UNITED NATIONS — Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed Dr. Natalia Kanem of Panama to head the U.N. population agency.

Kanem has been serving as acting executive director of the U.N. Population Fund since the sudden death in June of UNFPA chief Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin of Nigeria. She had been deputy executive director since July 2016.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Tuesday that Kanem “brings to the position more than three decades of strategic leadership and management in the fields of medicine, public health, international peace and development, human rights and social justice.”

A graduate of Harvard, she received her medical degree from Colombia University and a master’s degree in public health from the University of Washington.

UNFPA promotes public health and sexual and reproductive rights and services for women and girls.

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