A Conversation on the Covid-19 pandemic from UNICEF’s Perspective
with Pernille Ironside, Deputy Director, Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring
Tuesday, April 13, 2021, 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm
Image of Pernille Ironside

Pernille Ironside is a humanitarian, human rights advocate and international civil servant with the United Nations. Since January 2020, she has been serving as UNICEF’s Deputy Director of the Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring (DAPM) at UNICEF Headquarters in New York and oversees the work on Strategic Planning, Monitoring, Implementation and Reporting. She is currently working on developing a new Strategic Plan for the organization that will take it to 2030 with achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Prior to this, she was UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria, one of UNICEF’s largest development and humanitarian programmes. Previously, she was UNICEF’s Chief of Field Operations in Iraq based in Baghdad, where she led efforts to deliver humanitarian assistance to vulnerable children and their families across Iraq, particularly in relation to the Anbar and Mosul humanitarian crises. From 2013-2015, she served as UNICEF’s Chief of Field Office in the Gaza Strip for which she and her team were awarded an internal UNICEF staff team award for their humanitarian action during the 51-day conflict in Gaza in 2014. 

Since joining the UN in 2002, Ms Ironside has also served in Tacloban leading UNICEF’s emergency child protection response in the immediate aftermath of super-typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in the Philippines in 2013; in Yemen as Chief of Child Protection; in Goma, DRC as a Child Protection Specialist; and in UNICEF global Headquarters in New York during which she advised UNICEF child protection staff and management working in 20 countries affected by armed conflict and/or natural disaster involving frequent deployments to the frontlines. She is specialized in negotiating the release of children associated with armed forces/groups and supporting their community reintegration. 

In addition to her work with UNICEF, Ms. Ironside has held positions with the UN Peacekeeping Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) in Goma, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in New York, the Canadian Human Rights Commission and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa. 

A licensed lawyer, Ms. Ironside holds Canadian degrees in Commerce and Law, as well as a Masters in Law from Columbia University in New York with a specialization in International Human Rights, Humanitarian Law, Comparative Law and Transitional Justice. Pernille was born and raised in Edmonton, Canada and has a soon to be 3-year old son. 

Follow her on Twitter:  @PernilleUNICEF