Themba Kalua of Malawi appointed as UN Resident Coordinator in Samoa

With the host government’s approval, the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Mr. Themba Kalua of Malawi as the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator in Samoa.
Based in Apia, Samoa, Mr. Kalua will head the Samoa Multi-Country Office, and coordinate the UN development operations in Cook Islands, Niue, and Tokelau. He took up his position on 5 August 2023.
Mr. Kalua brings over 20 years of experience in sustainable development, development coordination, strategic planning, environmental and climate change, gender equality and women’s empowerment, and humanitarian action.
Prior to his appointment as the UN Resident Coordinator in Samoa, he served as the UN Women Country Representative in Papua New Guinea, where he led efforts to address high levels of gender-based violence, promote women’s political participation and economic empowerment, and established and chaired the donor coordination mechanism for gender equality and women’s empowerment.
He also chaired the inter-agency core design team that led the drafting of the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework for Papua New Guinea.
During the 2022 national general elections in Papua New Guinea, Mr. Kalua served as the UN Resident Coordinator ad interim, successfully leading the UN’s coordinated engagement with the newly elected government.
Before moving to Papua New Guinea, Mr. Kalua was the Senior Development Coordination Officer at the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) Regional Office for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In this role, he supported the delivery of the United Nations development system reform in Africa and provided policy and advisory services to UN Resident Coordinators in 54 African countries, contributing to the implementation of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, Agenda 2063 of the African Union, and Sustainable Development Goals.
Between 2013 and 2019, Mr. Kalua held various senior positions at UN Women.
These included Deputy Representative in the South Africa Multi-Country Office and liaison to the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Head of Programmes, Strategic Planning and Coordination Specialist for East and Southern Africa based at the regional office in Kenya, and UN System Coordination Advisor at UN Women headquarters in New York.
Before joining UN Women, Mr. Kalua worked with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the World Food Programme (WFP) on various sustainable development issues at country, regional and headquarters levels.
Mr. Kalua holds an Executive MBA from the University of Cape Town in South Africa, a master’s degree in strategic management from the University of Derby in the United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science and Technology from the University of Malawi.