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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 04, 2013 3:40 pm

Bokova set to win new term as UNESCO chief

The Associated Press

Irina Bokova has been nominated by UNESCO's executive board as the agency's director-general - all but ensuring her another four-year term.

The 61-year-old Bulgarian former career diplomat was selected Friday over Rachad Farah of Djibouti and Lebanon's Joseph Maila. She's set to win a new term at the Paris-based body's general conference on Nov. 12.

Bokova has made a mark by guiding the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization through one of its toughest periods following the loss of $220 million in U.S. funding. Washington suspended its contribution to UNESCO after its general conference voted to accept Palestine as a member state two years ago.

Despite that shortfall, Bokova has balanced UNESCO's books while conducting key initiatives like supporting literacy initiatives for girls in Afghanistan.