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IP/11/12

Brussels, 6 December 2011

Catherine Ashton appoints Managing Director for Africa, welcomes appointment of EDA Chief Executive

Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy/Commission Vice President, today appointed Nicholas Westcott as Managing Director for Africa in the new European External Action Service (EEAS). She has also welcomed the appointment of Claude-France Arnould as Chief Executive of the European Defence Agency (EDA).

Speaking on the appointments Catherine Ashton said: "I am pleased to announce the appointment of Nicholas Westcott as the Managing Director for Africa in the EAS. This appointment completes the package of top officials with responsibility for the EU’s key relationships around the world. Together with the appointments I have already announced, I am confident that the top team of the new service reflects the best possible balance of talent and experience to meet the challenges we face. On my proposal the Steering Board of the European Defence Agency has unanimously decided to appoint Claude-France Arnould as the EDA Chief Executive for a period of three years. With her background in defence issues, Claude France will bring more than 20 years' of experience to this post, at a crucial time for the Agency."

Nicholas Westcott is British High Commissioner to Ghana and non-resident Ambassador to Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Niger and Togo. His considerable experience of Africa includes a previous posting in Tanzania and a secondment to the UK Department for International Development on regional co-operation in Africa. He also brings impressive knowledge of the EU, having worked on Common Foreign and Security Policy and EU affairs in both London and Brussels.

Claude-France Arnould is currently Deputy Director-General for Crisis Management and Planning Directorate (CMPD) in the External Action Service. Previously, between 2001 and 2009, she was Director for Defence issues in the EU General Secretariat of the Council, in charge of CSDP operations and military capabilities. She has more than 20 years’ experience in External Relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defence Policy.


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