Dr. Natalia Kanem is United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. She has more than 30 years of strategic leadership experience in the fields of preventive medicine, public and reproductive health, social justice and philanthropy. Dr. Kanem joined the United Nations in 2014 as UNFPA Representative in the United Republic of Tanzania, and served as Deputy Executive Director in charge of programmes from 2016 until her appointment as Executive Director in 2017.
Previously, she served as founding president of ELMA Philanthropies, Inc., senior associate of the Lloyd Best Institute of the West Indies, and as Ford Foundation Deputy Vice-President for peace and social justice programmes in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and North America. Dr. Kanem holds a medical degree from Columbia University in New York, a master’s degree in Public Health, with specializations in epidemiology and preventive medicine, from the University of Washington in Seattle and a bachelor’s degree in history and science from Harvard College.