Italy's premier has named Paolo Gentiloni as his new foreign minister, tapping a longtime center-left lawmaker and former Cabinet minister in the Romano Prodi government.

Gentiloni took his oath of office Friday in the presidential palace. He replaces Federica Mogherini, who is taking over as the European Commission's foreign policy chief.

The 59-year-old Gentiloni was first elected to Parliament in 2001 with the main center-left Daisy party. He was communications minister in Prodi's government from 2006-2008. Most recently, he lost a 2013 primary to be the Democratic Party's candidate for Rome's mayor to Igazio Marino, who went onto win the election.