The Executive Council of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has re-elected Irina Bokova as its Director-General for another four years. Born in 1952 in Sofia, Bulgaria, in December 2009 Bokova became the first woman to head this UN cultural organization. She was Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coordinator of Bulgaria-European Union relations (1995-1997) and subsequently Ambassador of Bulgaria to France, Monaco and UNESCO (2005-2009). Since coming to office she has undertaken a process of reform aimed at reducing bureaucracy in the agency and increasing its visibility and dynamic character. However, this project been affected by the non-payment of US dues in retaliation for UNESCO'S decision to admit Palestine as a full member in 2011. This blackmail by the agency's main contributor has resulted in a budget reduction of almost 22 percent, and UNESCO must find a way to fulfill its mission with fewer resources. After being appointed by the Executive Council, Bokova should be ratified during next General Conference, which begins on November 5.