Geneva: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Catherine Russell, an adviser to to US President Joe Biden, as Executive Director of Unicef, a UN spokesman said on Friday December 10.
She replaces Henrietta Fore, to whom Guterres expressed his gratitude for her commitment and dedicated service to the UN agency, Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, the Secretary-General’s chief spokesman, as saying.
“Russell brings to the role decades of experience in developing innovative policy that empowers underserved communities around the world,” the spokesman said.
Russell currently serves as Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel. From 2013 to 2017, she served as ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues in the Department of State.
The Secretary-General expressed his appreciation to Fore “for her inspiring leadership of Unicef and in particular, Unicef’s critical role in the global response to Covid-19 and in reimagining education”, Dujarric said.
“As a result of her leadership, Unicef is now an organization with a broader array of public and private sector partnerships and a bolder focus on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”
Russell will become the fourth woman to head the agency of 20,000 personnel, Unicef said in a statement.
“Catherine Russell will bring a wealth of expertise to Unicef’s work, and I am delighted to hand over to someone with her knowledge, experience, and deep care for children and women,” said Fore.
“I have no doubt that Unicef and the world’s children will be in capable hands under her leadership.”
Unicef said Russell will assume her new functions early in the new year.
Photo Source: IANS