Guterres appoints Nigerian Balogun-Alexander UN resident coordinator in Timor-Leste


United Nations secretary-general Antonio Guterres on Thursday announced the appointment of Nigerian Olufunmilayo Balogun-Alexander as resident coordinator in Timor-Leste.

Mr Guterres, in a statement, stated that Ms Balogun-Alexander’s appointment was with immediate effect on Thursday.

Ms Balogun-Alexander has more than 30 years of experience working on and leading humanitarian, peace and development projects at a senior level within the United Nations and international NGOs.


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Before the appointment, Ms Balogun-Alexander was head of the Humanitarian Normative and Coordination Action, UN Women, where she led UN Women’s global response to humanitarian crises.

She also supported UN Women Country Offices to strengthen gender mainstreaming in UN-led humanitarian coordinated responses in crisis-affected countries.

Ms Balogun-Alexander also worked as UN Women country representative to UN Women, deputy representative (UN Women Ethiopia), director of External Relations and Advocacy, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Africa Region and Kenya Programme Manager for the UN Development Fund for Women.

Ms Balogun-Alexander led and supported multi-functional teams at the country level to be fit for purpose and to achieve impact and results, particularly on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus.

She led UN inter-agency coordination to coordinate joint assessments and develop and implement joint UN programmes on gender-based violence, governance and protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.

The gender expert has coordinated national support and government priorities for development and social policy funding, including co-creating and driving solutions on contentious issues of gender equality, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and minority groups to ensure that no one is left behind in achieving the SDGs.

Ms Balogun-Alexander has established and maintained strategic partnerships with governments, intergovernmental commissions, bilateral donors, media and the private sector for innovative funding and programmes.

She has a master’s degree in Gender and Development from the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK and a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Lagos. 

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