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Cheryl Gregory Faye becomes new Head of UNGEI Secretariat

©UNICEF/ HQ06-0001/Sankung Sawo
Former UNICEF Representative in Gambia Cheryl Faye in 2006, Banjul.

Former UNICEF representative in the Gambia begins work at UNGEI today

NEW YORK, 15 February 2007 – Cheryl Gregory Faye, former Representative of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in the Gambia, assumes leadership of the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative (UNGEI) Secretariat today. She is the second Head of the UNGEI Secretariat since it was launched in 2000 by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Faye said her top priorities are to link the work of UNICEF country offices with the Fast Track Initiative (FTI) process through gender assessment of all FTI proposals – with support from the UNGEI network, donors and others – and to help revitalize the gender parity targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) at the country level.

“The UNGEI partnership,” said Faye, “is well placed to help to ensure that countries refocus attention on eliminating gender disparity in primary and secondary education as a necessary precursor to its elimination at all levels by 2015."

UNGEI, the Education for All (EFA) flagship for girls' education, is a partnership that embraces the United Nations system, governments, donor countries, non-governmental organizations, civil society, the private sector, and communities and families. UNGEI provides stakeholders with a platform for action and galvanizes their efforts to enable girls as well as boys to complete a quality education – an essential step towards sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

Faye, who has served as the UNICEF Representative in the Gambia since December 2002, has a rich background in programme management, fund-raising and social development, as well as extensive experience with civil society organizations, government development agencies, and international and diplomatic affairs.

Prior to her appointment in the Gambia, Faye served as Programme Officer in UNICEF Cameroon, where she was responsible for the overall planning, coordination and implementation of a broad range of UNICEF-assisted programmes to improve the status of children and women.

Faye joined UNICEF in 1994 as Information and Communication Officer in Ethiopia, where she was responsible for the conceptualization, planning, execution, monitoring and evaluation of an advocacy and communication strategy to promote respect for children’s rights and support UNICEF’s mission.

Faye earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania, US, and a master’s degree in West African Area Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She also pursued postgraduate studies in applied linguistics and the Serer language and is in the process of completing a public policy and advocacy course at Maastricht University, the Netherlands.


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12 March 2007:
The new Head of the UNGEI Secretariat, Cheryl Gregory Faye, talks about the importance of girls' education.

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