Bernander was subsequently in charge of the international rehabilitation effort in Cambodia, and later joined the United Nations operation in Mozambique as Coordinator of international humanitarian assistance to that country. Since then he has carried out a number of consultancy assignments for the United Nations and for the Swedish Government.
Bernander has had a long career with UNDP, advancing to the position of Assistant Administrator in 1988. He has been assigned to various UNDP field posts in Asia and Africa, and served as UNDP Resident Representative in Zaire and Ethiopia during the 1970's.
In 1980-83 Bernander headed the secretariat of the Mekong Committee, an inter-governmental body dedicated to the harmonization of development policies and activities of the riparian countries of the Mekong river, serving as the Committee's executive officer.
From 1983 onwards, he was Director of the Office for Project Services, the project implementing arm of UNDP, which grew under his tenure into a major facility for carrying out development projects. Over a five-year period, programme disbursements grew from US$ 70 mn per year to over 300 mn.
Bernander joined the United Nations in 1962 as political affairs officer with the United Nations operation in the Congo. At the time he was active in journalism and foreign editor of a Swedish daily.
A Swedish national, Bernander graduated from the University of Göteborg, Sweden, following post-graduate courses in 1956 at the Sorbonne and finishing with a doctorate in Romance languages in 1958. He is married and has two children.