Updated 3:28 p.m.
The American Red Cross has named a new general counsel, David Meltzer, who takes over the role at the beginning of next year.
Meltzer, formerly the group's senior vice president for international services, starts as general counsel on January 1. His appointment was approved by the Red Cross Board of Governors.
In addition to his general counsel duties, Meltzer will also take on responsibility for the humanitarian organization's office of investigations, compliance and ethics.
Hired in 2005 to oversee the international services department, Meltzer will continue to serve as the chief international officer, where he oversees the American Red Cross Haiti Assistance Program.
In an interview, Meltzer said that current general counsel Mary Elcano, who retires at the end of January, would help him with the transition. The general counsel, he said, handles matters related to licensing agreements, fundraisers and planned giving, among others.
"Short term, there is a lot that I need to learn about the rest of the American Red Cross business," Meltzer said.
As the former executive vice president and general counsel for Intelsat, a communications satellite services provider, Meltzer primarily dealt with the Federal Communications Commission. He said the regulatory agency with which the American Red Cross primarily interacts is the Food & Drug Administration.
"I'm very excited to get back in the legal seat," Meltzer said.