Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

Undersecretary-General and Executive Director, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN)

United Nations Undersecretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. First sworn into office on 19 August 2013. Began career as a leader in South Africa and an activist in the struggle against apartheid. Was part of the women’s movement that organized for women’s rights ensuring that they were enshrined in the new Constitution of a free South Africa. Became Member of Parliament and Deputy Minister in the Mandela government. Later appointed Minister of Minerals and Energy and fought against blood diamonds, and subsequently Deputy President, working on the fight against HIV/AIDS and coordinating efforts between the private sector, civil society and government to tackle poverty and education issues. Global advocate and influencer, in 2018 being named the most influential person in gender policy around the world. Member of the G7’s Gender Advisory Council. Has led the organization’s innovative work on disruption of society’s norms, for example with the HeForShe movement’s focus on male engagement in gender equality, or the UnStereotype Alliance’s initiative to use advertising as a force for good to drive positive change. Driving the role of women in leadership and ending discrimination and violence against women and girls. PhD in Education and Technology, University of Warwick, United Kingdom.