Annika Savill, Executive Head, UN Democracy Fund
As Executive Head of the UN Democracy Fund, Annika Savill leads the work of the only UN entity explicitly mandated to support democracy. She has spearheaded UNDEF’s work to operate in challenging political environments in the face of closing space for civil society; and to pro-actively generate innovative civil society projects, including in the Covid-19 context, the rule of law, refugee empowerment, women’s participation, youth engagement, and media freedom. Before joining UNDEF, Annika Savill served in the Executive Office of the UN Secretary-General from 1997 to 2008, under Kofi A. Annan and then Ban Ki-moon, as the Secretary-General's senior speechwriter and a member of his core communications team. Prior to joining the United Nations, she was a journalist in London, serving with the Associated Press, Reuters and The Independent, where she was a founder member and Diplomatic Editor, writing about global institutions and democratic processes in a number of societies in transition. A winner of two UN Secretary-General Awards for organizational innovation, she is a member of the Global Commission on Democracy and Emergencies, and of the Board of Governors of the Democracy & Culture Foundation.
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