“I am honored to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” Byanyima told UNAIDs shortly after her appointmen
Winnie Byanyima is the
new Executive Director of the joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS-UNAIDS.
This ends her seven-year term as head of Oxfam.
According to UNAIDS, Byanyima was appointed by the United
Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres following a comprehensive selection
process that involved a search committee constituted by members of the UNAIDS
programme coordinating board.
“I am honored to be joining UNAIDS as the Executive Director
at such a critical time in the response to HIV,” Byanyima told UNAIDs shortly
after her appointment.
Adding that, “The end of AIDS as a public health threat by
2030 is a goal that is within the world’s reach. But I do not underestimate the
scale of the challenge ahead. Working with all its partners, UNAIDS must
continue to speak up for the people left behind and champion human rights as
the only way to end the epidemic.”
Byanyima has previously served as the director of Gender and
Development at the United Nations Development Programme and also as director of
Women and Development at the African Union Commission.
At Oxfam, Byanyima led strong advocacy against inequality in
the world, bringing to light how much wealth is owned by the top 1% compared to
the majority of the world population. She strongly called on World leaders to
act on this distortion.
Byanyima, 60, holds an advanced degree in mechanical
engineering (in Energy Conservation and the Environment) from the Cranfield
Institute of Technology and an undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering
from the University of Manchester.
She is married to Dr. Kizza Besigye, Uganda’s main opposition
leader and they have a son, Anselm Besigye