Secretary-General appoints Major-General Paolo Serra Head of Mission, Force Commander of UNIFIL
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Major General Paolo Serra of Italy as Head of Mission and Force Commander of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Major General Serra will succeed Major General Alberto Asarta Cuevas of Spain, who will relinquish his post on 28 January, and to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his excellent service and leadership over the past two years.
Having had an extensive and distinguished military career, Major General Serra is currently Chief of Logistics and Land Transformation of the Italian Army. Prior to that assignment, he held important command appointments up to the level of Commander of Italy's "Julia" Alpine Brigade, as well as Commander of the Regional Command West of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) deployed in Afghanistan. In 2009, he was appointed Chief of Staff of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Rapid Deployable Corps-Italy. From 2004 to 2007, he served as Army Attaché at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C.
Major General Serra also has extensive experience in multinational peace operations. As Commander of ISAF's Regional Command West, he worked closely with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). He previously served as Commander of the Ninth Alpine Regiment deployed in Kosovo under NATO's Kosovo Force (KFOR) in 1999, and under the United Nations Operation in Mozambique in 1994.
Born in 1956, Major General Serra has attended Italy's Military Academy and the University of Turin. He subsequently earned a master's degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.