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Hilde Frafjord Johnson - Deputy Executive Director

© UNICEF/HQ07 -1237/Susan Markisz
Hilde Frafjord Johnson
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Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson joined UNICEF on 14 August 2007 as Deputy Executive Director.  Ms. Johnson brings extensive experience in political leadership, international development and partnerships. She has served as Minister for International Development and member of the Norwegian government/cabinet, for almost seven years, covering 1997-2000 and 2001-2005. Ms. Johnson was key to engineering and implementing a major structural reform of the administration of the Norwegian development aid, aimed at enhancing the efficiency of the aid administration. Among her many successes, she was instrumental in doubling Norway’s efforts for Education for all and led the development of the country’s strategy for children and young people in the south. She was Member of Parliament in 1993-2001, serving in the Committees on Energy and Environment and Extended Foreign Relations when she was not in Government. 

Throughout her tenure as Minister for International Development, she has been a strong advocate for human rights, poverty eradication, better delivery in development and the Millennium Development Goals. Ms. Johnson has also been actively involved in the efforts to build coalitions for reform, both of the UN, the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) and bilateral aid agencies.  In 1998, Ms. Johnson formed the Utstein-group, a group of key likeminded development ministers from the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Norway (later also Sweden and Canada).  She has worked closely with leaders in the G8-countries, the senior leadership of multilateral organizations, the UN, World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the BWIs, and leaders of developing countries, to bring about better pro-poor development policies. She has also served as governor and member of the Board of the World Bank for Norway and the Nordic/Baltic Constituency.

Ms. Johnson was the co-chair of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Partner’s Forum and in charge of the Sudan-committee for more than six years, and played a critical role in the Sudan peace process, leading up to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) between the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). 

Prior to joining UNICEF she served as Senior Advisor to the President of the African Development Bank. Her main responsibility was developing a new operational strategy in support of Fragile States in Africa. Ms. Johnson has been the co-chair of the Global Coalition for Africa for several years. She is also member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and has served as a member of the Oxford University Taskforce on UK Energy, Development Assistance and Foreign Policy.

Ms. Hilde Frafjord Johnson, born in Arusha, Tanzania, was awarded a graduate degree (cand.polit.) at the University of Oslo in 1991, specializing in development anthropology.

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