On 7 February 2018 United Nations Secretary General António Guterres announced the appointment of Dereje Wordofa of Ethiopia as Deputy Executive Director (Programme) of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). He will succeed Natalia Kanem of Panama who was recently appointed as Executive Director of UNFPA.
Mr. Wordofa brings to the position over 28 years of successful experience in providing strategic leadership, advocacy, programme development and managing operations in complex and challenging environments, largely focused on Africa.
In his current role as the International Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa Region for SOS Children’s Village International, he is responsible for the region’s programme interventions and operations overseeing 4,500 employees. He leads the management of social development, humanitarian and advocacy programmes with a focus on children and youth, and was recently promoted with an expanded role to lead and oversee the strategic directions and programme development in the West and Central Africa region, and Middle East and North Africa region, effectively covering the whole African continent.
Mr. Wordofa previously served as Regional Director for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee, responsible for directing and leading sustainable programmes at regional and country levels, the formulation of public policy and the development of a comprehensive advocacy strategy.
He was Country Representative for Oxfam in Uganda and later Head of Policy where he oversaw the management of the country programme, providing strategic leadership, programming and representation of Oxfam to various networks, alliances, Governments, donors and non-governmental organizations, as well as leadership and direction to a team of regional policy advisers. Earlier roles included Deputy Programme Director at Save the Children, responsible for the development, management and support of all programmes; Regional Programme Development Adviser for East and Great Lakes Region, Oxfam Great Britain; and National Rehabilitation Programs Coordinator, and Manager and Emergency Coordinator, both with Save the Children, Ethiopia.
Mr. Wordofa holds a master’s degree in business administration from Oxford Brooks University, Oxford, United Kingdom, a Master of Science in social policy in developing countries from the London School of Economics, London, and a Bachelor of Arts in business management from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.