Press release 10 December 2018

Unjela Kaleem joins global pharma association as Director of Communications


Geneva, 10 December 2018

IFPMA, the global research-based biopharmaceutical industry association, is pleased to announce Ms Unjela Kaleem as its new Director of Communications. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and engages with multiple states platforms such as G7, G20 and OECD and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community find sustainable solutions to today’s pressing health concerns. At IFPMA, Ms Kaleem will serve on the Senior Leadership Team, represent the organization externally, enhance engagement with members and provide strategic direction and leadership to the department of communications and public affairs.

Unjela will be a great asset to our growing team. Her extensive global experience in successfully leading in senior management roles with key private, public and development sectors and multilateral organizations in Africa, Asia and Oceania, the Middle East as well as Europe makes her an ideal candidate to help increase awareness of the unique contribution the innovative medicines and vaccines industry makes to global health progress”, said Thomas Cueni, IFPMA Director General.

Ms. Kaleem has more than 20 years’ experience in developing and implementing global positioning, branding and all aspects of communications, public affairs and advocacy strategy as well as donor relations, gender and community development. In her most recent roles at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) she launched STOP TB Partnership’s interactive civil society hearing advocacy and communications campaign ahead of the UN High Level Meeting on TB and successfully led the World TB Day’s first ever joint global advocacy and communications campaign with the World Health Organization (WHO).

Furthermore, at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Ms Kaleem provided leadership and guidance on all aspects of corporate communications, bringing partners and local stakeholders together via a focused communications and advocacy strategy.

Before taking on these roles with UNOPS, she developed country-specific communications strategies for Nestle Oceania and Equatorial Africa and played a crucial role in stakeholder engagement and enhancing Nestle’s shared value work across supply chains. Other roles include serving as the first female CEO of an international Chamber of Commerce in Asia, and positions with The World Bank, BBC World Service (UK), Dow Jones News Wires, URBANICS Ltd (UK), Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (UK and EU).

Commenting on her new role, Ms Kaleem said: “I am very much looking forward to working in the global health sector which has a very meaningful and vital agenda towards the success of the SDGs. Adding that, “2019 will be an intense year for the pharma sector, in particular with the upcoming UN High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). I look forward to leveraging IFPMA’s platform to help strengthen the industry’s voice, build bridges among diverse global health actors, champion positive outcomes, and demonstrate that we are an essential partner in resolving health problems globally.

Ms. Kaleem can be reached via email and phone +41 22 338 32 20.


The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster