Irina Georgieva Bokova (Bulgarian: Ирина Георгиева Бокова) (born 12 July 1952) is a Bulgarian politician and the Director-General of UNESCO. She served two terms in the Bulgarian parliament, as deputy minister and acting minister of foreign affairs in the cabinet of Prime Minister Zhan Videnov. She also served as Bulgaria’s ambassador to France and to Monaco, was Bulgaria’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO. She was also the personal representative of Bulgaria’s President to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (2005–2009).
On 15 November 2009, she took office as the tenth Director-General of UNESCO, marking two firsts. She is both the first female and the first Eastern European to head the agency. At UNESCO, Director-General Bokova advocates for gender equality, improved education and preventing funding for terrorism, especially by enforcing the protection of intellectual goods. A firm opponent of racism and anti-Semitism, Director-General Bokova has led UNESCO’s activities on Holocaust remembrance.