Tanzanian Joyce Msuya appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

By The Citizen Reporter

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Tuesday (December 14th) the appointment of Joyce Msuya, a Tanzanian national, as Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator.

She succeeds Ursula Mueller of Germany, to whom the Secretary-General is deeply grateful for her leadership and dedicated service during her tenure.

Msuya holds an MSc in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Ottawa, Canada and a BSc in Biochemistry and Immunology from the University of Strathclyde, Scotland.

Joyce Msuya previously served as Under-Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program in Nairobi, Kenya.

While in her previous position, she was responsible for a budget of US$455 million and a portfolio of projects and operations valued at over US$1 billion, executed by 2,500 people in 41 offices and seats.

“She provided administrative leadership to 18 multilateral environmental agreement secretariats, including regional seas conventions,” the statement said.


Between 2018 and 2019, she served as Acting Executive Director at Assistant Secretary-General level, steering the organization towards stability, leading the fourth session of the United Nations Environment Assembly and mobilizing resources to support its mission.

She brings to this position more than 20 years of experience in international development and finance, covering strategy, operations and partnerships, with various assignments in Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Joyce Msuya has held several senior positions within the World Bank Group, including as Special Representative and Head of the World Bank Group Office in the Republic of Korea, Regional Coordinator at the World Bank Institute based in China and Special Advisor to the Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.

She also led the strategy and operations of the International Finance Corporation in Latin America and Africa, covering the manufacturing, agribusiness and services sectors.

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