Troubled UNESCO confirms France's Azoulay as new chief

UNESCO's member states have voted to confirm the nomination of former French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay as the body's new leader.

Azoulay, 45, was nominated last month by the U.N. cultural agency's executive board in a highly politicized race overshadowed by Middle East tensions.

The agency's general conference, which includes all 195 members, on Friday formally approved Azoulay's four-year term.

Azoulay hopes to restore the international standing of the Paris-based organization that has been mired in financial woes since the United States withdrew its sizeable funding in 2011. It's also reeling from last month's decision by the Trump administration to pull out of UNESCO because of its alleged anti-Israel bias.

The new director will set priorities for the organization's World Heritage program that protects cultural sites and traditions.