United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today announced the appointment of Zainab Hawa Bangura of Sierra Leone as Director-General of the United Nations Office at Nairobi. The Secretary-General wishes to extend his appreciation and gratitude to Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), who will continue to serve as Acting Director-General until Ms. Bangura assumes her new position.
Ms. Bangura, a relentless advocate for conflict resolution and reconciliation, and a human rights champion, was most recently Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, from 2012 to 2017. She began her career in the Organization with the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), where she was responsible for managing the largest civilian component of the Mission, including the promotion of capacity-building for Government institutions and community reconciliation.
She was Minister for Health and Sanitation (2010-2012) and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (2007-2010) in the Government of Sierra Leone, and has served as Executive Director of the National Accountability Groups, as well as Coordinator and Co-founder of the Campaign for Good Governance.
Ms. Bangura holds a bachelor’s degree from Fourah Bay College in Freetown, Sierra Leone, as well as advanced diplomas in insurance management from the University of London and Nottingham University.
* This supersedes Press Release SG/A/1354-BIO/4378 of 22 June 2012.