LINDAU, Germany (RNS) — On the same day that a prominent woman urged greater inclusion of female leaders in Religions for Peace, delegates to the 10th World Assembly of the interreligious global organization elected their first woman secretary-general.

On Wednesday (Aug. 21), they chose Azza Karam, an expert who works with the United Nations on issues of religion and development, as the organization’s new top official.

Karam, a Muslim and a professor of religion and development at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, succeeds William Vendley, a Roman Catholic scholar from the United States who has held the role since 1994.

The new secretary-general of Religions for Peace, Azza Karam. Photo by Christian Flemming/Religions for Peace

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