A top UNICEF honcho has resigned following revelations that he reportedly peppered female staffers — at the children’s charity that previously employed him — with “unsuitable and thoughtless” messages.
“I want to make clear I am not resigning from UNICEF because of the mistakes I made at Save the Children,” Justin Forsyth, who was a deputy director at the United Nations Children’s Fund, wrote in a letter obtained by NBC News. “They were dealt with through a proper process many years ago.”
“I am resigning because of the danger of damaging both UNICEF and Save the Children and our wider cause.”
Forsyth, who worked at the United Nations Children’s Fund for two years, did not divulge what “mistakes” he made at Save the Children.
But The Telegraph, the BBC and other British news outlets reported that Forsyth had sent a “barrage” of text messages to three of his former Save the Children staffers that “included references to how they looked and what they were wearing.”
It later emerged that UNICEF was not aware of the allegations against Forsyth when they recruited him.
In a statement to The Telegraph after the original revelations, Forsyth said: “I made some personal mistakes during my time at Save the Children. I recognize that on a few occasions I had unsuitable and thoughtless conversations with colleagues which I now know caused offence and hurt.”
Forsyth was chief executive of Save the Children from 2011 to 2015.
Word of Forsyth’s departure came a day after Ford Motor Company parted ways with Raj Nair, the company’s president for North America, following an internal investigation which found he had acted inappropriately.