United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has appointed Winifred “Winnie” Karagwa Byanyima of Uganda as the next Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).
The appointment follows an open and wide-ranging search process. Led by the co-sponsoring organizations and chaired by Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the process included interviews and consultations with Governments and other concerned parties through the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.
Ms. Byanyima succeeds Michel Sidibé, who was appointed Minister for Health and Social Affairs of Mali. The Secretary-General is grateful for Dr. Sidibé’s leadership of UNAIDS from 2009 to 2019 at the forefront of the global response to HIV and AIDS.
With a wealth of experience and commitment in harnessing the power of government, multilateral agencies, the private sector and civil society to end the HIV and AIDS crisis for communities around the world, Ms. Byanyima has been the Executive Director of Oxfam International since 2013. Before joining Oxfam, she served for seven years as Director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Ms. Byanyima began her career as a champion of marginalized communities and women some 30 years ago as a Member of Parliament in the National Assembly of Uganda. In 2004, she was named 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 which became an important tool for reducing the disproportionate effects of the HIV pandemic on the lives of women in Africa.
She holds a Master of Science in mechanical engineering (energy conservation and environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Science in aeronautical engineering from the University of Manchester.
Ms. Byanyima speaks English, Kiswahili and some French. She is married and has a son.
The Secretary-General wishes to extend his appreciation and gratitude to Gunilla Carlsson of Sweden, UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director of Management and Governance, for her service as Executive Director ad interim.