I've never heard of her until now.
But after a series of coups and ongoing conflict, Catherine is the new Interim president of the Central African Republic. [click]
She was born on 26 June 1954 in Chad - her father from Cameroon, and mother from CAR
She is reported to have stated in her victory speech
"I call on my children, especially the anti-balaka, to put down their arms and stop all the fighting. The same goes for the ex-Seleka - they should not have fear. I don't want to hear any more talk of murders and killings... Starting today.. I am the president of all Central Africans, without exclusion,"
As an outsider, this came as a surprise to me, so I wanted to find out more about her, but I haven't found out much yet.
Apparently she has been the Mayor of Bangui,and previously studied corporate law in Bangui and then in Paris.
When she returned from France to the CAR, she founded a firm of insurance brokers
She entered politics in 2003 after then president Ange-Felix Patasse was overthrown in a coup led by François Bozizé, who was himself deposed by Djotodia last year. (2012)
(partial source FRANCE 24 with AP)
Her appointment also has the approval of France
I'm sure there is a very compelling story here, and will be interesting to see how things progress in CAR (in the hope that they do of course).
Apparently, it was important to appoint someone with no links to either side..
So just who is Catherine Samba - Panza?