UN APPOINTMENT

Former Ugandan MP Byanyima lands top UN job

In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission

In Summary

• In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission

•She also served for seven years as the Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Programme.

Winnie Byanyima.
Winnie Byanyima.
Image: OXFAM International

UNAIDS on Thursday welcomed the appointment of Uganda's Winnie Byanyima as its new Executive Director.

UNAIDS said Ms Byanyima has more than 30 years of experience in political leadership, diplomacy and humanitarian engagement.  

“I am honoured to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” Ms Byanyima said.

 
 

“The end of AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach, but I do not underestimate the scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as the only way to end the epidemic.”  

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, appointed Ms Byanyima as the UNAIDS Executive Director and United Nations Under-Secretary-General following a comprehensive selection process that involved a search committee constituted by members of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.

The UNAIDS Committee of Co-sponsoring Organisations made the final recommendation on the appointment to the Secretary-General.  

UNAIDS added that Ms Byanyima brings a wealth of experience and commitment in harnessing the power of governments, multilateral agencies, the private sector and civil society to end the AIDS epidemic around the world.

Prior to her appointment, Ms Byanyima has been the Executive Director of Oxfam International since 2013.

She also served for seven years as the Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Programme.

Ms Byanyima began her career as a champion of marginalised communities and women 30 years ago as a member of parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda.

 
 

In 2004, she became the Director of Women and Development at the African Union Commission, working on the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa, an international human rights instrument that became an important tool for reducing the disproportionate effect of HIV on the lives of women in Africa.

She holds an advanced degree in mechanical engineering (in energy conservation and the environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.

The Secretary-General extended his appreciation and gratitude to the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance, Gunilla Carlsson, for her service as the Executive Director.