Zaiga Pūce confirmed as Latvian Society Integration Foundation director

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The Society Integration Foundation (SIF) Council confirmed the Ascendum association Board Chair Zaiga Pūce as their new director on November 8, according to LETA news agency.

Pūce was confirmed with seven votes in her favor.

The Environmental Protection and Regional Development Minister's authorised representative State Secretary Edvīns Balševics didn't participate in the vote, most likely to avoid any perceived conflict of interest, as the Minister is also Pūce's husband.

The Prime Minister's SIF Council representative Imants Parādnieks also abstained.

As previously reported, Pūce has extensive job experience in the nongovernmental sector. For three years she worked on the council of the cooperation memorandum concluded between NGOs and the Cabinet of Ministers. Since 2016 she is a council member of the Civic Alliance - Latvia and since 2017 a board member of the Association of Non-Governmental Contemporary Culture Organizations. She has chaired the Ascendum board since 2011.

Pūce received the highest scores in all three rounds of the tender, and won unanimous support of the panel assessing the candidates. Her candidacy will be put before the SIF Council for approval.

The purpose of SIF is to financially support and promote the integration of society. SIF also supports implementation of development programs and projects by the public and non-governmental sector.

The SIF Council encompasses ministers of foreign affairs, education and science, culture, welfare, environmental protection and regional development, justice; a representative of the President of the state; representatives of Kurzeme, Latgale, Riga, Vidzeme, and Zemgale Planning regions of Latvia, as well as six representatives of non-governmental organizations.

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