Connie Britton named goodwill ambassador for United Nations Development Program

Actress Connie Britton speaks as she announces her appointment as UNDP goodwill ambassador for poverty eradication and women's empowerment at One U.N. Plaza on April 2, 2014, in New York. Jemal Countess/Getty Images

Connie Britton has been named a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, it was announced Wednesday.

The actress, known for her roles on TV's "Friday Night Lights," "American Horror Story" and "Nashville," became the agency's tenth such ambassador, joining actor Antonio Banderas, tennis star Maria Sharapova and a handful of soccer stars.

Britton calls her appointment as goodwill ambassador "one of the greatest opportunities of my life."

She plans to focus on poverty eradication, with emphasis on women's issues. She pointed out that women do 66 percent of the world's work but make just 10 percent of the world's income.

"In my own travels, I've seen many places where people are living in extreme poverty. It's unacceptable that, in 2014, one billion people live in such conditions, and a full sixty percent of the chronically hungry in the world are women," said Britton. "I look forward to working with UNDP to help change this and improve the lives of vulnerable people worldwide."

"We are thrilled to have Connie Britton join UNDP's efforts to fight poverty worldwide," added UNDP Director for External Relations Michael O'Neill. "Connie is passionately committed to humanitarian causes and she will be a great partner for UNDP, helping us raise awareness of development issues amongst the American and global public."

Britton's experiences abroad include studying Chinese in Beijing and traveling to Africa for documentary work and to adopt her son, Yoby, from Ethiopia. She says China was a turning point in her life.

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