Under-Secretary-General, United Nations; Executive Director, UN Women
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka is United Nations undersecretary general and executive director of UN Women, sworn into office on August 2013. She was deputy president of South Africa from 2005 to 2008 and previously the country’s minister of minerals and energy and deputy minister of trade and industry. She was a member of parliament from 1994 to 1996, part of South Africa’s first democratic government. Mlambo-Ngcuka began her career as a teacher and was a coordinator at the World YWCA in Geneva. She founded the Umlambo Foundation, which supports leadership and education. A longtime champion of women’s rights, she is affiliated with several organizations devoted to education, women’s empowerment, and gender equality.