Kea Taylor
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
Executive Director UN Women

Under-Secretary-General (USG) and Executive Director (ED) of UN Women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women. Now in her second term (to 2021), she was first sworn into office on 19 August 2013.

As the head of the UN entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, she is a global advocate and 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. Through coalition and movement building among global leaders in public and private sectors, and with civil society, she is driving the role of women in leadership, and ending discrimination and violence against women and girls.

She began her career as a leader in South Africa and an activist in the struggle against apartheid. She 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. 

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