Guterres appoints new Assistant Secretary-General for safety, security

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed the Noirin O’Sullivan of Ireland as the Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security. O’Sullivan succeeds Fadzai Gwaradzimba of Zimbabwe. She brings extensive experience in international safety and security management, strategic management and leadership.

O’Sullivan began her career with An Garda Siochana in Ireland in June 1981 and progressed through the ranks, holding various operational and managerial positions since then. She is a leader in partnership building, leading teams and able to manage complexity and to drive strategic change. She also brings an in-depth knowledge of international security, crisis management, strategic and institutional leadership and gender issues to the position.

The Assistant Secretary-General for Safety and Security serves as a Deputy to the Under-Secretary-General for Safety and Security (USG/DSS). The Assistant Secretary-General is responsible for the day-to-day overall management of the United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) and supports the Under-Secretary-General in overall leadership and management.

The UNDSS was formally established in January 2005. It performs a large range of functions such as ensuring the security of UN compounds, providing close protection services, investigating incidents, and providing training on safety and security policies. The staff of the UNDSS identifies security trends, develops security plans and ensures crisis preparedness.

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About Noirin O’Sullivan

  • O’Sullivan was born in Ireland in 1960.O’Sullivan has over 36 years of experience in the international law enforcement and security environment.
  • She held the position of Garda Commissioner of An Garda Siochana in Ireland. She stepped down from her role as Garda Commissioner in September 2017 amid a number of controversies including fake Garda breath tests.
  • Prior to that, she served as the Interim Acting Commissioner of An Garda Siochana, responsible for advising the Minister of Justice and the Government of Ireland on matters pertaining to national security and policing.
  • Beginning her career with An Garda Siochana in Ireland in June 1981, O’Sullivan progressed through the ranks, holding various operational and managerial positions since then.
  • O’Sullivan holds a Master of Business Studies (MBS) in Strategic Management and Planning from the University College Dublin and a Bachelor of Arts in Police Management by Garda College and University of Limerick. She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Ulster.

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