* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
(LONDON, UK) - Top UN executive Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen has been appointed as the new CEO of global child rights and community development organisation Plan International.
Ms Albrectsen is currently the UN Assistant Secretary General and Deputy Executive Director for Management at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). She replaces the current Plan International CEO Nigel Chapman and will assume office on 1 September.
A renowned face in the sector, Ms Albrectsen has worked for over 25 years in international development, human rights, change management and diplomacy. She has held senior leadership positions in times of significant change in the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Danish Government, and most recently at the UNFPA.
Ms Albrectsen is Danish and holds a law degree from the University of Copenhagen. She has a strong background in development and humanitarian work. She served with the UNDP from 1997 to 2004, in Indonesia and later as Director of the Administrator’s Office at UNDP Headquarters. She led country operations for UNFPA in Turkey, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan from 2004-2006. From 2007-2009, she led the Danish Government’s humanitarian and Civil Society Affairs work as the Director of the relevant division in the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ms Albrectsen’s appointment comes after an extensive global search and has the unanimous support of the organisation’s International Board. It has been ratified by the Members Assembly - the highest decision making body in Plan International.
Welcoming the appointment, Josh Liswood, Chair of Plan International’s Members’ Assembly and International Board said: “I have no doubt that Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen is extremely well qualified to lead Plan International in the development and execution of a new strategy at a time of considerable change in the world and in our sector. She has the skills and international experience to build strong bonds across the Federation so that we can maximise the impact of our vital work for children and communities in the poorest countries of the globe.”
“We have appointed an outstanding candidate who is at ease operating at the highest levels of international development as well as at the country level where so much of the day to day work of Plan International changes children’s lives.”
Ms Albrectsen said: “I am thrilled about the new role and delighted to accept it. I look forward to serving Plan International’s global beneficiaries as well as the dedicated staff, volunteers and sponsors. Every child and young person – including the most vulnerable – has enormous potential. Investing in their rights and engaging them in decision making is investing in a better future for us all.”
Ms Albrectsen will be moving to the UK, where Plan International’s headquarters are based, over the summer with her husband. Their grown up daughters live in the US, Spain and Denmark.
Mr Liswood paid tribute to the outgoing CEO Mr Chapman, former Director of the BBC World Service, saying: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank Nigel for his commitment to Plan International since 2002, firstly as Chair of Plan UK until 2008, and for his leadership of Plan International since 2009. Over the past six years, Plan International has grown considerably in stature and reputation as an effective champion of child rights. He will leave Plan International at the end of August with our heartfelt appreciation for the positive changes he has brought about across the Federation.”
Plan International is an independent child rights organisation committed to enabling vulnerable and marginalised children to be free of poverty. By actively connecting committed people with powerful ideas, the organisation works together to make positive, deep-rooted and lasting changes in children’s and young people’s lives. For over 78 years, Plan International has supported girls and boys and their communities around the world to gain the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to claim their rights, free themselves from poverty and live positive fulfilling lives.
The organisation implements programmes in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas, and raises funds in 21 countries.
In 2014, Plan International worked with 86,676 communities. The organisation’s work areas had a population of 164.9 million people - including 81.5 million children. Plan International has over 10,000 staff worldwide and had a total income of €721.7 million over the financial year 2014. The organisation has 1.2 million sponsors worldwide sponsoring more than 1.4 million children.
Global Media Manager, Plan International Headquarters (UK)
Global roaming: +44 7773633835