Audrey Azoulay delivers a speech at the headquarters of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France, on Oct. 13, 2017. French candidate Audrey Azoulay was nominated as candidate for next Director-General of UNESCO on Friday by the executive board. (Xinhua/Chen Yichen)
PARIS, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- French former Minister of Culture Audrey Azoulay on Friday has been nominated as the candidate for the new chief of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for next four years, the UN agency announced.
"The candidate named by the Executive Board for the post of the Director General of the UNESCO is Audrey Azoulay," the international cultural body tweeted.
In the vote of the 58-member Executive Board, Azoulay received 30 votes, the requested majority to win the top job at the UN body. Her rival, Hamad bin Abdelaziz al-Kawari from Qatar collected 28 votes.
Azoulay, 45, is the second female director to head the UNESCO after her predecessor Irina Bokova.
The French civil servant was communication and culture advisor of former president Francois Hollande between 2014 and 2016 before managing the Ministry of Culture under the Socialist government in February last year.
From April 2000 to July 2003, she worked at the organization running France's public television channels as a deputy head and then head before joining France's National Cinema Centre (CNC).
At the international scene, Azoulay was a key figure who forged an initiative to safeguard cultural heritage in conflict zones, announced in December 2016.
On March 24, 2017, she presented draft resolution 2347 on the protection of cultural heritage in armed conflicts to the UN Security Council. This resolution, put forward by France, Italy and UNESCO, was adopted unanimously.
Azoulay had a master's degree in management sciences from the Paris Dauphine University in 1994 and a master's degree in business administration from Britain's Lancaster University.
She also studied at Science Po in 1996 and joined the Ecole Nationale d'Administration (ENA) in 2000.