British lawmaker Stephen O'Brien named new U.N. aid chief

Stephen O'Brien speaks during a news conference at the British Embassy in Khartoum November 1, 2011. REUTERS/ Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - British lawmaker and former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, Stephen O'Brien, will replace Valerie Amos as the United Nations aid chief, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced on Monday. Amos, a former British Cabinet minister, Leader of the House of Lords and Secretary of State for International Development, is stepping down in May after more than four years in the position. "Mr. O'Brien is expected to bring innovative and strategic ideas as a strong humanitarian advocate with more than 20 years of experience in international development and health care," U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters. Since 2012 O'Brien has been Britain's special representative for the Sahel, the zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara Desert to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. From 2010 to 2012 he was the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Alan Crosby)