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The Cabinet on Sunday officially picked law professor Gabriela Shalev to serve as Israel's new ambassador to the United Nations.

Shalev will replace Dan Gillerman, Israel's ambassador to the world body for five years.

This is Shalev's first appointment to a diplomatic position. The 67-year-old educator has served as head of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and is rector of the Ono Academic College near Tel Aviv.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni praised her new ambassador in a statement Sunday.

"It was important to me to appoint a woman to represent Israel in such an important place Following criticism of Shalev's lack of diplomatic experience," Livni said, adding: "Professor Shalev is internationally respected; she has fulfilled many public positions in Israel."