OECD Forum on Gender Equality


Kirsi Madi

UN Women

Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director


Ms. Kirsi Madi (Finland) assumed the position of UN Assistant Secretary-General and UN Women Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships on 4 December 2023. Ms. Madi has more than 30 years of experience in the fields of international development, humanitarian action, gender equality, partnerships, governance, resource mobilization, inter-agency coordination, intergovernmental processes, and organizational development and change. She has worked most of her more-than-30-year UN career with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Prior to assuming this position, she served as the Chief of Staff and Director of the Office of the UNICEF Executive Director, based in New York, for four years. Other senior UNICEF roles included Secretary of the Executive Board, Deputy Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia, and Chief of National Committee Relations in the Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division. From 2016 to 2019 she served as the Director of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR). As the Director, she oversaw the strategic vision and direction of the organization and was responsible for its overall management. She initiated and led a significant organizational change process after taking up her position. Ms. Madi worked for several years in humanitarian action both on humanitarian policy and response in the Office of Emergency Programmes of UNICEF and co-chaired the IASC Task Force on Gender and Humanitarian Action. She contributed to strengthened inclusive humanitarian coordination as the Chief of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Secretariat in the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) from 2002 to 2005. Prior to her professional career in the United Nations, which started in 1991, Ms. Madi worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of her country, Finland, where she also served as the Women in Development focal point.