updated 4 Nov 2011, 08:32
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Fri, Oct 07, 2011
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Obama picks Shakira for education role

WASHINGTON (US) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday named Colombian pop diva Shakira a member of his advisory commission on Hispanic education, citing her pioneering work to help children in Latin America.

The singer, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, a Grammy award-winning singer, songwriter and producer founded the "Barefoot Foundation" which set up schools and education projects in Colombia, South Africa and Haiti.

Last year, the singer of "Whenever, Wherever" and "Hips Don't Lie" joined the World Bank to set up a program to push education and developmental programs for children in Latin America.

Shakira was among four people named to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, along with Nancy Navarro, a Maryland politician, Adrian Pedroza, an immigration and education campaigner and educational expert Kent Scribner.

"I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country," Obama said.

"I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead."

The commission was created by an executive order by Obama last year and exists to expand access to high quality education for Hispanic students throughout the United States.

The Hispanic community, a growing voting demographic which usually leans Democratic, will play a key role in Obama's campaign to win a second term next year, in key swing states including Florida and Colorado.

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