Winnie Byanyima is the new leader (executive director) of the UNAIDS

Winnie Byanyima who is the current head of the UK Oxfam charity, has revealed that she is leaving Oxfam to take a new role at the UNAIDS (United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS). According to the UNAIDS website, the ‘‘UNAIDS is leading the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals’’. In their welcome letter, they stated that ‘‘Ms Byanyima has more than 30 years of experience in political leadership, diplomacy and humanitarian engagement’’.  

Byanyima is a humanitarian activist with a background as a former MP and aeronautical engineer. In a message to her Oxfam colleagues, Byanyima expressed that she had personal reasons for accepting this new role at the UNAIDS. She lost her brother Bernard to AIDS, including other relatives, comrades and friends. She is married to Dr. Kizza Besigye who is a political opposition figure.

The former director of UNAIDS: Michel Sidibe, resigned from the role after being there for 10 years. Sidibe is now the Health Minister in Mali. Gunilla Carlsson was appointed to the position after the departure of Sidibe.

Byanyima tweeted that she ‘‘embraces the role with humility, passion & faith that we can end this pandemic by 2030’’. She has also publicly thanked the Ugandan government, friends, fans, her family and Oxfam who have shown love, support and belief in her suitability and qualification for the new role.  

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