US President Joe Biden’s Advisor Catherine Russell Named New Head of UNICEF

Following meetings with UNICEF’s executive board, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced the appointment of Catherine Russell as the new head of UNICEF.

On December 10, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced Catherine Russell, an assistant to US President Joe Biden, as the new head of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

Ms. Russell is also the Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, and from 2013 to 2017, she was the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues.

 Ms. Russell was also warmly welcomed to the top job by RytisPaulauskas, President of the UNICEF Executive Board, who assured her that “she has the full support” of the Board to carry out the essential leadership role.

Ms. Russell is the Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and Assistant to the President.

She was Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues in the US State Department from 2013 to 2017. She was the primary author of the groundbreaking “US Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls,” which integrated women’s concerns across all aspects of US foreign policy.

Ms. Russell formerly worked for President Barack Obama as a Deputy Assistant, Senior Adviser on International Women’s Issues on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Associate Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and Staff Director of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

She was also an Institute of Politics Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, where she taught. She has served on the Women’s Foreign Policy Group’s board of directors, the Women for Women International board of directors, the Sesame Street Advisory Board, the KIVA advisory council, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s Trust Women initiative.

Ms. Russell will start her new job early next year. She is UNICEF’s eighth Executive Director and the organization’s fourth female leader in its 75-year history.