US Vice President Kamala Harris swore in Geeta Rao Gupta as the Ambassador at Large for Global Women's Issues in the State Department on Monday. Earlier, US Senate has given its approval to Dr. Geeta Rao Gupta, an Indian-American, for the position of Ambassador-at-Large for the Office of Global Women's Issues in the State Department. President Joe Biden nominated Gupta for this role, and she received confirmation with a vote of 51 to 47 earlier this week.
Known internationally as a leader in promoting gender equality and women's economic security, Gupta's appointment was welcomed by the State Department, which expressed its anticipation of her efforts to advance girls' and women's rights through US foreign policy.
Who is Dr Geeta Rao Gupta?
Before her confirmation, Gupta worked closely with various United Nations (UN) agencies and programs. She worked as the Executive Director of the UN Foundation's 3D Programme for Girls and Women. She also advises the UNAIDS Global Coalition on Women and AIDS and is on the boards of InterAction and the Moriah Fund. She also held the position of co-chair of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Education and Gender Equality.
Peter Yeo, the Senior Vice President for the UN Foundation, emphasised the significance of Gupta's appointment, highlighting the US commitment to gender equality during a time when women's rights and well-being face threats worldwide. Gupta's contributions extend beyond the UN, as she co-convened an international initiative commissioned by UNAIDS to address the global response to HIV/AIDS over the next 25 years. Additionally, she was appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF.
Michelle Milford Morse, Vice President of the UN Foundation's Girls and Women Strategy, praised Dr Gupta as a widely respected figure who possesses significant expertise in the key areas that are the focus of the Office of Global Women's Issues. She emphasised the critical role this appointment plays in US global leadership, expressing confidence that Gupta will excel in her duties.
Gupta's expertise in gender and development spans several decades. She has served on an oversight committee for the World Health Organisation's Health Emergencies Programme and co-chaired the World Bank's Global Gender-based Violence Task Force. Furthermore, Gupta has held the position of President at the International Center for Research on Women and has received numerous awards, including the 2006 Anne Roe Award from Harvard University and the 2007 "Women Who Mean Business" Award from the Washington Business Journal.
Dr Gupta's educational background includes a PhD in Social Psychology from Bangalore University in India, as well as an M.Phil and MA from the University of Delhi. Her wealth of experience and accolades make her an excellent choice for this important role in advancing women's rights globally.
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