Chile's Bachelet Names Poniachik Mining, Energy Minister

Chile's President-elect Michelle Bachelet has named Karen Poniachik, a journalist by profession, to be the country's mining and energy minister, the mining ministry said in a statement on its website.

"She will be the first woman in this position and moreover the energy and mining ministries are to be merged, since the former had been operating up to now as part of the finance ministry," the mining ministry said.

The current finance and energy minister is Jorge Rodriguez.

Poniachik graduated as a journalist from Chile's Universidad Catolica (1987) and holds a Master's degree in International Relations from Columbia University in New York City (1990). She serves as the executive VP of Chile's foreign investment committee.

From 1995 to 2000 she served as business and financial affairs director for the Council of the Americas, which promotes trade and investment between the US and Latin America.

At the same time Poniachik served as consultant for private companies with investments in the region and for Chile's foreign affairs and finance ministries. She also has directed the Chilean-North American Chamber of Commerce.

Before serving on the Council of the Americas, she worked from 1990 to 1995 as an international political analyst at media outlet ECO/Televisa.

Michelle Bachelet was elected president on January 15 in the second round of an election against businessman Sebastian Pinera.

Bachelet will be sworn in on March 11.

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