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Gullet Announces Candidacy for IFRC Presidency

Abbas Gullet was elected to the Standing Commission by the 33rd International Conference in December 2019. Previous to joining the Commission he was Secretary General of the Kenya Red Cross. Mr Gullet began his Red Cross work with the Kenyan National Society in 1985 as a national youth officer, and rose as the years passed to ever greater levels of responsibility within the organization and in delegations of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (relief coordinator, administrator, head) across East Africa (Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda) and in Geneva. By 2003, Mr Gullet became the Federation’s deputy secretary general and director of operations.

Former Kenya Red Cross Secretary General, Abbas Gullet, has thrown his hat into the ring for the prestigious position of President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This exciting revelation came during a post on X, formerly known as twitter where made his intentions clear.


With a career spanning over five decades within the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, Abbas Gullet has expressed his dedication to creating a global impact.

Read also: IFRC Global Innovation Summit 2023: Revolutionizing Humanitarian Action

“I am honored to announce my candidacy for the position of IFRC President,” he wrote. “Starting as a volunteer, I’ve committed my life to the humanitarian cause, and I believe I can contribute immensely to this esteemed organization.”

Gullet began his journey in the Red Cross back in 1985 as a national youth officer for the Kenyan National Society. His tenure at the Kenyan Red Cross saw the transformation of the society from a struggling organization facing multiple challenges to a vibrant and growing humanitarian force. His remarkable efforts were recognized in 2007 when he was named the “UN in Kenya Person of the Year.”

The current IFRC President, Francesco Rocca, sent out a notice to all national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in July, calling for an extraordinary session of the IFRC General Assembly, which is scheduled for December 11 in Geneva, Switzerland. It is during this assembly that the election for the new IFRC President will be held.

The IFRC is a globally influential humanitarian aid organization, touching the lives of over 160 million people annually through its 191 member national societies. The President of IFRC holds the highest office and plays a crucial role in guiding the organization, ensuring that it adheres to decisions made by its governing bodies, and executing functions as defined in the IFRC Constitution.

Former Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Gullet. [Photo/File]
Former Kenya Red Cross Society Secretary General Abbas Gullet. [Photo/File]

The upcoming election will also see the election of four new vice presidents and 20 governing board members, each representing different geographic regions within the IFRC.

In line with the IFRC Governing Board’s decision, the extraordinary session will be held both in person and with the option for remote participation. The IFRC Election Committee is expected to provide further information detailing the nomination process, electoral standards, submission deadlines, and voting procedures to national societies.

This exclusive announcement of candidates for the IFRC President position features a diverse set of individuals vying for the role.

The list includes Ramy Elnazer from Egypt, Natia Loladze from Georgia, and Kate Forbes from the United States of America.

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It’s important to note that the election process for the President of IFRC is an internal matter for the organization and its membership. The principles and rules governing the election process are rooted in maintaining the independence of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

The extraordinary General Assembly on December 11, 2023, will undoubtedly be a crucial event in shaping the IFRC’s future and its humanitarian endeavors.


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