Arjun Katoch is a decorated former Colonel of The Parachute Regiment of the Indian Army who took voluntary retirement in 1991. Has extensive combat and counter insurgency experience in India and Sri Lanka where he commanded a Special Forces battalion with the IPKF.
He joined the UN Department of Humanitarian Affairs in 1993 and served with them till retirement from the UN in end 2009. He has worked in the field in complex emergencies in Somalia, Armenia and the Great Lakes Region of Africa. From 1999 -2009 he was Chief, Field Coordination Support Section of the UN OCHA in Geneva and managed the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team and International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). During this period, he has been responsible for the immediate international emergency response to over 140 major disasters and emergencies around the world and has deployed to the field to all the major ones. Also held additional charge for two years as Chief, Civil – Military Coordination Section of UN OCHA.
After retirement from the UN in 2009 he is a Disaster Management Advisor who has supported various Governments, the UN and International Agencies around the world. Was a member of the Planning Commission’s Working Group on Disaster Management for the 12th Five Year Plan.
He is currently an active member of the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team and in 2011 was the Team Leader of the UN team requested by the Government of Japan for the Great Tohuku earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima- Daiichi nuclear emergency. He was also a member of the UN team to Nepal after the April 2015 earthquake.
From 2012 -2015 he has been the Mentor to the Governments of Saudi Arabia and Qatar for urban search and rescue issues.
He has numerous articles and publications in international journals and is a regular speaker on disaster response issues around the world and is on the Editorial Board of Crisis Response, UK