After four inspiring years as the ICRC’s Head of Regional Delegation covering India, Bhutan and the Maldives, Mary Werntz ended her mission in Delhi at the end of July.
In a career spanning over 20 years in the ICRC, Werntz has headed various delegations since 2004 — including Azerbaijan, Nepal, and the Regional Delegation to the United States and Canada — following which she took charge in New Delhi in August 2012 as Head of the Regional Delegation.
Werntz — who holds a Master’s degree from Cornell University (Ithaca, NY) in City and Regional Planning (specialising in International Development Planning) — began her career in the organisation in 1995 as an Urdu interpreter, carrying out the first ICRC detention visits in India. As part of her undergraduate degree in South Asian Studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, she spent one year at the Benares Hindu University here in India as well.
“My journey through India, through the lanes and by-lanes of Benares on a cycle, has thus been long. I have returned many times, and each time I have been exposed to new layers of this inspiring country of diverse colours, smells, sounds – all reflected in the people I met through my personal and professional interactions,” Werntz said in her valedictory remarks.
Through her long-standing experience and understanding of the region, Werntz brought tremendous expertise and knowledge to her assignment in South Asia.
She returns to the ICRC headquarters in Geneva in the position of Deputy Director (Operations).
Follow her on Twitter @mswerntz
Below is a selection of pictures from the valedictory held at the Indian Red Cross Society (©ICRC, Ashish Bhatia):