MALAYSIANSKINI | In January this year, Maimunah Mohd Sharif became the first Asian woman and Malaysian to head a major United Nations agency when she was appointed executive director and under-secretary-general of the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).
Trained as a town planner, Maimunah is best known for her work in Penang. As director of planning and development at the Penang Island City Council, she was responsible for the island’s projects and landscape development.
She also spearheaded the Urban Renewal Projects in George Town during her tenure. Along with Malacca, George Town was the first cultural site in Malaysia to be inscribed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008.
Maimunah was also the first female president of the Seberang Perai Municipal Council. She was assigned the post in 2011 and led the city to achieve its vision of a “cleaner, greener, safer and healthier place to work, live, invest and play”.
Maimunah went on to become mayor of the Penang Island City Council, and held the post until she undertook her UN position. Now, as a leader of a global organisation, she...