Director, Europe Zone
Anitta Underlin became director of Europe for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in June 2007 – based in Budapest, Hungary. She is responsible for managing the IFRC’s humanitarian activities covering 53 countries throughout the region.
Anitta was first trained as a laboratory technician, and then graduated with a BSc in social sciences and a degree in operational economics from the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Prior to her first mission to Africa in 1992, she was also awarded a diploma in tropical medicine Copenhagen University. Later Anitta completed a MSc in regional studies at Copenhagen University and in 1999, received a MSc in sociology at Makerere University, Uganda.
Anitta started her humanitarian work in 1982 heading a European Union-funded project for socially excluded youth in Denmark. She then established her own company in trade and design.
She went on first international mission to Albania in 1991 shortly after the revolution. She then worked in Sudan before moving in 1993 to Geneva to work as a senior finance training officer at the IFRC secretariat. Anitta worked for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a financial management advisor to the Ministry of Health in Uganda (1996-2000). She returned in 2001 to IFRC as a financial development delegate for the regional delegation in Kenya and subsequently became head of sub-regional office. Later she became head of the regional delegation in East Africa until 2006 and then moved to be a head of the South Asia regional delegation in South Asia.
During her 17 years of work with the Danish Red Cross and IFRC, Anitta has worked on missions in Albania, Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, India, and Nepal.
Born in Aalborg, Denmark, she speaks English, French, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian and has basic knowledge of German.