UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Tennis superstar Serena Williams has been appointed UNICEF’S newest international Goodwill Ambassador.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake announced Williams’ appointment on Tuesday, saying she is also known as a philanthropist and champion of children.

Williams teamed up with UNICEF in 2006 when she traveled to Ghana for the African country’s biggest health campaign. Volunteer health workers immunized children against childhood diseases and distributed free mosquito bed nets to prevent malaria.

With UNICEF, Williams will use her popularity to support the U.N. agency’s mission to provide a quality education for vulnerable children.

Past and present UNICEF ambassadors include Audrey Hepburn, David Beckham and Shakira.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.