Turtle Bay – the new UN-focused blog by Washington Post reporter Colum Lynch – confirmed this past month the U.S. government’s nomination of Tony Lake to head UNICEF following Ann Veneman‘s departure this April. U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice informed Secretary General Ban Ki-moon of the nomination in a letter on 17 February. Lake’s likely nomination was first mentioned by Lynch’s colleague Josh Rogin in The Cable in January.
The post is filled by the Secretary General directly, in consultation with the agency’s 36-member Executive Board, per 57(3)b of its founding resolution (PDF). Lynch writes that it is “unlikely the job will not go to the American candidate,” noting that as the agency’s largest donor, the U.S. nominee has always been accepted by the Secretary General. Rogin had also noted that
the head of UNICEF is traditionally an American. But such customs may be changing since the ascension of Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. For example, the U.N. Department of Management is no longer American-led
and that Lake’s official nomination “could increase calls by European countries for a change in the custom of having an American at the helm.” However no other country is known to have offered a candidate as of 19 February. (The deadline was apparently 12 February, but the U.S. nomination was not made official until the following Wednesday.)
Lake’ experience as Ambassador to the UN, chair of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and endorsement by UN Foundation’s Tim Wirth, and the apparent lack of other nominees will likely make his appointment a sure thing.