A lawyer by qualification, Tan Sri Dr Rafiah was the first Malaysian to be appointed Assistant Secretary-General for Human Resource Management at the United Nations from 1997 to 2002. She was instrumental in the UN’s reform agenda laid out by then Secretary-General Kofi Annan in five core missions: peace and security, economic and social affairs, development cooperation, humanitarian affairs, and human rights.
Tan Sri Dr Rafiah also has excellent service records within the domestic public and private sectors. She has served as a Vice Chancellor/President of University of Malaya, Dean of the Law Faculty of University of Malaya, Assistant Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia, and Human Resources General Manager of Malayan Banking Berhad.
Tan Sri Dr Rafiah was also the Executive Director of the International Centre for Leadership in Finance (ICLIF), as well as the NAM Institute for the Empowerment of Women.
She is currently Chairman of Allianz Malaysia Berhad and Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad, while serving as a Director of several public-listed companies. Tan Sri Dr Rafiah holds a Master’s and a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom and was awarded an honorary Doctorate by the same university in 2002. She was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1988.