Former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand has been appointed chairperson of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Sir Anand's two-year appointment was announced today in London by Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma.
He is the first New Zealander to hold the position.
The foundation is one of the Commonwealth's three intergovernmental agencies, alongside the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Commonwealth of Learning.
"As a former Governor-General with an impressive record of public service, Sir Anand is well qualified for this role," said Prime Minister John Key. "Sir Anand will be the first New Zealander to hold the position.
"He has had a long association with the Commonwealth, through delivering training for Ombudsmen, membership of the Commonwealth Trust, and contributions to the Commonwealth Law Bulletin.
"New Zealand is an active member of the Commonwealth and a strong supporter of its values. Like other Commonwealth countries, we share a commitment to democracy, the rule of law and human rights.
"As a development organisation, the foundation works to improve the lives of people across the Commonwealth."