Ambassador Sahlework Zewde, a prominent Ethiopian diplomat with years of experience with the UN, will be replacing the outgoing president, Dr Mulatu Teshome, who has been the president since October 2013.
She will become the first female head of state since the coming into power of the current government led by EPRDF.
In 2011, Former United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, appointed her as Director General of the UN office in Nairobi (UNON), which was then a newly created position.
She was appointed in June this year by Secretary-General António Guterres as his Special Representative to the African Union and Head of the United Nations Office to the African Union (UNOAU) at the level of Under-Secretary-General.
Ambassador Sahlework’s three decades working with the United Nations spans from Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in the Central African Republic (BINUCA) to the Permanent Representative of Ethiopia to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and accredited to Tunisia and Morocco.
Sahle-work also has a rich ambassadorial track record having served as Ethiopian ambassador to several countries. She was the second woman to hold an Ambassadorial position in the history of Ethiopia.
In her work as an Ethiopian diplomat, Ambassador Sahlework served as Director-General for African Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia as well as Ethiopian Ambassador to France. From 1993 to 2002, she served as Ambassador to Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), and to Senegal, with accreditation to Mali, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea.