A U.S. university professor has been appointed director of the International Tracing Service's Holocaust-era archive in the German town of Bad Arolsen.

The ITS said Wednesday its 11-member international commission had voted to name Rebecca Boehling, a professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, to head the archive starting Jan. 1, 2013.

Boehling is an expert on the Holocaust, World War II and the early postwar period in Germany.

The ITS was established by Western Allies in the final days of World War II and run by the Red Cross to help uncover the fates of Holocaust victims and others who suffered under the Nazi regime.

In 2007, scholars and researchers were allowed access to the documents, beginning the archive's transformation from a tracing service to a research institution.