UN Foundation Congratulates New UNICEF Executive Director Catherine M. Russell

Washington, DC

December 10, 2021


Megan Rabbitt

United Nations Foundation President and CEO Elizabeth Cousens issued the following statement welcoming the appointment of Catherine M. Russell as the next Executive Director of UNICEF:

“The UN Foundation congratulates Catherine Russell on her appointment as the next Executive Director of UNICEF. Her appointment comes at an especially critical time; UNICEF reports that children are facing the worst global crisis in its 75-year history as the impacts of COVID-19 continue to reverberate around the world. Cathy’s deep policy knowledge and practical acumen, combined with her extensive experience throughout the U.S. Government, make her exceptionally suited to help UNICEF protect and accelerate progress at this moment of profound crisis for the world’s children.

“Cathy has extensive experience advocating for rights and opportunities for all girls and women. During her tenure as Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State from 2013 to 2017, she elevated gender across the U.S. foreign policy agenda and led a ground-breaking initiative that focused on the health and development of adolescent girls. She has represented the U.S. around the world and has seen firsthand the close cooperation between the U.S. and the UN, including UNICEF.

“Most recently, she served as the Director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel and also has extensive prior experience on Capitol Hill. She stands to be a forceful advocate for UNICEF and its work in the United States and across the world at the highest levels.

“As we look toward this new chapter at UNICEF, the UN Foundation remains deeply appreciative of the work of Henrietta Fore during her time as Executive Director. She made an enormous contribution to the lives of children everywhere through her tireless advocacy, determination, and compassion.”