Swiss national appointed assistant director-general for natural sciences at UNESCO

Bern, 30.07.2014 - Flavia Schlegel, a former staff member at the Federal Office of Public Health and the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation, has been appointed assistant director-general for natural sciences at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) by the organisation's director-general, Irina Bokova.

As assistant director-general, Dr Schlegel will head UNESCO's Natural Sciences Section, which employs staff at UNESCO's headquarters and in about half of UNESCO's 57 field offices.

Switzerland plays an active role in UNESCO and is represented in the organisation with a permanent delegation at its headquarters in Paris.  With Dr Schlegel's appointment, Switzerland is strengthening its presence in the governing bodies of the UN system and UNESCO.

UNESCO is a specialised agency of the UN founded in 1945. It comprises 193 member states and 7 associate member states. Switzerland has been a member of UNESCO since 1949. Through international intellectual cooperation, it promotes development and, transcending mere material progress, it tries to respond to the full spectrum of human aspirations without eroding the common human heritage for future generations. It also works to bring about a culture of peace, based on citizenship that is fully assumed and exercised.

Dr Flavia Schlegel began working for the Federal Office of Public Health in 1997 and both there and in the State Secretariat for Education and Research she assumed leading positions in Bern, the United States and China. Since 2012, Dr Schlegel has been an independent consultant in the areas of health, science and good governance. Dr Schlegel will take up her new post on 1 October 2014.

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