The United Nations announced on Friday the nomination of Catherine Russell, an advisor to US President Joe Biden, as the new executive director of UNICEF.
Russell is now the director of the White House Presidential Personnel Office and the president’s aide.
“Ms. Russell has decades of expertise in designing creative policies that empower underprivileged people throughout the world,” said United Nations spokesperson Stephane Dujarric.
Biden said Russell was “exceptionally well-prepared” to head UNICEF. “We will miss Cathy. But our loss is UNICEF’s gain.”
She served as ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues at the U.S. Department of State under the administration of former President Barack Obama, the U.N. said.
A U.N. spokesperson said in July that outgoing UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore planned to step down to deal with a family health issue.
Since UNICEF was established in 1946, all its executive directors have been American.