IAAF Council Member Nawal El Moutawakel has been appointed to chair the Evaluation Commission for the 2012 Olympic bidding cities.
El Moutawakel, who is a member of the IOC has been a member of the IAAF Council since 1995. She became the first Muslim woman to win an Olympic gold medal with her victory in the 400 metre hurdles at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and was the first Islamic woman to be appointed to the IOC. She has also served as Secretary of State for Youth and Sport in her native Morocco, where she currently heads the Moroccan Association for Sport and Development (AMSD), which focuses on developing sport for women in Morocco and notably organises an annual race for women in Casablanca.
She will head a panel of twelve that will visit the five cities shortlisted among the candidates to host the 2012 Games.
"We have here an excellent team, and I am particularly pleased that Nawal El Moutawakel has accepted to lead it," said IOC President Jacques Rogge.
"As a former Olympic champion, she has a great knowledge of the Olympic Games and what it takes to organise them."
"I only learned of my appointment yesterday," said Nawal El Moutawakel, "It is a great honour and a great responsibility, but I have an excellent team with me."
Commission Members: Els van Breda Vriesman (NED), Paul Henderson (CAN), Patrick Jarvis (CAN), Mustapha Larfaoui (ALG), Jose Luis Marco (ARG), Ser Miang Ng (SIN), Sam Ramsamy (RSA).
Experts: Simon Balderstone (AUS), Philippe Bovy (SUI), Bob Elphinston (AUS) .
An athlete representative will be appointed following elections to the IOC Athletes' Commission during the Athens Games.