13 March 2006

Biographical Note

Mari Simonen Named Deputy Executive Director of UNFPA

NEW YORK, 10 March (UN Headquarters) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has approved the appointment of Mari Simonen as Deputy Executive Director, External Relations, United Nations Affairs and Management of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).  She has assumed office, and will focus on United Nations reforms, in particular.

Ms. Simonen, of Finland, was most recently the Director of UNFPA's Technical Support Division, a post she had held since November 1999.  In that capacity, she oversaw staff comprised of international technical experts in public health, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, population studies, gender and human rights, and other specialized areas of work in support of population and development issues worldwide.

Prior to that position, Ms. Simonen was the Chief of the Office of the Executive Director at UNFPA, a strategic position, from which she helped the Executive Director carry out her functions as the Secretary-General of the historic 1994 Cairo International Conference on Population and Development.

Before joining the United Nations in 1980, Ms. Simonen worked at the University of California, Berkeley.  She holds a doctorate degree from that University, with a multidisciplinary degree in international development education and public health.  She has a master's degree from Stanford University in sociology of education, as well as a bachelor's degree in sociology from the same institution.

Ms. Simonen was born on 23 September 1951.

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