Winnie Byanyima appointed UNAIDS Executive DirectorTirus Wainaina
Secretary-General, António Guterres, appointed Ms Byanyima as the UNAIDS Executive Director and Under-Secretary-General “following a comprehensive selection process” that involved a search committee constituted by members of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board.
The appointment follows an open and wide-ranging search process. Led by the Co-sponsoring Organizations and chaired by Dr. Natalia Kanem, the 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, a Ugandan, has held several roles affiliated to the governance of the African Union, and has influenced the international agenda at the United Nations through her leadership in many coalitions of civil society organisations.
She has been the Oxfam executive director for six years since her appointment in January 2013.
Ms. Byanyima succeeds Michel Sidibé who was appointed as Minister of 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. The UN chief also extended his appreciation and gratitude to the UNAIDS Deputy Executive Director, Gunilla Carlsson, for her service as the Executive Director, a.i. following the departure of Michel Sidibé.
Ms. Byanyima brings 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. Prior to Oxfam, she served for seven years as the 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 towards reducing the disproportionate effect of the HIV pandemic on the lives of women in Africa.
She holds an advanced degree in Mechanical Engineering (Energy Conservation and Environment) from the Cranfield Institute of Technology, and an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Manchester. She speaks English, Kiswahili and some French. Ms. Byanyima is married with one son.