camp for UNHCR. Already that time Kilian was a strong supporter and fighter for the importance of education and activity programs through art and sports, specially for children and youth refugees. Since this first cooperation within the “LET THE CHILDREN PLAY at Zaatari Refugee Camp“ project we were able to establish a constant partnership with Kilian and his – meanwhile – independent network system and we are proud to have an expert like him as partner.

Kilian Kleinschmidt is an international networker, humanitarian and refugee expert with over 25 years experience in a wide range of countries, emergencies and refugee camps as United Nations official, Aid worker and Diplomat. He is the founder and Chairman of the Startup Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) which aims at connecting the millions of poor and dispossessed with the idle and under-utilised resources and modern technologies of the 21st century through its project SWITxBOARD http://www.switxboard.net. He is part of a number initiatives and Projects which aim at global connec- tivity through better use of globalisation. He advises the Austrian Ministry of Interior on Refugee issues.

He most recently became known as the “Mayor of Zatari”when he managed on behalf of UNHCR the refugee camp of Za’atari in Northern Jordan from 2013-2014. Za’atari has become a symbol for new and innovative approaches in refugee and humanitarian management under his leadership. He is now chal- lenging the Humanitarian Aid Sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies. and financing. His work on emerging cities and urbanisation of refugee camps is widely recognised. Team building and leadership in Crisis situations are a focus of his work. Previous senior roles included 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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