Press Release

UNFPA Welcomes Dereje Wordofa as New Deputy Executive Director

7 February 2018

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 7 February 2018—UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has welcomed the Secretary General’s appointment today of Dereje Wordofa, an Ethiopian, as Deputy Executive Director (Programme).  Mr. Wordofa succeeds Dr. Natalia Kanem, who became the Fund’s Executive Director last October. 

“I am pleased to welcome Dereje Wordofa to the UNFPA family as Deputy Executive Director, Programme,” said Dr. Kanem. “Dereje brings strategic leadership, operational expertise and deep programming, policy and advocacy experience. These skills will be crucial as we work together to achieve our ambitious aims of zero preventable maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero violence and harmful practices against women and girls.”

Mr. Wordofa brings to the position more than 28 years of strategic leadership, advocacy and operational expertise in complex and challenging environments. Before joining UNFPA, Mr. Wordofa served as the International Regional Director, Eastern and Southern Africa, of SOS Children’s Villages. In that position, he provided leadership for social development programmes, with a focus on children and youth in 25 countries across Eastern and Southern Africa, while managing some 4,500 employees.

Mr. Wordofa previously held the role of Regional Director for Africa at the American Friends Service Committee, responsible for directing and leading sustainable programmes and formulating public policy and advocacy.

He was also Country Representative of Oxfam in Uganda, with responsibility for overall planning and managing sustainable development, humanitarian relief and public policy on poverty reduction programmes. Mr. Wordofa later became Head of the Regional Policy Team with Oxfam in the United Kingdom, where he coordinated the development of public policy to ensure consistency and coherence within Oxfam International—a partnership of 12 Oxfam agencies.  He provided strategic leadership and support to the Oxfam Regional Programmes in planning, guiding Oxford-based policy advisers who covered Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Earlier in his career, Mr. Wordofa was Deputy Programme Director with Save the Children Fund (UK) in Ethiopia. In that role, he promoted community participation as a cross-cutting issue in project planning and developed innovative approaches to advancing programmes in gender, child rights, HIV/AIDS and disability.

Mr. Wordofa holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford; a Master of Science in Social Policy in Developing Countries from the London School of Economics; and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.

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UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information, contact: Jeffrey Bates, Tel.: +1 212 297 5208,
Email: bates@unpfa.org

 

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