Ugandan Winnie Byanyima has secured the top job at UNAIDS, a global body helping to fight the AIDS disease.
Byanyima currently heads UK charity Oxfam but has now been appointed as the next executive director of UNAIDS.
UNAIDS said in a statement 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.”
She is a former Member of Parliament in Uganda and engineer by training. Ms Byanyima will succeed Michel Sidibé, who has been appointed Mali’s health minister.
— UNAIDS (@UNAIDS) August 14, 2019
“I am honoured to be joining UNAids as the executive director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” Ms Byanyima said in a statement.
She adds that “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”.
Ms Byanyima, 60, has said she embraces the role with “humility, passion and faith”.
An honour 2 be asked 2 lead the UN & global HIV response! I embrace the role with humility, passion & faith that we can end this pandemic by 2030. I look fwd to joining @UNAIDS team & working closely with co-sponsors & partners 2 remove barriers to prevention, treatment & care https://t.co/i4GPSUzObu
— Winnie Byanyima (@Winnie_Byanyima) August 15, 2019
Ms Byanyima is married to Ugandan opposition leader Kizza Besigye.
She served for seven years as director of gender and development at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) before she joining Oxfam in 2013.
She has also worked for the African Union Commission on a women’s rights project to help reduce the disproportionate effect of HIV on the lives of women on the continent.