IFRC welcomes new Secretary General Elhadj As Sy

Published: 4 August 2014

4 August 2014, Geneva – The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is proud to announce that Mr Elhadj As Sy begins his mandate as the organization’s new secretary general.

Secretary General Sy, a national of Senegal, has extensive experience in leadership roles in the humanitarian sector, having previously served at a senior level with the United Nations, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, and other humanitarian agencies for more than 25 years.

As secretary general of the IFRC, Mr Sy leads the world’s largest humanitarian network, comprising 189 member National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, a secretariat in Geneva and five zone offices, and more than 60 delegations strategically located to support activities around the world.

In 2013, the IFRC reached more than 85 million people with its disaster response and recovery programmes, 97 million people through its development work, and nearly 120 million people with its disaster preparedness and risk reduction programming. More than 17 million dedicated volunteers deliver these activities daily, in communities large and small, all over the world.

Secretary General Sy says, “I have always been impressed by the response of the Red Cross and Red Crescent to challenges in all situations, in emergency as well as in development settings. It is a privilege to be a part of this Movement, which is well-grounded in communities, supported by universally recognized emblems, based on fundamental principles and served by millions of volunteers at the frontline of the most pressing humanitarian challenges of today’s world.

Before joining the IFRC, Mr Sy was UNICEF’s director of partnerships and resource development in New York. He has also served as its regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as global emergency coordinator for the Horn of Africa.

From 2005 to 2008, Mr Sy was a director for the HIV and AIDS Practice with the United Nations Development Programme in New York. Before that, he worked with the Global Fund 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 was director of its New York liaison office.

“I envision the IFRC to be the partner of choice in making a lasting difference in people’s life. We have the widest potential to meet the needs of people in crisis, but also to engage and work with beneficiaries in designing effective solutions anchored in common cultural knowledge,” says Mr Sy.

Secretary General Sy will be based at the IFRC’s secretariat office in Geneva, Switzerland.


Further information

Benoit Matsha-Carpentier,
IFRC Senior Communications Officer, Geneva
Mobile:  +41 79 213 24 13
E-mail benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org