Vincent Cochetel has been the Special Envoy for the Central Mediterranean Situation at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since March 2013.
He served as the UNHCR's Regional Refugee Coordinator for the refugee crisis in Europe from September 2015 to January 2017.
Prior to that Cochetel was the UNHCR Regional Representative for the United States and the Caribbean, based in Washington, D.C., from August 2010 to February 2013.
He joined UNHCR in 1986, initially working as a legal/protection officer in a number of posts mainly in Europe. He then managed UNHCR field offices in Central Europe, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Cochetel participated in several emergency missions in Asia, West Africa and Europe (North Caucasus).
In September 2002, he was appointed Director of the Investigation Unit of the Inspector General's Office at UNHCR Headquarters in Geneva. In May 2005, he became Deputy Director of UNHCR's Division of International Protection and Director of the Resettlement Service.
Before joining UNHCR, Cochetel collaborated for two years with the European Commission and briefly with the European Court of Human Rights.
He has written articles on numerous refugee issues and contributed to the drafting of several UNHCR training manuals related to staff safety, emergency management, protection, and durable solutions.
Cochetel is a graduate of the Law Faculty of Tours (France), and the University of Paris II as well as Paris XI.