NEW YORK – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Justin Forsyth resigned Thursday amid controversy over accusations of inappropriate behavior toward women during his time as head of charity Save The Children.
“Executive Director Henrietta Fore today accepted Justin Forsyth’s resignation from his position as Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF,” the UN Children’s Fund said in a statement.
“We are grateful to Mr. Forsyth for his work over the past two years to advocate for the most vulnerable children and help advance UNICEF’s mission to save children’s lives. This mission is now more important than ever,” the statement added.
While at Save the Children, the Briton was accused by three female employees of sending inappropriate text messages that included remarks about their clothes or his feelings toward them, the BBC reported.
“I want to make clear I am not resigning from UNICEF because of the mistakes I made at Save the Children,” Forsyth said. “They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago. I apologized unreservedly at the time and face-to-face. I apologize again.”
“There is no doubt in my mind that some of the coverage around me is not just to (rightly) hold me to account, but also to attempt to do serious damage to our cause and the case for aid. I am resigning because of the danger of damaging both UNICEF and Save the Children and our wider cause,” Forsyth said.
Save The Children issued a statement apologizing for its former CEO and announced a review of its human resources process for dealing with this type of incident.