Gunilla Carlsson

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Gunilla Carlsson
Minister for International Development Cooperation
In office
6 October 2006 – 17 September 2013
Prime MinisterFredrik Reinfeldt
Preceded byCarin Jämtin
Succeeded byHillevi Engström
Member of the Riksdag
In office
30 September 2002 – 5 October 2006
ConstituencyVärmland County
Personal details
BornLund, Sweden
Political partyModerate Party
WebsiteOfficial website
Party website

Anna Gunilla Carlsson is a Swedish politician and a member of the Moderate Party. She served as Minister for International Development Cooperation from 2006 to 2013, member of the Swedish Riksdag from 2002 to 2013 and deputy chairman of her party from 2003 to 2015.

Early life[edit]

Carlsson was born and raised in Lund in Skåne. She was at one time chairperson of the Moderate Youth League district in that county. At the Battle of Lycksele, when current party leader Fredrik Reinfeldt was elected chairman of the Youth League, Carlsson was elected vice chairman.

Political career[edit]

Member of the European Parliament, 1995-2002[edit]

After working as an auditor, Carlsson joined the Moderate Party office in 1994. In 1995, she was elected to the European Parliament and served until 2002. In parliament, she served on the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and Industrial Policy (1995-1999) and on the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy (1999-2002). In addition to her committee assignments, she was vice-chair of the parliament's delegation to the European Economic Area Joint Parliamentary Committee (EEA) from 1995 until 1997.

Career in national politics[edit]

In the 2002 national elections, Carlsson was elected to the Riksdag for Stockholm. In 1999, she was elected vice chairman of the Moderate Party.

With the growing co-operation between the Swedish opposition parties, Carlsson was appointed to head the group co-ordinating foreign policy. This led to speculation about her being a possible candidate to the office of Minister for Foreign Affairs after Alliance for Sweden's victory in the 2006 election. With a number of the Moderate Party Riksdag members from Östergötland resigning, she decided to stand in her home county in 2006. While she won the internal primaries, she was only placed second on the list after Gunnar Axén, but comfortably reached re-election as the party went from three to four seats from the county.[1] She continues to make her home in Tyresö outside Stockholm.

From 2007, Carlsson was a member of the World Bank Group’s High Level Advisory Council on Women's Economic Empowerment, which was chaired by Danny Leipziger and Heidemarie Wieczorek-Zeul.[2]

In her capacity as minister, Carlsson also chaired the Stockholm-based Commission on Climate Change and Development (CCCD), a body made up of 13 international experts and established by the Swedish government in 2007 with the aim of looking at how countries can adapt to climate change. In its final report, the commission recommended in 2009 that poor countries already suffering from the impact of climate change urgently need up to $2 billion to help adjust and cope.[3]

In September 2009, Carlsson led, together with Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, a delegation to Zimbabwe for discussions with President Robert Mugabe. This was to discuss the lifting of targeted EU sanctions against him and more than 200 of his political allies and related businesses. He and his Zanu-PF party have for years loudly argued that these measures are directly responsible for Zimbabwe's economic collapse. The EU team did not buy that argument, and would not even put the sanctions issue on the negotiating table at that time, according to a BBC report.[4][5]

As the Swedish Riksdag convened after the summer on 17 September 2013, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced that Carlsson had submitted her resignation and he had accepted the resignation earlier that morning.[6] Subsequently, she resigned her seat in the Swedish Riksdag.[7]

Career in international development[edit]

In her final year as minister from 2012 until 2013, Carlsson served – alongside Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, David Cameron and others – on the High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, an advisory board established by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to develop the global development agenda beyond 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals.[8]

Following her resignation, Carlsson served alongside Tertius Zongo and Callisto Madavo on the African Development Bank’s three-member High Level Panel on Fragile States between 2013 and 2014, where she advised on strategies related to the Horn of Africa.[9] Between 2013 and 2015, she was a member of the UNAIDSLancet Commission on Defeating AIDS, chaired by Joyce Banda, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and Peter Piot.[10]

In 2017, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Carlsson as the UNAIDS deputy executive director, management and governance, and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nation.[11] Following Michel Sidibé’s resignation, she briefly served as executive director ad interim from May until August 2019.[12][13]

On 29 June 2023, the Government of Sweden appointed Carlsson as the new Chair of the Governing Board of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). She formally took up the position on 1 July 2023. [14]

Other activities[edit]

Corporate boards[edit]

Non-profit organizations[edit]


  1. ^ Allmänna val 17 september 2006 - Östergötland, Swedish election authority
  2. ^ The World Bank Group Advisory Council on Women’s Economic Empowerment World Bank Group, Gender Equality as Smart Economics newsletter, March 2008.
  3. ^ Megan Davies (May 14, 2009), Poorest need funds to combat climate change: report Reuters.
  4. ^ "Tentative thaw in EU-Zimbabwe ties" Andrew Harding, BBC News, Harare
  5. ^ "Mugabe hails landmark EU meeting", BBC News (Africa). Has links to other sites
  6. ^ Gunilla Carlsson leaves the cabinet
  7. ^ Carlsson resigns her seats in the Riksdag
  8. ^ Secretary-General Assembles High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, Appointing 26 Members of Government, Civil Society, Private Sector United Nations Secretary-General, press release of 31 July 2012.
  9. ^ African Development Bank appoints three High-Level Advisors on Fragility African Development Bank, press release of December 2, 2015.
  10. ^ List of Commissioners UNAIDSLancet Commission on Defeating AIDS.
  11. ^ UNAIDS welcomes Gunilla Carlsson as new Deputy Executive Director, Management and Governance UNAIDS, press release of December 12, 2017.
  12. ^ United Nations Secretary-General appoints Gunilla Carlsson as Executive Director, a.i., of UNAIDS UNAIDS, press release of 18 May 2019.
  13. ^ Rick Gladstone (May 8, 2019), Damaged in Scandal, Head of U.N. AIDS Agency Resigns Suddenly New York Times.
  14. ^
  15. ^ Press release: Gunilla Carlsson and Cecilia Seddigh elected to Tundra’s Board Tundra Fonder, press release of May 17, 2017.
  16. ^ Board of Directors Annexin Pharmaceuticals.
  17. ^ High-Level Group of Personalities on Africa-Europe Relations Africa Europe Foundation (AEF).
  18. ^ Board of Governors Archived 2021-12-18 at the Wayback Machine United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC).
  19. ^ Members European Council on Foreign Relations.
  20. ^ Governance Committee GAVI Alliance.
  21. ^ Members of the Board Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
  22. ^ European Advisory Group Center for Global Development

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by Second Deputy Chairperson of the Moderate Party
Succeeded by
Preceded by First Deputy Chairperson of the Moderate Party
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Minister for International Development Cooperation
Succeeded by