U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has endorsed Tony Lake to head the U.N. Children’s Fund, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. foreign policy expert, upon approval of the UNICEF board, would replace fellow American Ann Veneman, whose term ends April 30.
The board is expected to approve Lake’s appointment, AP says, noting that the UNICEF chief post has traditionally gone to an American, largely because the U.S. is the agency’s largest donor.
Ban said Lake “brings with him a wealth of experience after a long and distinguished career with the United States government.”
The U.S. welcomed the news on Ban’s endorsement.
“I’m pleased that Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has named Tony Lake as the next Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF),” U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. “Tony has a deep commitment to UNICEF and to improving the welfare of children. The United States strongly supports UNICEF, and we look forward to working with Tony to advance its vital mission.”
Eliza Villarino contributed to this report.