Local media is reporting that former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark will head the United Nations Development Program. TV NZ says this is “the most powerful position held by a New Zealander on the world stage for more than a decade.”

UNDP is the world’s main coordinating body for economic development. They have programs on the ground in 166 countries, and the UNDP country head usually serves as the coordinator of all international economic development projects in the country. Outside the UN, UNDP is probably best known for publishing the Human Development Report.

Helen Clark will be the first female head of UNDP, which is significant because empowering women in the developing world is among UNDP’s most important missions. Here’s hoping for a renewed and sustained focus on the so-called “girl-effect.”

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