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New Chair of Commonwealth Secretariat Board of Governors

1 July 2016

The High Commissioner of Papua New Guinea to the United Kingdom, Her Excellency Ms Winnie Kiap, is the new Chair of the Commonwealth Secretariat Board of Governors. Having been elected unanimously by her fellow Board members, she took up her responsibilities today.

Ms Kiap succeeds Her Excellency Ms Yamina Karitanyi, High Commissioner of Rwanda to the United Kingdom, and will serve in this position for two years.

All 53 Commonwealth member states are represented on the Board of Governors, which meets annually to consider Commonwealth Secretariat work plans and budgets.

Greeting Ms Kiap when she called at Marlborough House, the Commonwealth’s London headquarters, on her first day as Chair, the Commonwealth Secretary-General said: “Today is a landmark moment as we have one woman succeed another as Chair of our Board – and with a woman Secretary-General as chief executive of the Secretariat and first servant of the Commonwealth. Together we look forward to moving ahead with a reconfiguration of our work and adapting our Secretariat structure to deliver more efficiently and with greater impact for the governments and people of all our member states – including through the formulation of a new Strategic Plan.”

Having set out on her civil service career in the Papua New Guinea Department of Trade and Industry, and then serving as Director of Corporate Services in the Investment Promotion Authority, Ms Kiap has extensive knowledge and experience of trade and investment. She was then appointed Secretary to the National Executive Council – as the Cabinet is known in Papua New Guinea – before being posted to London as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom in 2011.