Winnie Byanyima

Oxfam International
Executive Director

Winnie Byanyima, a grass-roots activist, human rights advocate, senior international public servant, and world recognized expert on women’s rights, is currently Executive Director of Oxfam International.

Born in Uganda in 1959, Ms. Byanyima earned engineering degrees in the United Kingdom and began her career as an engineer for Uganda Airlines. She was appointed to the diplomatic service in 1989, where she represented Uganda in France and at UNESCO in Paris. She returned to Uganda in 1994 and for the next ten years she served as a member of parliament, created an all-woman parliamentary caucus, and was founding leader of the Forum for Women in Democracy (FOWODE), a national NGO in Uganda to champion women’s equal participation in decision-making.

From 2004 until 2006, she served at the African Union Commission to improve the institution’s governance and equality by establishing a program on gender and development. In 2006, she moved to the global stage as director of Gender and Development at the United Nations Development Program, working on development, climate change and economic policy through the prism of gender considerations. In that role, she co-founded a 60-member Global Gender and Climate Alliance of civil society, bilateral and multilateral organizations and chaired a UN-wide task force on gender aspects of the Millennium Development Goals, and of climate change.

On May 1 2013 she began a five-year term leading Oxfam International, which provides strategic guidance, support, expertise and coordination across the global organization. Through our 17 affiliates, Oxfam works with people in 94 countries to provide humanitarian relief in crisis, empower poor and marginalized people to gain social and economic equality, and campaign for a more just world.

"I am very proud to lead such a respected organization as Oxfam," Ms. Byanyima said. "I feel that we're part of challenging and changing times. But I am also excited by all the new opportunities that civil society can seize to support poor people to claim their rights, and to finally escape poverty, hunger and injustice. I want to help Oxfam to build upon its great legacy because I believe the world needs a strong civil society now than ever before."

Winnie Byanyima's Events

IMF Africa Rising Conference Concluding Roundtable: Next Steps and Joint Action (30th May 2014)  For the rising of Africa, what needs to be done and by who? A roundtable session joined by: Alberto Vaquina, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, Daniel Kablan Duncan, Winnie Byanyima, and Bob Collymore

WEF Africa 2014 Session: Unlocking Job-Creating Growth (9th May 2014)Africa is the world's second fastest-growing region, yet only one in four people hold stable, wage-paying jobs. How can the continent's growth strategies be more inclusive and create jobs?Speakers: Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Klaus Schwab, Winnie Byanyima, John Rice, Dominic Barton, Paul Kagame, Aliko Dangote

OECD Forum 2014 Session: Inclusive Societies (5th May 2014)Speakers: Winnie Byanyima, Jason Furman, Chairman, Philip J. Jennings, Michel Landel

OECD Forum 2014 Session: Tax for Development  (5th May 2014)Speakers: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Winnie Byanyima, John Christensen, Paul Collier, Margaret Hodge, Chair, Alan McLean

World Bank / IMF Spring meetings Seminar: The Macroeconomics of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective (11th April 2014)Speakers: Min Zhu, Gabriela Frias, Tyler Cowen, Jose de Gregorio, Guy Ryder, Jeffrey Sachs, Winnie Byanyima

The Mandela Lectures, BBC - Winnie Byanyima speaks about inequality in the 21st Century (18th March 2014)Inspired by the teachings of Nelson Mandela, three 15 minute lectures by Black and Asian contemporary thinkers, cultural commentators and community activists were recorded in February 2014 at the BBC in front of an invited audience. The lectures will be held annually.

WEF Annual meeting 2014 Session: Africa’s next Billion (22nd Jan 2014)With Africa's population rising to 2 billion by 2050, what actions are needed now to ensure sustainable and inclusive growth?Speakers: John Dramani Mahama, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Winnie Byanyima, Aliko Dangote, Julian Roberts, Bronwyn Nielsen, Doreen E. Noni

WEF Africa 2013 Session: Governance Best Practices (9th May 2013)How are African leaders driving positive change and creating enabling environments for growth?A discussion among: Joaquim Chissano, Mo Ibrahim, Winnie Byanyima, Akere T. Muna, Robert Greenhill and Ian Shapiro

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