Kilian Kleinschmidt
Global Networking and Humanitarian Expert

Kilian Kleinschmidt is an international networker, humanitarian and refugee expert with over 25 years of experience in a wide range of countries, emergencies and refugee camps as United Nations officel, Aid worker and Diplomat. He is a founder and Chairman of the startup Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) which aims at connecting the millions of poor and disadvantaged with relevant and under-utilized resources and modern technologies of the 21st century through its project SWITXBOARD http://www.switxboard.net. He is part of a number of initiatives and Projects which aim at global connectivity through better usw of globalization. He is currently developing a number of ventures which aim at sustainble investment in very fragile environments.

He most recently became known as the „Mayor of Za’atari“ when he managed the refugee camp of Za’atari in Northern Jordan from 2013-2014 on behalf of UNHCR. Za’atari has become a symbol for new and innovative approaches in refugee and humanitarian management under his leadership. He is now challenging the Humanitarian Aid Sector through a range of new and unorthodox partnerships, technologies and ways of financing. His work on emerging cities and urbanization of refugee camps is widely recognized and 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 and during the European refugee crisis advised the Austrian Ministry of Interior on Refugee reception. Most recently he was a Special Advisor to the German Minister of Development on Refugee issues.

He has published two books – „Weil es um die Menschen geht“ (ECON 2015) and „Beyond Survival“ (Dumont-Mair 2016) and authored a number of articles on refugee and migration issues. He is a renowned public speaker in conferences, TEDx and other events.