11 March 2011

Secretary-General Appoints Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as Director-General, United Nations Office at Nairobi

11 March 2011
Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia


as Director-General, United Nations Office at Nairobi


United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia as the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON).

Ms. Zewde will be the first person to be appointed to the newly created position as head of the Organization’s Nairobi Office, at the Under-Secretary-General level.

Ms. Zewde brings to this position more than two decades of progressively responsible experience at the national, regional and international levels.  She is expected to bring to bear well-honed skills in building consensus among stakeholders, her knowledge of the Organization in order to coordinate the activities of United Nations Office in Nairobi and, finally, her vast knowledge of the region to build upon partnerships.

She is currently Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA).  Prior to that, she was Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).  She has also served as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, posts that she held since 2006.

Prior to that appointment, Ms. Zewde was Ambassador to France, Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco (2002-2006).  From 1993 to 2002, she served as Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea (1989-1993).

Ms. Zewde is a natural sciences graduate of the University of Montpellier, France.  She is fluent in Amharic, French and English.

Born on 21 February 1950, she has two sons.

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*     This supersedes SG/A/1187-BIO/4084 of 3 June 2009.

For information media • not an official record
For information media. Not an official record.