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Gunilla Olsson is the Director of Governance, UN and Multilateral Affairs (GMA) at UNICEF. Prior to joining UNICEF on 1 September 2010, Ms. Olsson spent the last three years as the Executive Director in charge of change and reform at the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) where she was accountable for the management, direction and implementation of all aspects of IFAD’s Action Plan. Before that, she was the Director of Policy at IFAD and Director and Deputy Head of the Department for Global Development and Head of Policy and Projects at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.
Ms. Olsson has worked with numerous other multilateral and bilateral organizations as well in the past, among them: ILO, FAO, GTZ, and Sida. She has led many complex processes, involving people across departments and organizations; the development of the Bill for Sweden’s new policy for global development is an example.
Ms. Olsson has more than 25 years of diverse experience from extensive field-work in many developing countries, most notably Asia and the Pacific, from policy-making in headquarters and from working with governments and civil society organizations. She has worked on poverty reduction, sustainable development, policy coherence as well as on organizational change and reform.
She has a degree in Social Anthropology from the University of Stockholm where she also commenced her PhD studies which she did not conclude because of more exciting professional challenges. She has taken substantive training in organizational change, leadership and management, for instance at Harvard Business School.
Ms. Olsson is a national of Sweden and is married with two daughters.
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