Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday announced the appointment of Gregory Starr, the US State Department's security director, as the new UN security chief overseeing the world body's far-flung security operations. Starr is responsible for protecting more than 285 US embassies and consulates overseas as well as 100 domestic facilities. He replaces David Veness of Britain who resigned last June over the December 2007 truck bombing at UN offices and another building in Algiers that killed 17 UN staffers and injured 40 others. An expert panel found "gaps and weaknesses" in the UN's overall security operations due to cost-cutting. Starr, 56, previously served with the US State Department in Israel, Senegal, Tunisia and Congo.