ILO COOP Staff

Simel Esim

Simel Esim Simel Esim, a Turkish-American economist, has led the ILO’s portfolio on cooperatives and the wider social and solidarity economy (SSE) since 2012, when she became the first woman to be appointed as the head the ILO’s Cooperatives Unit (COOP) since 1920. In 2022, she served as lead technical expert for the ILO’s Office report on decent work and the SSE. The general discussion at the 110th ILC led to the adoption of a resolution on decent work and the SSE, and the subsequent seven year strategy and action plan (2023-2029) endorsed by the ILO’s Governing Body.

Previously, Simel led ILO Regional Office for Arab States’ portfolio on gender equality and women workers rights. Prior to joining the ILO in 2004, Ms Esim worked for the World Bank, Development Alternatives, Inc. and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW). She has been a member of Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO) since its founding in 1997 and currently serves on its Board.

She holds a PhD in Economics from the American University in Washington, DC, an MA in International Economics and Middle East Studies from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Bologna, Italy and Washington, DC, and a BA in Political Science from the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul. She is fluent in English and Turkish and has working knowledge of Arabic, French and Italian.



Guy Tchami

Guy Tchami has been working for the ILO for the past sixteen years. He joined the organization in 2001 in its Cooperatives Unit in Geneva, mainly working on project formulation, project backstopping, research and publications, etc. Between 2008-11, he worked for a DFID-funded programme assisting cooperatives and other self-help groups in Eastern and Southern Africa, based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. He is currently based in Geneva as Cooperative Policy and Research Specialist working on development cooperation projects on cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy enterprises. He holds a Master’s degree in Development Economics. He speaks French, and English, and as well as has working knowledge of Spanish.

Dong Il Choi

Dong Il Choi has joined the Cooperatives Unit of the Enterprises Department at the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva in April 2021 as Cooperatives and Social & Solidarity Economy (SSE) Development Specialist. He is seconded to the ILO from the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MOEF) of South Korea where he had worked for 15 years.

Mr Choi’s main focus at MOEF has been around budgeting and policy coordination. He worked at the Budget Office for six years on diverse national budget issues including welfare, employment and labour, research and development and social overhead capital (SOC) among others. He also worked at the Policy Coordination Bureau of MOEF, which includes a division on Cooperatives and Social Economy, for five years. Around 2012, he was in charge of the process of establishing and enacting 'the Framework Act on Cooperatives', through which he built an understanding on the value of cooperatives and wider social and solidarity economy (SSE).

Mr Choi has a B.A. in Economics from Seoul National University (SNU) in addition to two master’s degrees: one in Engineering from SNU and another one in International Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern California, Sol Price School of Public Policy in Los Angeles, California.

He speaks English and Korean (native).

Rayann Koudaih

Rayann Koudaih joined the ILO in 2015. Before joining the COOP unit, he has worked at the ILO Regional Office for Arab States as an enterprise development officer. His technical areas of work include entrepreneurship promotion, SME productivity and working conditions, financial inclusion, enterprise formalization, and more recently SSE and cooperative development in Lebanon, Jordan, Yemen, Palestine, and Iraq. Prior to joining the ILO, Rayann worked as a policy analyst at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on private sector development policies in the MENA region. He joined ILO’s Cooperatives Unit in Geneva as Technical Officer on SSE and Cooperative Development providing support to relevant development cooperation projects in Arab States and Africa. He holds a Master’s degree in International and Development Economics from the Université de Paris-Dauphine in Paris, France. He speaks Arabic, French, and English. 

Susan Bvumbe

Susan Bvumbe is the Administrative Secretary of the Cooperatives Unit. Prior to joining the ILO in 2010, she worked for the Commercial Bank of Zimbabwe for 8 years in the area of administration. She manages all administrative work and the website of the Unit. She speaks English, French and Shona.