ATLANTA (AP) — A human rights organization founded by former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, has appointed a new chief executive.

The Carter Center announced Friday that Paige Alexander will replace the retiring Mary Ann Peters, a former ambassador who spent 30 years as a State Department diplomat before joining The Carter Center as its CEO in 2014. Alexander’s appointment is effective June 16.

“Paige Alexander will carry forward the vision and values of the Carter Center’s founders, my grandparents, Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter,” said Jason Carter, chair of the center’s Board of Trustees. “The Center’s mission to alleviate suffering and advance human rights globally has never been more urgent.”

Alexander’s career includes two decades of experience spanning government and nonprofit sectors, the center said. She has held leadership positions at two regional bureaus of the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she worked over 15 years on missions and development programs in 25 countries.

“My life’s work has been to lift up human rights, justice and fairness, economic and social opportunity,” Alexander said. “For years, I have observed and admired the work of The Carter Center on the ground and in global human rights, health and peace-keeping contexts. Joining the Center at this time of transition, when the founders’ vision, legacy and mission are needed more than ever, is the privilege of a lifetime.”

President Carter said Alexander is “exceptionally well qualified to lead the Center into its next chapter.”

The Carters founded the center in 1982.