The 22-member Arab League on Thursday chose veteran Egyptian diplomat Ahmed Aboul-Gheit as its secretary general.
Aboul-Gheit, a former ambassador to the United Nations who also served as foreign minister under Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak, will replace Nabil El-Araby, who said last month that he would not seek another term as secretary general after his current one ends in July.
Aboul-Gheit will take office at a time when the Cairo-based Arab League is facing several tests of its unity.
Syria is marking the fifth anniversary of the start of its devastating civil war; regional proxy wars between Saudi Arabia and Iran are on full display; and the battle against Islamic State is raging in several Arab countries.
Divisions have weakened the Arab League since the 2011 uprisings that toppled three longtime autocratic rulers.