Egypt's Candidate for the UNESCO position of director-general, Moshira Khattab, will be a second round finalist for the post after she came in third out of seven candidates in the first round of secret-ballot voting by the organization's 58-member-state executive board in Paris on Monday.
Qatar's candidate Abdulaziz Al-Kawari came in first with 19 votes while France's candidate Audrey Azoulay finished second with 13, Egyptian state TV's UNESCO correspondent reported.
A second round of secret-ballot voting to elect the new chief among the three contenders will be held on Tuesday.
The winner must be supported by 30 of the 58 members of the board and then approved by the 195-member general assembly.
Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry is currently in Paris to support the veteran Egyptian diplomat.
Kattab was born in Cairo in 1944.
She graduated from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University in 1967. She holds a PHD on child rights from Cairo University, as well as an M.A. in International Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA.
Khattab joined the ministry of foreign affairs in 1968.
She served as Egypt's ambassador to Czechoslovakia from 1990 to 1995, and later the ambassador to South Africa from 1995 to 1999.
Shortly after the end of her diplomatic career in 1999, she shifted her focus to human rights, serving as secretary-general of the country's National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM), where she tackled the issues of female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage.
She was appointed as minister of family and population from March 2009 to February 2011.