Wendy Chamberlin appointed Deputy High Commissioner

GENEVA - Ms. Wendy Chamberlin, a veteran U.S. Foreign Service officer and former Ambassador to Laos and Pakistan, has been appointed the new U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees.

Announcing the appointment Friday, High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers said Ms. Chamberlin brings 27 years of foreign service experience to UNHCR.

"Her current position in USAID (US Agency for International Development) as the Assistant Administrator in the Bureau for Asia and the Near East provides her with the relevant political and management experience for this post," Lubbers said in an announcement to UNHCR's more than 5,000 staff in some 115 countries.

Lubbers said Ms. Chamberlin's appointment was made in consultation with Secretary-General Kofi Annan and would take effect in January 2004.

She will succeed Ms. Mary Ann Wyrsch, who has served as Deputy High Commissioner since April 2001. Lubbers thanked Ms. Wyrsch "for all her contributions to the work of UNHCR, both at headquarters and in the field, and I wish her all the very best in the future."