Former president Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor has been appointed as the new UN representative to Guinea-Bissau in west Africa.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner, who helped bring independence to East Timor, will also lead the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office there.
Dr Ramos-Horta, 63, replaces diplomat Joseph Mutaboba of Rwanda, whose term ends on January 31.
Guinea-Bissau and East Timor are both former Portuguese colonies.
Dr Ramos-Horta told Radio Australia that he has been engaged in bridge-building for most of his life, for example between his country and Indonesia and Australia, and between gangs and factions in the army and police.
Dr Horta said he knows he will have to use all these skills in Guinea-Bissau and other countries in the region, so they all work on the same wavelength.