United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on 25 June 2020 the appointment of Giovanie Biha of Burundi as his new Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel, United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS).
Ms. Biha succeeds Ruby Sandhu-Rojon of the United States, who will complete her assignment on 10 July 2020. The Secretary-General is grateful for Ms. Sandhu-Rojon’s accomplishments in West Africa and the Sahel, including her role in supporting the re-calibration process of the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel.
Ms. Biha brings to the position extensive experience within the Organization, having held positions of responsibility including with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP); the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), as Deputy Executive Secretary; the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN), as Director of Management; and the United Nations Secretariat. Most recently, she has served as Deputy Director in the United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO). Prior to the United Nations, Ms. Biha held positions of responsibility in her home country at the Central Bank of Burundi and Banque de Commerce et Investissement.
She holds a master’s degree in Economics from the Western Illinois University, United States and is proficient in French and English. She has two children.