Irina Bokova elected Director-General of UNESCO © UNESCO/Michel Ravassard Irina Bokova Director-General of UNESCO The 35th Session of the General Conference today Irina Bokova of Bulgaria as the tenth Director-General of UNESCO. The investiture will take place in a ceremony in Room I in the afternoon of Friday 23 October 2009, when Irina Bokova will become the first woman to hold the post since the foundation of the Organization in 1945. The new Director-General, who will serve a four-year term, has been Ambassador of the Republic of Bulgaria to France and Monaco, Personal Representative of the Bulgarian President to the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO since 2005. Born in 1952, Ms Bokova obtained a MBA at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations and has studied at the University of Maryland and at Harvard University in the United States of America. Ms Bokova has over three decades of experience in the international arena, which includes serving as a representative to the United Nations and subsequently as Bulgarias Secretary of State for European integration and as Foreign Minister. Ms Bokova has been involved extensively in the transition to European integration. As Founder and Chairperson of the European Policy Forum, the new Director-General has worked to overcome divisions in Europe and to promote the values of dialogue, diversity, human dignity and human rights. Irina Bokova has called for a new humanism for the 21st century, arguing that the greatest challenge is to lead the world into a new era of peace and humanism, to create more inclusive, just, and equitable societies through sustainable economic and social development, based on science, innovation and new technologies that will serve mankind and will preserve the environment.