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New Leader of UN Ebola Response Appointed

FILE - Anthony Banbury, left, outgoing head of the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response, speaks with Ghanaian Minister of Information Dr. Edward Omane Boamah during a press conference on Ebola, in Accra, Sept. 30, 2014.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as his new special representative and head of the U.N. Mission for Ebola Emergency Response.

According to a U.N. announcement Thursday, Ahmed will work closely with the special envoy on Ebola, Dr. David Nabarro, and with governments in the region and other partners.

Stephane Dujarric, the secretary-general's spokesman, said Ahmed would succeed Anthony Banbury of the United States, "who will return to New York in early January 2015. The secretary-general expresses his gratitude to Mr. Banbury for his vision and leadership of UNMEER, and for his commitment to fighting this unprecedented Ebola outbreak."

The U.N. said Ahmed has more than 28 years of development and humanitarian assistance experience with the United Nations in Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Ahmed has served as resident coordinator, humanitarian coordinator and U.N. Development Program resident representative in Syria (2008-2012) and Yemen (2012-2014). He held several positions with the United Nations Children’s Fund, including director of change management in New York, deputy regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa in Nairobi, and representative in Georgia.