Elhadj As Sy is the Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). He took up this role on 1 August, 2014 and is based at the IFRC secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland.
Mr Sy has extensive experience in leadership roles in the humanitarian sector, having previously served at a senior level with UNICEF, UNAIDS, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other agencies for more than 30 years.
Since 2018, Mr Sy has been co-chair of the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board co-convened by the World Health Organization and the World Bank Group, and member of the Global Commission on Adaptation. Mr Sy has also been a member of the Roll Back Malaria Board since 2016.
Before joining the IFRC – the world’s largest humanitarian network – Mr Sy was UNICEF’s Director of Partnerships and Resource Development in New York. He has also served as UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa and Global Emergency Coordinator for the Horn of Africa.
From 2005 to 2008, Mr Sy was UNDP’s Director of HIV/AIDS Practice in New York. Before that, he worked with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as its Africa Regional Director and later as Director of Operational Partnerships and Country Support in Geneva. Mr Sy has also held the position of UNAIDS Representative in New York and Director of the New York Liaison Office.
From 1988 to 1997, he served as Director of Health and Development Programmes with Environment and Development Action in the Third World in Dakar, Senegal.
Mr Sy holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts and Human Sciences from the University of Dakar. He then pursued Master’s studies in Arts and Germanistik at the University of Graz, and graduated from the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna. He was also awarded a post graduate diploma in Education from the Ecole normale supérieure in Dakar. He speaks English, French and German, and is a national of Senegal.
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