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U.S. official will head food program

U.N. chooses J osette Sheeran to run the agency that feeds 90-million.

By Washington Post
Published November 8, 2006


UNITED NATIONS - Josette Sheeran, a senior U.S. State Department official and former managing editor of the Washington Times, was chosen Tuesday to head the United Nations' Rome-based World Food Program for a five-year term.

Sheeran, the U.S. undersecretary of state for economics, business and agricultural affairs, will replace American James Morris, who plans to step down around the end of the year. She will take charge of the United Nations' largest humanitarian institution, which feeds 90-million people in about 80 of the world's poorest countries. The agency gets nearly half of its $2-billion budget from the United States and is traditionally run by an American.

Sheeran is the latest Bush administration nominee to secure a senior position in a prominent international agency. Others include World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, who had been deputy secretary of defense, and former Agriculture Department Secretary Ann Veneman, now the executive director of the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Sheeran said she "couldn't be more honored" to lead the 44-year-old relief agency.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and Jacques Diouf, the head of the Food and Agriculture Organization, named Sheeran.

[Last modified November 8, 2006, 02:00:00]

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