Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has appointed veteran journalist Alison Smale as the U.N.'s new communications chief.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced Smale's appointment Wednesday as undersecretary-general for global communications, succeeding Cristina Gallach of Spain.

Smale started her journalistic career with United Press International and then joined The Associated Press in 1981. She covered the fall of the Berlin Wall, the breakup of the Soviet Union, and the 1990s Balkan Wars.

The British reporter joined the New York Times in 1998, became a deputy foreign editor in 2002, and was named the first female executive editor of the International Herald Tribune in 2008. Since 2013, she has covered Germany and Central and Eastern Europe for the Times.