The general assembly of Unesco, in a vote in Paris on November 10, elected France’s Audrey Azoulay as director-general. She is the first Jewish person to hold the post.
Azoulay takes office on November 15, succeeding Bulgaria’s Irina Bokova, who has had two terms as Unesco director-general.
Out of 184 votes, Azoulay got 131 in favour. There were 19 against.
The general assembly vote on November 10 was a sequel to a vote on October 13 by Unesco’s executive board to choose Azoulay.
Born in 1972, Azoulay served as France’s Minister of Culture from February 2016 to May 2017.
She began her career in the offices in charge of supporting public broadcasting in France and went on to serve as rapporteur for the French public audit authority, Cour des Comptes, and legal expert for the European Commission in the fields of culture and communication.
She successively held the positions of Deputy Director for Multimedia Affairs, Chief Financial and Legal Officer and Deputy Director-General of the French National Centre of Cinematography (CNC).
Azoulay is a graduate of France’s school of public administration, the Ecole nationale d’administration, and holds an MA in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK) and a degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (France).