Liberian woman Gets UN Assistant Secretary General Post

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MONROVIA-Mrs. Sara Beysolow Nyanti of Liberia – Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan has been appointed the new Deputy Special Representative in the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Resident Coordinator in South Sudan.

The appointment was made December 6, 2021 by the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres. Ms. Nyanti will also serve as Humanitarian Coordinator.

Ms. Nyanti succeeds Alain Noudéhou of Benin to whom the Secretary-General is grateful for his leadership and dedicated commitment to the people of South Sudan.

The triple function role, which is at the level of Assistant Secretary-General, will put Mrs. Nyanti in charge of the UN’s entire development and humanitarian programmes in South Sudan, Africa’s youngest republic.

This also means that Nyanti will be leading the UN’s efforts for the establishment and strengthening of systems and structures for development across all sectors of the country including recovery and stabilization strategies.

Nyanti brings more than 20 years of experience in international development and humanitarian affairs including in conflict and post-conflict settings, most recently serving as Resident Coordinator in Nepal (2021).  She also served as United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Yemen (2019-2020) and in The Gambia (2015-2017).  Prior to her senior-level representational roles, she served in numerous technical capacities in UNICEF and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) related to setting up systems for large scale grant management, social protection/cash transfers, HIV/AIDS, health and education.

Before joining the United Nations in Liberia where she worked during the conflict and transitional government periods, Ms. Nyanti held senior positions in the Ministry of Health of the Government of Liberia (1999-2003).

She served as the Director of the National AIDS Control Programme and prior to that, she served as Special Assistant to the Minister of Health.

Mrs. Nyanti holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the New Charter University, USA.  She most recently completed a second Master’s in Management and Leadership from Western Governors University, USA; and is an accredited Broker with the United Kingdom-based international Partnership Broker Association managing and developing collaboration processes.  She is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Transformational Leadership.

Before her appointment, she served in various capacities of responsibility within the UN organization, including leadership roles in the UN agency, UNICEF.

Mrs. Nyanti played a mission-critical role in leading the UNICEF largest and most complicated humanitarian operations in the world in Yemen, which was in the throes of a civil war. Her appeal to the world’s conscience in helping the children and women of Yemen who were in dire straits during the civil war was carried live on Al Jazeera, MSNBC, BBC and a host of social media platforms.

Additionally, she established a system for paying cash benefiting almost 9 million people in Yemen and managed hundreds of millions of dollars in the process. This model is being replicated in Afghanistan.

In Liberia, Nyanti is a renowned Baptist Reverend who has implemented community activities in Montserrado, Margibi and Grand Bassa County. She has established Learning Huts for Adolescent girls, which ensure that female teachers and female counsellors are available to teach girls 10-19 years of age in their communities to provide them with a safe space to prevent rape and other forms of violence.

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