A Ugandan woman activist Engineer Winnie Byanyima has been appointed executive director of Oxfam International.
Her new role will provide strategic direction and co-ordination for the worldwide confederation of Oxfam affiliates.
Oxfam operates in 94 countries to find effective ways to end the injustice of poverty, through its 17 affiliates.
She takes over in April 2013, replacing Jeremy Hobbs, who has served as Executive Director of Oxfam International since 2001.
A statement issued by Oxfam International yesterday said she was selected after a global search, led by the chairman of Oxfam International, Keith Johnston, with the help of an international executive search firm.
“In an outstanding field of candidates, Winnie stood out as exemplifying Oxfam’s values and ambitions,” Keith Johnston said.
He added: “She brings clear vision fired by her commitment to social justice, the toughness of an able negotiator and campaigner, and leadership based on her capacity to inspire and convene, in many circles, cultures and levels.”
Byanyima said: “The world is witnessing a shift in global development, growing inequality, volatility on many levels and mounting aspirations and impatience for change.”
“Oxfam understands how this changing context means it must be strategic and adaptable in its mission to overcome poverty and reinforce peoples’ rights.
Byanyima is married to Uganda’s former leader of Oppsition retired Colonel Dr.Kizza Besigye.