Upasana Garoo is a Project Officer in the Asia-Pacific Unit at DCAF.
Upasana is involved in the management and implementation of the Asia-Pacific Unit’s activities in South Asia, including the maintenance of a network of national partner institutions and experts covering the South Asian sub-region.
Prior to joining DCAF, Upasana held various positions with the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations. In the role of Security Sector Reform Advisor with the UN Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), Upasana was involved in a comprehensive review of the security sector and in the drafting of a new national security policy and legislation that provided for civilian oversight of the security institutions. In collaboration with UNDP’s Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery in Timor-Leste, she was involved in the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of a range of activities addressing: parliamentary and public oversight of security institutions; border management; disaster response management and civil protection; and regulation of private security companies. As a Political Liaison Officer with the UN Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), Upasana engaged with various military and civilian stakeholders in support of implementation of a Joint Border Verification Monitoring Mechanism, the establishment of a demilitarized border zone and conflict mitigation strategy and early warning assessment of annual Missierya migration from Sudan to South Sudan.
Upasana has worked closely with the UN Inter-Agency SSR Task Force (IASSRTF) in supporting effective and coherent SSG/SSR support to the Government of Timor-Leste. Her experience has involved supporting national governments, national non-state actors, bilateral donors, and multilateral organizations such as the European Union, the African Union, East Africa’s Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and ASEAN. Upasana’s work has focused on supporting oversight and management mechanisms at both public and private levels and to reinforce regional frameworks in the field of Security Sector Governance.
Other professional experience includes work on justice sector reform in India, focusing on access to justice and reform of the correction facilities in Delhi, and gender policy and flagship publication work with UNICEF in New York. Recently, she has been involved with teaching governance at the Ecole Polytechnique de Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), and in research addressing the private security industry in India.
Upasana holds an MA in Law and Diplomacy (International Security Studies and Human Security) from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, an LLM (International Law and Human Rights) from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), and an LLB and a BA in Sociology from the University of Delhi.