AAI alumna Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka of South Africa was appointed on July 10 by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, also known as UN Women.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka participated in AAI’s South Africa Training Program (SATP) while attending the National University of Lesotho where she graduated in 1980.
“Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka brings to this position a wealth of experience in advocating for women’s issues with a combination of strategic leadership, consensus building and hands-on management experience,” said Ki-moon in a UN statement.
Mlambo-Ngcuka was the first woman to hold the position of Deputy President of South Africa from 2005 to 2008. She was a member of South Africa’s parliament and served as Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry (1996-1999), Minister of Minerals and Energy (1999-2005) and as acting Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology in 2004.
Her nongovernmental work involved serving as the Young Women’s Coordinator for the World Young Women’s Christian Association in Geneva; and she was the first President of the Natal Organization of Women, an affiliate of the United Democratic Front.
The South African native established Umlambo Foundation in 2008 to provide support to schools in impoverished areas in South Africa through mentorship and coaching for teachers and in Malawi through school improvements with local partners.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka holds a Master of Philosophy in educational planning and policy from the University of Cape Town and a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of Lesotho. She received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Western Cape.
Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka replaces former Chilean president Michelle Bachelet. UN Women was a co-sponsor of AAI’s 2012 Africa Business Investors Conference where Ms. Bachelet served on a high-level panel.