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UNICEF Chief To Step Down After Term Ends In 2010

UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman will not seek a second term as head of the agency after her term expires in a few months, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced “with great regret” on Wednesday, Xinhua reports. In a statement, Ban said that Veneman “fulfilled her mandate with immense dedication, and I have been impressed by her extraordinary energy and determination to improve children’s health, education and well-being around the world” (12/23).

“Veneman, a former United States agriculture secretary who has been executive director since May 2005, will be leaving a legacy of ‘an organization that is financially and intellectually strong and well-equipped to meet the challenges children face in the 21st century,’ according to the statement,” U.N. News Centre writes (12/23).

The Associated Press reports: “Before being appointed to head UNICEF in 2005, Veneman was the first female U.S. secretary of agriculture in the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Her term ends on April 30, 2010. In a letter to friends and colleagues, Veneman said she was stepping down with ‘a heavy heart,’ but gave no reason for her decision” (12/23).

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