8 August 2006

Biographical Note

Secretary-General Appoints Margaret Novicki as Director of UN Information Centre in Pretoria, South Africa

NEW YORK, 7 August (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is pleased to announce the appointment of Margaret Novicki as the Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, South Africa.  Ms. Novicki, a national of the United States, brings to this post extensive experience in communications, media relations and journalism, much of it acquired in Africa.  She will take up her duties on 1 September 2006.

Ms. Novicki is currently Director of the United Nations Information Centre in Ghana, a position to which she was appointed in 1998.  UNIC Ghana provides communications services to Ghana and Sierra Leone.  Ms. Novicki has also served as Chief of Public Information and Spokesperson for the United Nations peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Liberia and as Chief of Outreach in the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at United Nations Headquarters.

In addition to her official duties, Ms. Novicki also acts as the United Nations Special Adviser to the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra, a regional centre of excellence for operational-level peacekeeping training.  At KAIPTC, she is an instructor on issues including media relations and public information; gender; sexual exploitation; and disarmament, demobilization and reintegration.  She also provides input on curriculum development and leads public outreach for the Centre.

Ms. Novicki joined the United Nations Department of Public Information in 1995 as a senior writer for its magazine Africa Recovery.  Prior to that, she was editor-in-chief of the African-American Institute's Africa Report magazine for 12 years.  She has undertaken editorial consultancies for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and the Council on Foreign Relations and has edited several books on Africa-related issues.  She was executive editor of Africa Contemporary Record and an author of the Economist Intelligence Unit's country reports.  She has travelled widely in the continent, reporting and writing extensively on African political and economic issues.  During the apartheid era, her reporting brought her in regular contact with many African leaders, including current South African President Thabo Mbeki.

Ms. Novicki received a Bachelor of Science degree in international politics from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., and a master's degree in international affairs from Columbia University in New York.  She is married with one son.

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