UNITED NATIONS (AP) - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gregory Starr, the U.S. State Department's security director, as the new U.N. security chief overseeing the world body's far-flung security operations.
Starr is responsible for protecting more than 285 U.S. embassies and consulates overseas as well as 100 domestic facilities.
U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas, who announced Starr's appointment as undersecretary-general for safety and security, said he was chosen "mindful of the immediate need to tackle the heightened serious security risks facing the organization around the world."
He replaces David Veness of Britain who resigned last June over the December 2007 truck bombing at U.N. offices and another building in Algiers that killed 17 U.N. staffers and injured 40 others. An expert panel found "gaps and weaknesses" in the U.N.'s overall security operations due to cost-cutting.
Starr, 56, previously served with the State Department in Israel, Senegal, Tunisia and Congo.