Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Deputy Executive Director for Normative Support, UN System Coordination and Programme Results

Sarah E. Hendriks, Deputy Executive Director for Policy, Programme, Civil Society, and Intergovernmental Support, a.i.
Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda (Zimbabwe) assumed her duties as UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Normative Support, UN System Coordination, and Programme Results on 6 February 2024.

Ms. Gumbonzvanda brings more than 35 years of experience in the fields of development, human rights, peace and security, high-level advocacy, civil society engagement, and policy influencing and development, with a focus on women’s empowerment, gender equality, and women’s and children’s rights. Her personal experience growing up in resource-poor and war-ravaged communities drives her passion to ensure that all women and girls, and their families, fully enjoy their rights.

Before her current position, she served as Founder and Chief Executive of Rozaria Memorial Trust, an organization founded in memory of her mother, which has supported girls and women in Zimbabwean rural communities since 2007 through innovative initiatives that promote education, health, and entrepreneurship.

Ms. Gumbonzvanda was appointed the first African Union (AU) Goodwill Ambassador on Ending Child Marriage (2014-2022). In this capacity, she engaged with Heads of State and other high-level officials, civil society, and youth, to advocate for progressive and rights-based continental positions on women’s and girls’ issues, paving the way for the development of the AU Convention on Violence against Women and Girls in 2023.

Prior to that, she was General Secretary of the World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) between 2007 and 2016, Regional Director in the East and Horn of Africa for the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM, now part of UN Women) between 2001 and 2007, and Human Rights Officer in Liberia and National Child Rights Adviser in Zimbabwe for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) between 1998 and 2001. Previously, she served as the Interim Coordinator for the Zimbabwean Women Lawyers Association and as Assistant Law Officer at the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Constitutional Affairs of Zimbabwe.

Ms. Gumbonzvanda was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree (Honoris Causa) by the University of Massachusetts, United States, and holds a Master in Laws from the University of South Africa, a Post Graduate Certificate in Conflict Transformation from Uppsala University in Sweden, and a Bachelor of Laws, Honors Degree, from the University of Zimbabwe.