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OpEd

WINNIE BYANYIMA: I am sad to leave OXFAM

Former Executive Director of Oxfam International, Winnie Byanyima, named ED UNAIDS.(PHOTO/File)

Dear friends,

You may have heard, I have accepted the offer to become Executive Director at UNAIDS.

I’m overwhelmed by people wishing me well today. Thank you. I’m humbled to be going from one great organisation to another. But today its back to work as usual for me! – making sure the lucky person who’ll eventually succeed me at the greatest job I’ve had in my life, leading Oxfam, can hit the ground running.

I will feel torn in leaving Oxfam but confident this great organisation is in strong position to forge ahead with the vital, life-saving and life-changing work it achieves, all around the world. The memories made from leading Oxfam for 7 years will last me forever. Brilliant, committed, passionate staff working with brave and smart partners, doing work that changes literally millions of people’s lives for the better. Oxfam has been more like a family to me than an employer! Incredible successes and indeed, big challenges… but we faced them all to emerge stronger and with renewed commitment and confidence.

UNAIDS feels like a natural calling for my next challenge, one that’s very personal to me. I’m proud and determined to lead the fight against HIV/AIDS. But I look forward to meeting my new colleagues and allies, immersing myself in the front-line fight, and adding my voice and strength behind the battles we need to win. Until then, I’m 100% committed to my Oxfam and the amazing work we are doing here. Our work goes on!

I thought it might be interesting to share here the text of my email sent yesterday to all Oxfam staff, ahead of the announcement.

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~~~Ms Winnie Karagwa Byanyima is a Ugandan Politician and incoming Executive Director, UNAIDS. She published this letter on her Instagram Account.

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