Catherine Russell to head UNICEF

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointment Catherine Russell as the head of UN children’s agency UNICEF.

Key Points

  • Catherine Russell is an assistant to US President Joe Biden.
  • She also heads the White House Office of Presidential Personnel.
  • From 2013-2017, she has also served as the State Department’s ambassador-at-large, for global women’s issues.
  • Russell will succeed Henrietta Fore, who resigned in July 2021 because of a family health issue.


UNICEF is also known as “United Nations Children’s Fund”. It is a United Nations agency, which is responsible to provide humanitarian and developmental aid to children across the world. It is among the most widespread and recognizable social welfare organizations of the world. It is present in 192 countries and territories.

Activities of UNICEF

Main activities of UNICEF include:

  1. To provide immunizations and disease prevention
  2. To administer treatment for children and mothers with HIV
  3. To enhance childhood and maternal nutrition
  4. To improve sanitation, promote education, and provide emergency relief in response to disasters.

Largest Funder

The United States is the largest funder of UNICEF.


UNICEF is the successor of United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It was established on December 11, 1946, in New York. It was established by U.N. Relief Rehabilitation Administration for providing immediate relief to children and mothers who were affected by World War II. In the same year, UNGA established UNICEF to institutionalize post-war relief work.

Governing Body of UNICEF

UNICEF is governed by a 36-member executive board. The board establishes policies, oversees administrative & financial plans and approves programs. Board comprises of government representatives, who are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council. They are elected for three-year terms.




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