US President-elect Joe Biden has announced that Irish-American academic Samantha Power will run the agency overseeing American foreign humanitarian and development aid.
Ms Power previously served as US ambassador to the UN under President Barack Obama.
If confirmed by the Senate, Ms Power will head the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which has an annual budget of about $20bn.
Mr Biden also announced that he is elevating the position to the National Security Council within the White House, a signal that he will prioritise outreach to other nations.
He said USAID will co-ordinate America’s work to lead a global response to combat the coronavirus and help the most vulnerable nations.
He called Ms Power (50), who was raised in Dublin and became a US citizen in 1993, “a world-renowned voice of conscience and moral clarity”.
She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, about the US foreign policy response to genocide.
“As a journalist, activist, and diplomat, I’ve seen the world-changing impact of USAID,” she said in a tweet.
“At this critical moment, I feel immensely fortunate to have the chance to serve again, working with the incredible USAID team to confront Covid-19, climate change, humanitarian crises, and more.”