U.N. Passes On a Female Leader Yet Again

Email a Friend
Possible female contenders for U.N. secretary general.
From and

Click on the 'Listen' button above to hear this interview.

Yesterday, the United Nations Security Council, along with Russia and the United States, agreed unanimously to appoint Portugal’s António Guterres as the next U.N. secretary general. Guterres is the former prime minister of Portugal and has served as high commissioner for the U.N. Refugee Agency for the past decade. The formal vote, which will take place today, makes Guterres the ninth U.N. Secretary General.

Described as personable but outspoken person, the decision has been hailed as "historic" and a rare show of international unity.

Yet, despite the unanimous nod, not everyone is happy with the vote. Many were a woman would be elected for the position — a female has never held the highest job for the largest international organization in the world. 

Possible contenders included UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova; International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde; Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite; Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt; European Union Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva; former New Zealand Prime Minister and Administrator, United Nations Development Program Administrator Helen Clark, and Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. (All pictured above.)

Dr. Jean Krasno has been behind the campaign to elect a woman as U.N. secretary general. She's former executive director of the Academic Council on the U.N. System, and is currently a tenured lecturer at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at the City College of New York.