Rachel Odede has been working for United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for over 25 years, and has vast experience and knowledge of different programmatic operations of the organization. She worked for UNICEF in East Asia & the Pacific; South Asia and Eastern and Southern Africa regions, Indonesia, Eritrea, Kenya Country Offices as well as the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), Swaziland, her last duty station before assuming her position as UNICEF Country Representative to Namibia in August, 2017. As the Regional Advisor, HIV and AIDS in South Asia, Ms Odede, oversaw UNICEF’s response to children and AIDS in eight Country Offices (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Maldives, Pakistan and Sri Lanka). Her work involved provision of strategic technical assistance, quality assurance and oversight of country programmes’ response to children and HIV and AIDS. She worked as Chief of HIV and AIDS Programme in the UNICEF Indonesia Country Office between 2002 and 2006. Ms Odede also served as Chief of Communication in Eritrea between1999-2002 and Programme Communication Officer in in charge of HIV and AIDS and
adolescent participation in Kenya between1994-1999.In her capacity as a Public Health expert, Ms. Odede worked for African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) where she implemented and published research on a wide range of health and development topics for planning and evaluation of maternal child health and other social development programmes such as violence against women and adolescent reproductive health. While at AMREF Ms. Odede taught a post-diploma course in Community Health. As a World Bank consultant Ms. Odede undertook a major review and prepared a proposal for the revitalization of Division of Health Education Media Production Center in the Ministry of Health, Kenya.Ms. Odede has gone beyond the provision of technical support and capacity building with country teams and senior government partners. She has solid understanding of the country programme cycle, results based management, programming from equity, gender and human rights perspective. She possesses strong leadership skills and ability to link global UN policy to country level implementation thereby providing direction for country programme
development and implementation. She brings with her extensive emergency experience acquired during Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict, 2004 Indian Tsunami and Pakistan Flood emergency. Her aptitude to adapt knowledge and experience to varying contexts is a particular feature of the over 25 years’ field experience, bringing awareness for political complexities, and for the changing nature of multilateral development framework within which translation from policy to outcomes happens. In the past 4 years Ms. Odede has transferred her regional and global experience into country programme management and contribution to UN coherence in Swaziland. She is the founder of the ‘Golden Girls’ initiative - a group of like-minded women promoting adolescent girls issues in Swaziland.Ms. Odede is a national of Kenya. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Health from Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, USA, a Master’s degree in Education from Kenyatta University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of Nairobi.