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Distinction at the helm
Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 28 - 06 - 2007

The vote was a unanimous "Yes" for Her Excellency Ambassador Mervat Tallawy to become AFICS- Egypt's new Governing Board chair starting 14 June 2007. A founding member of the association established in 2003, Mrs Tallawy has also been an active Advisory Board member of Beyond and instrumental in its success by her encouragement and availability for good advice as needed.
For the Egyptian public, Mrs Tallawy is known as a former minister of social affairs, with a heart close to the people as befitting this post, and then the first secretary general of the National Council for Women, with a mind on women's interests. For the foreign public, Mrs Tallawy is known as a successful diplomat and hard negotiator in international affairs. For the Association of Former International Civil Servants-Egypt, she has been a flagship member being, for the past six years and up to 31 May 2007, the most senior Egyptian woman in the UN system as under- secretary general of the United Nations and executive secretary of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia based in Beirut.
AFICS-Egypt's Governing Board did not leave Ambassador Tallawy much time to breathe after her return at end of May on retirement from her last post in Beirut in requesting her acceptance to become its new chair. It implied switching from prestigious governmental and inter- governmental positions to a perhaps less glittering role, but nonetheless, AFICS-Egypt could not let the opportunity pass of benefiting from Tallawy's impressive experience and knowledge acquired over her long career in pursuing its mission. All at AFICS-Egypt are ingratiated that Ambassador Tallawy readily agreed to serve again.
AFICS-Egypt's honorary president for life remains His Excellency Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Habiba Hassan- Wassef, Salah El-Zoghby and Emad Adly remain vice- president, secretary general and treasurer of AFICS- Egypt, respectively. Former founding chair of AFICS- Egypt, Seheir Kansouh -- also chair and CEO of Beyond -- will continue to help the association as a member of its Governing Board. Her achievements as departing chair of AFICS-Egypt are perhaps best expressed in the willingness of distinguished persons like Dr Boutros-Ghali and Ambassador Tallawy to accept leading roles in the organisation she founded and tirelessly developed.

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