2000 News Story

Saudi woman to head UN's Population Fund

Dr. Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, a Saudi national, has been appointed executive director of the United Nations Population Fund. She replaces Dr. Nafis Sadik, a Pakistani physician who has held the post since 1987. Dr. Thoraya, who has headed the Fund's Arab and European division since 1998, holds an MA in English literature and a PhD in cultural anthropology from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan observed: "Thoraya's role in the cause of women's rights and her efforts to improve women's health status are undeniable", adding that she is also concerned with enlightenment on the danger of the AIDS virus, and that her previous work at the UN Department of Social Affairs has well prepared her to deal with population and family organization.