Executive Director of United Nations Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the Executive Director of UN Women and the UN Under-Secretary-General since 2013. Under her leadership UN Women launched the HeForShe campaign, which has since gained over 2 million web commitments. In 2018 she was appointed to the UN Task Force on Digital Financing of Sustainable Development Goals. Since 2016, Mlambo-Ngcuka has been a Member of the Board for Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children. She has devoted her career to issues of equality, human rights and social justice, and was actively involved in the struggle to end apartheid in South Africa. She served as the first female Deputy President of South Africa (2005-2008), where she helped to combat poverty, with a particular focus on championing women’s rights. Mlambo-Ngcuka was a Member of Parliament (1994-1996) of South Africa’s first democratic government. She continues to work closely with organisations that support women’s empowerment and gender equality. During the COVID-19 pandemic she emphasised a gender-focused response, which would help to ‘build back better’. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is the founder of the Umlambo Foundation that supports leadership and education. She has completed her PhD on education and technology at the University of Warwick.