Valentina Otmačić has been the Head of the UNICEF team in Croatia since 2014. Prior to assuming the duties of Head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, she was active in the field of human rights education, and worked with children, youth and adults in Sisak-Moslavina County as part of the Human Rights Friendly Schools project. She is currently preparing her Ph.D. in Peace Studies at the University of Bradford in the United Kingdom.
Valentina Otmačić began her rich international career in the promotion and protection of human rights in Mostar in 1996 at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation (OSCE). She then joined the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Tanzania, where she coordinated field activities at the Lukole refugee camp that held more than 130,000 refugees from Burundi and Rwanda.
Ms Otmačić continued her work on the promotion and realisation of the rights of refugees in 2002 in Burundi, where she coordinated activities related to the return and reintegration of refugees. She worked on projects for children and youth in Lebanon from 2004 to 2007. During this period she wrote the handbook "Conflict as a Challenge: Enhancing Children’s Capacities of Constructive Conflict Transformation", used today for teacher training in Lebanese schools.
She gained additional experience of running complex projects whilst in Columbia where from 2008 to 2009 she managed the EU-funded project Regional Network for Development and Social Cohesion – Instruments and Activities for Social Integration of Communities affected by Violence in the region of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.