United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, following consultations with Member States and the Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), today announced the appointment of Sima Sami Bahous of Jordan as Executive Director of UN-Women.
She succeeds Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her commitment and dedicated service in leading UN-Women. The Secretary‑General also wishes to extend his appreciation to the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, who will continue to serve as Acting Executive Director until Ms. Bahous assumes the position.
A champion for women and girls, gender equality and youth empowerment, as well as a keen advocate for quality education, poverty alleviation and inclusive governance, Ms. Bahous brings to the position over 35 years of leadership experience at the grass‑roots, national, regional and international levels. It is coupled with expertise in advancing women empowerment and rights, addressing discrimination and violence and promoting sustainable socioeconomic development towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Ms. Bahous most recently served as Permanent Representative of Jordan to the United Nations in New York. Prior to that position, she served as Assistant Administrator and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), from 2012 to 2016, and Assistant Secretary‑General and Head of the Social Development Sector at the League of Arab States, from 2008 to 2012.
She has also served in two ministerial posts in Jordan as President of the Higher Media Council, from 2005 to 2008, and as Adviser to King Abdullah II from 2003 to 2005. She was Media Adviser and Director of Communication for the Royal Hashemite Court from 2001 to 2003, Acting Executive Director for the King Hussein Foundation from 2000 to 2001 and Executive Director of the Noor al Hussein Foundation from 1998 to 2001. She also worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and with a number of United Nations and civil society organizations, and taught development and communication studies at various universities in Jordan.
Ms. Bahous holds a doctorate degree in mass communication and development from Indiana University, in the United States; a master’s degree in literature and drama from Essex University, in the United Kingdom; and a bachelor’s degree in English literature from Jordan University. She is fluent in Arabic and English, and proficient in French.
* This supersedes Press Release BIO/4876 of 22 August 2016.