Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka

United Nations Under-Secretary-General. Executive Director of UN Women. Former Deputy President of South Africa, and first woman to hold this position. Former Member of Parliament as part of South Africa’s first democratic government.

Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka is the current Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Executive Director of UN Women. Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka has dedicated much of her life  to work in government and the public sector.  She played an active role in bringing an end to Apartheid in South Africa, and later served as a member of Parliament in South Africa’s first democratic government.  Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka went on to become the Deputy Minister in the Department of Trade and Industry, served briefly as the Minister of Minerals and Energy, and was appointed Deputy President of South Africa from 2005  to 2008.  During her time as Deputy President, Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka oversaw the implementation of programs aimed at combatting poverty, with a particular focus on supporting women and girls.  She was sworn into office at the United Nations in 2013.

In the words of the HLS community member who nominated her, “I am honored to nominate her for the International Women’s Day Celebration in recognition of her trailblazing career and lifelong commitment to the rights of women and girls.”